Dustin Pedroia called in to The Big Show from his vacation in Cabo, Mexico to defend his now former manager Terry Francona and his teammates in the wake of a story in the Boston Globe that quoted annonymous sources that said that Francona may have lost the clubhouse in part because of personal problems.
"I'm pretty upset about it," Pedroia said. "A lot of stuff that was said is pretty much not fair and it hurts man. It's not good."
Asked if he was surprised, Pedroia said:
"I'm not surprised by anything, but it hurt. I've played with this guy for five years and he's had everyone's back since Day One. He might take the hit for some things and the way the team's playing and stuff like that but from Day One this guy had my back, he's had everyone's back. He protected every single guy in that clubhouse and that's why I respect him like you can't believe. Whatever job he gets, if he needs me for a couple of games or whatever just let me know, I'll go play for free. That's how much I care about this guy. This guy is my family.
"For him to have to deal with this, he's the best manager in the history of the Red Sox organization. He won two World Series, look at the run that he had there, it's pretty remarkable. That's the part that hurts and whoever the person it is that's saying this I think they need to take a step back and kind of look in the mirror and understand what they're saying about a guy. A lot of guys in this organization have his back and I'm one of them."
Pedroia also defended the team's leadership, particularly Jason Varitek.
"We try out hardest as players to police ourselves," he said. "Tek is the best. From what I've read he's taken some shots about being the captain and how he wasn't being a leader. That's false. Tek's in there. He says things to me. He says things to everybody. He'll say things to Jacoby [Ellsbury] to make him a better player, to everybody. I know 7-20 in September looks bad and everybody can say the lack of leadership but that's not true. We all wanted to win. We were all headed in the right direction. We didn't. That's basically it. They outplayed us in the end. Teams beat us that shouldn't have beat us and that's it."
Pedroia also refuted the assertion that Francona had lost the clubhouse.
"I played for him for five years and he's never had to motivate me. When you play in an environment like Boston a manager should not have to motivate you. You should be self-motivated," Pedroia said. "Your team should be motivated to accomplish their goals and to be honest with you guys, we were. We didn't play well and that's it. Everyone in that clubhouse wanted to win a World Series. Everyone can say oh some guys quit, some guys did what, in my opinion that's a bunch of B.S. It's not for personal issues or anything like that. There's some first-class people in the Boston Red Sox organization and I don't think they need to be treated and stuff brought out that shouldn't be brought out."