The Red Sox and Yankees are in the news talking about each other yet again. Last week Sox CEO Larry Lucchino called out the Yankees for their spending while Yankees VP Randy Levine quickly fired back defending his team. This week it’s Red Sox All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia who had some words about the Yankees.
In an interview, Dustin Pedroia praised Derek Jeter and his illustrious career. Yes, you read that correctly, Dustin Pedroia was gushing over the Yankees captain.
I think he’ll hit .320 and if he does, I’m not going to be surprised at all… You can bet he’ll be the Derek Jeter who’s done it for 20 years.
Pedroia has long admired Jeter not just for his play on the field but also for what he has done off of it. The diminutive power house spoke of how he cherished the opportunity to play alongside Jeter representing Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Fans of both teams also know they both enjoy every chance to compete against each other at the highest level.
Pedroia goes on to discuss how they are different players joking that, “he’s taller, I’m short.” It is true they differ in height, as well as position, however they are not as different as Pedroia believes. Like Jeter, Pedroia burst on to the scene in his rookie campaign taking home the Rookie of the Year honors. His play and heart were such a valuable addition to that 2007 Red Sox line-up that they won the World Series that same season. Jeter’s 1996 rookie campaign was the same for both himself and the Yankees. David Ortiz is the voice of the current Red Sox, but make no mistake, Pedroia, like Jeter, is the engine that makes his team go.
Pedroia closed by discussing how he admires Jeter for the way he handles himself and how his actions have changed the way players represent not just their teams, but the sport overall. In a time of steroids and close media scrutiny, Derek Jeter has always found a way to steer clear of any controversy, another trait that the two share. Pedroia also praises Jeter’s team-first mentality and you can see how it translates into his own play.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is one of the best in all of sports. Fans love when the two go head-to-head in a war of words. Sometimes it is equally enjoyable when they actually express positive opinions about each other. There is nothing that says respect more than praise from your biggest rival.