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Dustin Pedroia on extension: ‘I want to be in a place that’s special to me. This place has been that’

07.23.13 at 4:12 pm ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who agreed in principle to a seven-year deal worth approximately $100 million (as first reported by WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford), discussed the anticipated deal in the Red Sox clubhouse. Here’s a transcript of his thoughts:

[Is it official?]

Not yet. When the team has something to announce, they’ll announce it. ‘€¦It’s not official or anything, but this is my home. I love being here, I love my teammates, love this city. If it becomes that, I’ll be pretty excited.

[Surprised to get seven years?]

I just want to make sure I’m playing my last game here. That’s important.

[How much do you enjoy playing for the Red Sox?]

It’s the only thing I know. I love putting on the Red Sox uniform everyday. Every game is important to me and my teammates. It’s pretty special.

[Will the contract change you?]

No. Not at all. You guys have all seen me since I had a little bit more hair. I think I’ll play the same way I do for every game I play to the end. That’s about it.

[How humbling was the deal?]

It’s not official or anything. The club will announce that if it happens. But yeah, it’s not going to change who I am or my role with the team. My role is still to go out there and to try to help us win a game every day. I try to do all I can to make that happen.

[Will teammates look at you differently?]

Not really. They still have to look down at me. I’m pretty short. It’s a cool feeling.

[Are you driven by doubters?]

Not really. I’ve had a lot of people doubt me along the way. I try to work hard, keep my head down and play the game right. That’s I you can do. You can’t change what people say about you or anything like that. All you can do is go out there, give the best that you can and I try to do that every night.

[When will it be official?]

Hopefully soon, next couple days.

[How important is it to you to finish your career here?]

That’s really important. The Red Sox drafted me. A lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that. It’s pretty important. That’s why I want to make sure I work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the right choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career.

[Did you tell that to your agents?]

Yeah, it’s really important to me. I’m a pretty loyal guy. I love being here. I live and die by this team. It’s important to me to be here my whole time.

[Are you leaving money on the table?]

I don’t look at it like that. I try to look at, I want to be in a place that’s special to me. This place has been that.

[Braun suspension]

It’s great for the game. I don’t want my, I’ve got two young kids. I don’t want my kids to be let down by anybody. Everybody that is a role model for kids, they should do things the right way, don’t lie to anybody in the media or anything like that. It’s unfortunate for the game because he’s such a great player and he’s done a lot of great things, but it’s a sad day.

[Creating a level playing field?]

That’s the plan. That’s why our drug policy is where it is. If you do something you’re not supposed to be doing, you should be caught and you should be penalized severely. That’s all we’re looking for.

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