Fenway Park is still quiet. Batting practice is over, and fans are starting to arrive for a game against the Colorado Rockies. Dustin Pedroia, in full uniform, stands alone in the dugout, holding the barrel of his black Marucci pro model bat to his ear.
He smacks it hard with the palm of his hand and listens intently. He can gauge the soundness of the wood by what he hears, he says. “People don’t believe me, but I can tell if something is wrong with the bat. You have to listen close.”