Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia recorded a video message for the 2021 Red Sox

"It's not about how you feel, it's how you act. And you want to act like a champion."

Dustin Pedroia smiles after scoring a run against the Atlanta Braves. Winslow Townson/AP Photo

Dustin Pedroia may have retired from baseball, but he hasn’t stopped working to motivate those around him.

Pedroia, who called it career earlier this month, addressed the Red Sox via video at their annual team meeting Monday. The Red Sox tweeted a portion of his speech, which preached the significance of working hard, helping one another, and cherishing the moment.

“Everything should be important to you,” Pedroia told the team. “You should be the best at whatever job that you want to do. That’s the mindset. You guys do that for the guy next to you. That’s what team sports is about at any level. It’s not about how you feel, it’s how you act. And you want to act like a champion.”

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He then pointed out that time in the Majors is fragile and that everyone’s career will end at some point.

“This game doesn’t last forever, guys,” Pedroia said. “You’ve got to take pride in everything. Try to be the best in everything. Good luck. Trust me, I’ll be watching every pitch.”

Manager Alex Cora said the speech resonated with the team and that it was good timing for him to talk to them. Cora, who also addressed the Red Sox, called Pedroia’s message very serious and to the point.

“He is who he is,” Cora said. “He’s going to be part of this organization for the rest of his life. For how great it was for us, I know it was good for him, which is very important to me. I’m glad that he was available and he was part of it.”

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Shortstop Xander Bogaerts said that Pedroia’s presence on and off the field still sticks with him even though he’s no longer there in person at the moment.

“Man, he was something different,” Bogaerts said. “Something special and someone who you looked forward to coming to the park and seeing. He was just so short but had the biggest smile that could have walked into that clubhouse. I think that fueled a lot of guys.”

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