Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia can see where David Ortiz is coming from: 'Baseball's not a drive-through'

Mike Petraglia
February 26, 2015 - 12:05 pm
Categories: 

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Dustin Pedroia could only laugh. When the Red Sox second baseman heard David Ortiz go off on Wednesday about new MLB pace-of-game rules. "I think it was the first time he heard of it," Pedroia said Thursday. "The first reaction is always pretty good [from Ortiz]. I just laughed. You never know. That's his job, though. His job is to hit and, in my mind, I have to go play defense and concentrate on a lot of things. But, when you're putting a new rule and his main focus is to be in the box, that's his home. You know what I mean? I can side with him on why he's upset, but he'll be fine. "I'm pretty sure the umpires aren't going to start yelling at you. They understand. Everybody that's on that field loves baseball. They don't want to make it a hurry-up. Baseball's not a drive-through. We've got to play the game and they know that. Obviously, if you get fined, you get fined but we're trying to play to win and that's the way I look at it." Pedroia was asked if he thought speeding up the game would be good for the game. "Is it good for the game? We'll find out. I don't think we've played under the rules yet," Pedroia said, adding, "I don't really try to think about it. I don't know if I get out. I adjust my batting gloves and tighten them. My only thing as a hitter, and obviously the pitchers do it too, we're trying to think about how and what we're going to do the next pitch. Obviously, some guys take a little bit longer and some guys don't. I think that's the fun part about the game. In our mind, that's the competition. Him [the pitcher] trying to find a way to get me out and me trying to find a way to get a hit off him. However long that takes, that's how long it takes. We have a job to do and we're trying to execute and we know the pitcher has a job to do. I don't think I take that long. "I don't think it's going to be as bad as everybody's saying. I'm sure the pitcher and the hitter are going to be ready to play. That's the way I look at it. I'm sure there's not going to be a pitch thrown and I'm going to be hanging out in the other on-deck circle. We're still going to play baseball. That's the way I look at it." Even Red Sox pitchers like Joe Kelly could see where Ortiz was coming from. "We play a ton of games," Kelly said. "I understand exactly where he's coming from. As a hitter, being a professional hitter, it's probably one of the toughest things to do in all of sports. He's not taking his time just to take his time. He's out there and he's one of the best left-handed hitters in this game. He's thinking about what the pitcher is trying to do to him, and vice versa. I'm out there on the mound trying to read swings. If I throw a fastball inside and the hitter feels a little bit uncomfortable with his [swinging] motion, I might take a step off the mound and take a breath, 'All right, is he trying to fool me or is he really going to get beat there today?' "I can see both sides of the story. It's going to [be interesting] play out early on. We'll see how it goes with guys in spring training. If the speed's too fast, they might have to slow it down. I'm on both sides of the fence here." There's even been suggestions that MLB go a step further with a pitch clock, like NBA's shot clock. "I'm a big NBA fan. I like the shot clock," Kelly said. "I'm not opposed to it. It'd be kind of cool to see a little pitch clock out there. It might put pressure on pitchers that aren't used to it to throw a bad pitch. It'd be fair. Everyone's doing it. I think maybe eventually one day they'll get to that or maybe not if it doesn't go well this spring training with timing and players don't like it."

Comments ()