FORT MYERS, Fla. — He might be only 5 feet 5 inches, 165 pounds — those are his words, not mine — but Dustin Pedroia came into camp looking like he might have accomplished his offseason goals.
“Just [trying] to get faster and stronger,” he said today, his first day in camp.
He spent his winter in Arizona with Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis at API, working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Ellsbury and Pedroia did two-a-days with speed training in the mornings and weightlifting in the afternoons.
“I’m only 5-5, 165 pounds,” he said. “I definitely have to put in extra time, a bit more than anybody to definitely make up for my size. Definitely try to get my legs stronger so I can play 162 games. I don’t have the leverage a lot of guys have, so I’ve got to make up with the hard work.”
But the thing he seemed to take from the 2008 season wasn’t his MVP trophy. It was that Game 7 loss to the Rays. He seems like he’d prefer that not to happen again this year.
“One game away from the World Series,” he said. “If that doesn’t motivate you, you’ve got to pick another profession. So I think everybody’s motivated this year.
“I think you put that in the back of your mind at the beginning of the offseason. You’ve got to work harder. We lost by one game. Maybe the Rays outworked us last offseason. I think the biggest thing that I took from it is no one’s going to outwork our team this year.”
Pedroia also cut out “garbage” from his diet, he said. He’s really missing the ice cream.