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Longo: Red Sox need Pedroia’s leadership

The news has some folks cringing in these parts.

At the Arizona baseball meetings this week, new Boston Red Sox CBO Chaim Bloom announced that second baseman Dustin Pedroia, “is feeling good and intending on playing,” according to the Associated Press.

I’m all for it.

If ever a franchise, a baseball team, a group of athletes severely lacking on-field leadership needed Pedroia, it is these Red Sox, who despite having the best players money can buy, chose to mail in 2019.

Pedroia, 36, has played a total of nine games over the last two seasons, his ravaged knee simply unable to respond to baseball.

He will most likely be a shell of the MVP and four-time All-Star he once was. And I say, he could be the most important player on Alex Cora’s club in 2020.

First of all, second base remains a black hole for the Sox. There is no answer in the minors and the Sox really can’t afford to bring in anything better than a Brock Holt utility type.

Pedroia is, was and always will be a pest, an angry, chip-on-his-shoulder competitor.

He fights. And the Boston Red Sox are severely lacking in that category.

They have top draft picks, gifted hitters, flame throwers in the rotation and pen, sluggers up and down the lineup, good guys (Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts) and unlikable sorts (David Price, Andrew

Benintendi).

But they severely lack dirt dogs. This roster needs a boot in the backside.

Pedroia’s size 9s are the perfect fit. So I am rooting for him.

STRAY NFL THOUGHTS

Biggest takeaway from Week 10 in the NFL? Any top 5 NFL quarterback list that does not include both Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson is worthless. Utterly worthless.

Real quick top 10 of QBs right now from this corner?

10. Carson Wentz; 9. Dak Prescott; 8. Jimmy Garoppolo; 7. Drew Brees; 6. Aaron Rodgers; 5. Deshaun Watson; 4. Lamar Jackson; 3. Tom Brady; 2. Patrick Mahomes; 1. Russell Wilson. …

Any time a story takes a shot at the analytical side of sports and enforces the fact that these are still games, based in emotion and testing the character of individuals – not just numbers spit out of some computer projections – I am fired up. So I bring you the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were mocked from coast to coast when trading for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, giving up a first-round pick, just days after losing Ben Roethlisberger.

That deal sent a message to the Steeler players, who were reeling at the at time. It said, we are still playing this year, not giving up or tanking.

And the players responded. Pittsburgh is 5-4 and in the playoff mix. Suddenly, that pick that so many had in the top 10 really seems less significant (20-ish).

I am no Steelers fan, but you do have to respect them this year. …

The NFC still holds a 24-19 edge in crossovers against the AFC, but watching “Red Zone” and then the Sunday and Monday nighters, don’t you have to think the NFC is a much better brand of football.

Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or hlongo@nashuatelegraph.com.