The Red Sox are no strangers to the negative mojo stemming from an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated. They've seen Dewey and Mo Vaughn sent into extended slumps, Nomar tear a tendon, and the World Series hopes of the 2000 and 2003 Red Sox dashed--though, at least in 2000, it's hard to place much blame on SI for anything beyond just making a bad call.
So when you see this on the news stands, remember that, yes, it does mean the Sox are well and truly doomed:
All kidding aside, it's a good article. Providing as many Pedroia quotes as you could want--or rather handle--in a day, Verducci confirms that, yes, Dustin Pedroia is a crazy man who loves baseball about as much as anything else in the world. It may make one-too-many references to Pedroia's measurements, but includes some choice comments from Theo Epstein on the "small, gritty, scrappy" mythos to balance things out. We also discover:
- That the "Laser Show" nickname has been around perhaps longer than expected
- The rather mundane origins of the "Muddy Chicken" title, and
- That somewhere deep down in ESPN someone is willing to admit that Pedroia is better than Cano (and that the only reason it's close is Cano's 1,200 extra plate appearances).
Really, though, if there's one player the team can't afford to lose to a curse anytime soon, it's Dustin Pedroia. SI's story is a bit out of date, after all, since Pedey just passed up Jose Bautista on Fangraphs' leaderboards. To put his season-to-date in context, Pedroia has been worth as much so far this year as he was in his entire MVP season, and there's still nearly 50 games to play. If you saw this coming after the start of the season saw Pedroia's offensive numbers drop drastically thanks to a sudden rise in bad swings and, consequently, whiffs, then your confidence in the second baseman can only be matched by Pedroia himself.
The good news is that we've got no reason to worry. If anyone needs reassurance on that, we probably just have to wait for one of the beat writers to ask Pedroia what he thinks about the curse, and then get ready to put the response on t-shirts.