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On April 21, 2017, Manny Machado went barreling into second base and took out the knee of Dustin Pedroia. Most players, fans, and analysts thought that “dirty” slide ended Pedroia’s career, but even if it did, the retired Red Sox second baseman has now put the whole thing behind him.
Maybe it’s time for us to do the same?
Dustin Pedroia says he has no regrets, and is at peace, holding no grudge towards Manny Machado over the slide in 2017 that basically ended his career. “We made it back. I played 9 games when 90% of the doctors said there’s zero chance. …It’s ok.”— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 1, 2021
Here’s the play for those who haven’t seen it:
Manny Machado is the absolute worse. I wonder what Dustin Pedroia’s HOF candidacy would look like if this play never happened.— Tyler Milliken (@tylermilliken_) January 20, 2021
Pedroia has a career bWAR of 51.6. Jeff Kent finished his career with a bWAR of 55.4. Pedroia played 786 fewer games than Kent.#RedSox | #DirtyWater pic.twitter.com/mLvWamDAFx
As you can see from the tweet comment, plenty in the Boston community have hatred for Manny Machado. His slide wasn’t just a freak accident or a mistake. It’s been a reoccurring theme for the Padres All-Star. On this play, Machado clearly slides past the base and immediately altered the trajectory of an all-time great.
Pedroia was robbed of a legendary conclusion to his career, and for what? To preserve a 2-0 lead in a meaningless game in April? It’s sad it had to go down like that. Machado knew it in real time, just as Pedroia probably understands it now.
One aspect of Pedroia’s positive attitude now that I believe fans have overlooked is that Dustin Pedroia cares more about the game of baseball and its growth than he does his own career. Did he want to get hurt and spend the last three seasons rehabbing just to be able to put his uniform back on? Absolutely not, but it’s clear Pedroia grasps the bigger picture here.
The game can’t grow without Manny Machado
As much as Pedroia initially hated Machado after the slide, he understands that baseball is worse off long-term if his bitterness lives on. If Pedroia holds onto that hate, then so will we.
Today, Pedroia decided to offer grace to Manny Machado and help make peace between the two sides. After all, if fans are busy hating Machado, why would they buy a jersey and fall in love with the game again? The game can’t grow if fans hate one of its MVP candidates to the core. It can’t happen. Now that Pedroia has taken the high road, Manny Machado has the opportunity to help take the game to greater heights.
Dustin Pedroia’s No. 15 will be retired someday, and he will always be remembered as an absolute legend who gave his body to the game. Machado’s slide can’t take that away.
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
I’d say if you’ve won 3 WS rings, ROY, a MVP, gold glove, and will probably have your number retired in Boston…that’s a pretty good career even if it was shortened.
Never understood Machado would think these questionable plays wont come with consequences. Whats great about baseball you can beam someone with to hold them accountable. i hope he has matured.
Just tell us when the games become serious instead of “insignificant” games in April.