As sports fans, we obsess over a lot of little tiny things. In Boston, where sports are more than just a fun hobby to keep up with, we take that obsession to an extreme level. The smallest details get picked over and player’s lives are under intense scrutiny both on and off of the field/court/ice. Now take that attention to detail and add in the fact that we are all bored at home as we quarantine, and we’ve got the brightest lights and the biggest microscope dissecting minutiae like never before.
That’s where Dustin Pedroia comes in. You see, the Red Sox legend has been a bit of an afterthought over the past couple of years as he is out of sight and out of mind while rehabbing his nagging knee injury. Now, his name is back in the news as Realtor.com reported that he has put his Chestnut Hill mansion up for sale with MGS Real Estate Group. What would normally be a blip on the radar type of detail is now a full fledged headline that is being dissected and debated among Boston media and fans.
Why would Pedroia, who seems to want to continue to play baseball, be selling his home just outside of Boston? The answer seems pretty cut and dry to me. Even though it stinks to admit, Pedroia probably sees the writing on the wall and knows, as I’ve mentioned before, it is time to hang up his spikes. He’s made every effort to get back on the field but hasn’t been able to make any consistent progress without setbacks. He’ll never be the same player and at 36, with numerous accolades and championships under his belt, he’s got nothing left to prove. It’s time to walk away and therefore, selling the house makes sense.
Before the 2020 MLB season was put on hold due to COVID-19, Pedroia still wasn’t getting the news he wanted and didn’t have a timetable to return. He’d had a few more setbacks, like landing on the 60-day disabled list, and was even having sit-downs with Red Sox brass and his family to talk about where to go from here. It was a grim outlook, as it has been for him over and over again. Now some would probably argue that you shouldn’t bet against Pedroia’s will to compete and that he might even see the shutdown as a good thing for him, with more time to rest and rehab. To me though, this whole thing just screams retirement.
Here in Boston, we’ve had some recent experience with trying to figure out why certain athletes have put their homes on the market. Last summer, we had reports of Kyrie Irving packing up his things and loading them into moving trucks headed for New York. Two weeks later, Irving was a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Then just before football season kicked off, we heard about Tom Brady’s mansion going up for sale. With that one, it took a lot longer to find out if it meant anything. All fall and winter, Brady’s home sat on the market and New England collectively tried to figure out why he was selling and where he was buying.
Tom Brady, Kyrie Irving and Dustin Pedroia are all completely different people with unique circumstances and their careers are all at totally different points. For that reason, it’s a little silly to compare them all, but they are all cases of athletes doing something in their personal lives and Boston collectively reacting to try to find out why. In Kyrie’s case it was kind of a “Eh, yea he’s gone. Good riddance,” type of reaction. In Brady’s case, most of us were in denial for months as we tried to convince ourselves, “He isn’t leaving the Patriots! He doesn’t HAVE to live here to play here. He could rent. Right? RIGHT?!?!?!”
When it comes to Dustin Pedroia, we fall somewhere in the middle of Kyrie, who we almost all wanted gone, and Brady, who we all wanted to stay. We all love Pedey. He’s one of the best and most likable Red Sox of all time. He’s done so much for the city and we hate the way the latter part of his career has gone. So no, we don’t want him to leave and we certainly care. However, I think most fans feel the way I do. I just see that it’s over. It’s time to go and selling the house is the first step. I’m not going to try to pretend it’s not happening. Baseball probably isn’t being played this year and it just seems like a natural break for him to start the process of moving on and moving full time back to Arizona, where he went to college and has a home, or California, where he is from originally. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
So if you have a spare $9 million laying around, why not check out Pedroia’s swanky pad? It’s an 8,500 sq foot, 7 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom, brick behemoth located on about an acre of land. Sure, it’s not quite as nice as it’s neighbor about a mile away, Tom Brady’s former compound that is still on the market for a whopping $34 million, but it still certainly has more than enough amenities.
Pedroia has lived in that house since the World Series winning season of 2013 and now he appears to be ending his chapter as a New Englander. While his contract runs through 2021 and he has remained adamant about not retiring, I think we know where this one is going. We’ll see him back at Fenway, only it’ll be for reunions or a number retirement.