|Scott Podsednik thinks this might be the best Scott Podsednik we’ve ever seen||06.13.12 at 11:55 pm ET|
MIAMI — He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2003, led the National League in steals in ’04 and was named an American League All-Star in 2005 (the same year he came in 12th in AL MVP voting).
Yet it is at this moment — at the age of 36 while playing the role of fill-in — that Scott Podsednik feels represents his best.
“To be honest with you, I feel like I’m playing as good or better as I ever have in my career,” he said after the Red Sox’ 10-2 win over the Marlins Wednesday night. “I’ve learned a lot over my 18 years of professional baseball. I’ve taken all of that under consideration and tried to improve and honed my skills, year in and year out. Now it’s just a matter of keeping the body healthy. I feel like I have a good approach and I’m able to use my skills out on the field to the best of my ability. It’s just a matter of keeping my body healthy which allows me to go out and execute what I’ve learned.”
While everybody is waiting for Podsednik to slow down, he hasn’t obliged.
The outfielder continued to impress as a member of the Red Sox — the team that plucked him out of Triple-A Lehigh Valley via a trade for cash — coming away with two more hits to raise his batting average to .373. Seven out of the 13 games he has started with the Sox have now included multi-hit games, with Posednik’s OPS now standing at .868.
It has been retribution for a player who knew his career was at a crossroads following his demotion to Triple-A by the Phillies heading into the 2012 season.
“I was just deflated after not making the Phillies club,” said Podsednik, who admitted this was the most fun he has had since playing on the White Sox’ world championship team in ’05. “I wasn’t in the right mind-frame there. I’m not proud of that. With that being said, it is, for me, easier to get myself up and prepare for big league games than it is Triple A games.
“I’m sure baseball was wondering at 36 if I could still go out and get it done. There was a bit of me wanting me to go out and prove to the baseball world that I could still play. Personally, I felt I could still get it done based on the way my body felt and the conditioning I put myself through this winter. I felt like I could still go out and do it. Again, we would have never known without getting the opportunity over here.”
But, thanks to a litany of injuries to Red Sox outfielders, he did get a chance. And, so far, Podsednik is making the most of the opportunity.
“I did not want to go to Triple-A. I knew how difficult it was going to be to get myself going in Triple-A. I’m not proud to say that, but when you spend a few years in the big leagues you kind of get spoiled so it’s tough to go down to Triple-A and play with a sense of passion and urgency,” he said. “The thought crossed my mind would I ever make it back. I’m happy I got this chance.”
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