FORT MYERS, Fla. — The pinkie on his right hand was pointing to the side, the result of a ground ball that took a bad hop and mashed a ligament so badly that a surgeon used a steel pin to straighten it out.
The ring finger on his left hand was broken. An avulsion fracture, they called it. All he knew was that it hurt.
Dustin Pedroia could barely grip a bat and the simple act of throwing a baseball made him wince. But he started the final two games the Red Sox played last season.
It was Pedroia’s way of making a statement without having to say a word. He had grown tired of teammates looking for excuses and crossing days off the calendar like they were prisoners in a cell. As wretched as the last-place Red Sox were, Pedroia wanted his presence on the field to register with younger players.
“I was pretty upset with the way everything had been going,” Pedroia said during a long conversation one morning in spring training. “We weren’t the same kind of team we were when I first got called up.”
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week