USA Today Sports

Terry Francona waxes poetic about Dustin Pedroia

Rob Bradford
August 20, 2018 - 8:16 pm

Terry Francona's admiration for Dustin Pedroia has never been a secret. It's an admiration that was only reinforced when the Indians' manager met with the media prior to his team's game with the Red Sox Monday night.

"There's nobody like him and I can't imagine there will ever be," Francona said. "He's so special that I probably was expecting too much out of him because of how he played the game and everything, but he's just so special that, yeah.

"There's nothing he did that didn't make him special. You probably heard me say it all the time. When he walks in the room the lights seemed to get brighter. He woke up every morning to kick your ass. When you're on his team, you like that."

Francona, who managed Pedroia from when the second baseman was first called up to the major leagues in 2006 until the manager's last season in Boston in 2011, has kept close tabs on his former player. It's why the Cleveland skipper can speak with some perspective when talking about Pedroia's current knee injury.

"I keep in touch just because I care about him and I know it's hard for him. He willed himself to be the player he is and his body is paying for it," Francona said.

"I wouldn't be surprised (if Pedroia came back this season). When you tell him no, he'll figure out a way to make the answer be yes. I just hope he -- you know, I don't want to see him hurt himself. I know he came over last year and his legs looked pretty beat up. But he wouldn't have to play another inning to be, he's who he is and he always will be."