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Dustin Pedroia on WEEI podcast: David Ortiz should be given ‘whatever he wants’

01.28.14 at 10:44 am ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Monday to discuss David Ortiz‘€™s desire for a multi-year contract extension, Jacoby Ellsbury defecting to the Yankees and other offseason news. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.

Ortiz told Steve Burton on CBS4′€™s “Sports Final” show Sunday night that he would consider playing for a different team if he could not agree to a multi-year deal with the Red Sox after this season.

“Everyone doubts David,” Pedroia said. “Everyone thinks, ‘€˜Oh, this is going to be the year that he doesn’t hit 30 home runs and drives in 100. This is going to be it. He’€™s getting older.’€™ The only one who knows when that’€™s going to happen is David, and just by the way he’€™s talking, the way he’€™s working, just his mindset, everything — it’€™s not going to stop.

“I love the fact that he always has that chip on his shoulder that he has to prove people wrong. I love that about him. I love David to death. … In my opinion, whatever he wants — for God’€™s sake, he hit .900 in the World Series, you know what I mean? He’€™s one of the guys that when we walk into spring training, you don’€™t even have to worry about what he’€™s going to do during the year. You know it’€™s already done. All you have to do is press play.”

“I don’€™t look at David as how much money he makes or what kind of numbers he puts up,” Pedroia added. “I look at David as what he brings to our team and how he’€™s going to help us accomplish our goals, and it goes a lot further than him just being a DH.”

Pedroia, who penned an eight-year, $110 million contract with Boston in July, said that he is happy to have such a long contract with the Red Sox, but he hates the business of baseball.

“I just flat out don’€™t like it,” Pedroia said. “I’€™m thrilled that I don’€™t have to worry about it for the rest of my career.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/red sox.

On Jacoby Ellsbury‘€™s deal with the Yankees: “He got an offer he couldn’t refuse. I don’t think anyone would fault him for going where he went and that’s that. I’m happy for him. That guy, he played his butt off for us. We won two championships together. Everything was great.

“Once the season starts, I hope his team doesn’t win, that’€™s just how it goes. We’€™re friends, we’€™re close just like all of my teammates. You’€™re in it together. You’€™re family — you go through the ups and downs — and then on the business side you wish him the best.”

On the status of his thumb: “I feel great. … I’ve been probably doing a little bit more than I’€™m supposed to do, but I feel great, man. I haven’€™t had a setback one time. Gripping stuff is not a problem, swinging a bat is not a problem, catching a ball is not a problem. So I’€™m excited, man, this is good.”

On what he could not do because of the injury: “To be honest with you, it was just an uncomfortable feeling. I didn’t have that much grip strength. I was fine at the contact point and then the only tough part was kind of finishing your swing because [you] have to turn your follow through turn your left hand over and your thumb kind of rotates. That was one of the things that was a problem all year. … Even from the beginning, you have to figure out a way to get through it kind of and adjust on the fly, but I didn’t feel any different the first game or second game to the last game of the World Series. Obviously you get tired because you play so many games.”

On being able to pull the ball with power: “Basically how I generate my power, I put every ounce of everything I have into driving the ball, and when I’€™m not able to do that, obviously I’€™m not going to hit the ball as far. When everything’€™s in rhythm and in sync and I can put 165 pounds into the ball, it’€™s a lot better than the strength that I was taking away, you can’€™t drive a ball like that. I had to make sure I was smart, understood the count situation and not take as many chances to drive the ball out of the park because physically I didn’t feel like I could do it that much”

On optimism for the season: “I think the hardest thing for us is we’ve got a bull’s-eye on our back. Everyone’€™s coming for us. We’€™re the World Series champs. Everyone wants to do that, so we’ve got to work just as hard, we’ve got to work 10 times harder than we did last year to try to fight everyone off and try to do it again.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury,
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