CAP CANA, Dominican Republic — Today was press conference day at the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, a chance for the organizers to spread word of their mission to the area media.
A good-sized crowd of Dominican newspaper, radio and television reporters arrived to hear from David, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Bard, Darnell McDonald, Andre Ethier and Placido Polanco. Actor Sam Page (“Mad Men”) was on hand, too.
You get one guess who stole the show.
The local reporters asked Pedroia about a rumor that he would test his left foot by playing a few games in the Dominican Winter League for Escogido. It wasn’t true because Pedroia is not close to being ready to play, But he still had fun with it.
“Bring it on, I’ll play for you guys,” he said. “Who’s the guy who can hook me up? Get me his number.”
The Dominican writers than tried to bait Pedroia by asking him if he was better than local hero Robinson Cano. But Pedroia knew enough not to cause an international incident and had only praise for Cano.
Pedroia stopped later on to talk to two reporters in Boston and said that while his rehab has been “lousy” at times (only he didn’t say “lousy”), he’s persevering and expects to be sprinting in a month and then ready to go come spring training.
But be advised that this injury will affect him for a while. Pedroia said he has to be cognizant about not pushing himself too much before games and he plans to wear a protective pad in his cleat for several months along with a shinguard-type device over his foot when he hits.
Dustin is here with his wife and son. He is close friends with Ethier, who also was accompanied by his family. The group is headed to another island in the Caribbean next week for a vacation.
Once Christmas is over, Pedroia said he will be working out six days a week in Arizona to prepare for the season and will report to spring training around Feb. 11, a few days before the official report date.