Boston's Dustin Pedroia took the field in a cast and on crutches Wednesday, then took grounders on his knees. According to ESPNBoston.com, Pedroia told pitcher John Lackey that he was "polishing the machine.''
Does this seem like a bad idea to anyone else? What good could possibly come of taking grounders on your knees with a broken foot? Like he's ever going to position himself that way before a pitch? What if a bad hop hits him in the face? What if he inadvertently leans on the broken foot and makes it worse? And how would he turn the pivot on the double play? Frankly, this seems more about polishing his image as a dirt dog than keeping his skills honed.
If Pedroia really wanted to benefit himself and the Red Sox, he would do what my friend Sarge suggests. Instead of taking grounders from his knees during infield practice, he should bat from his knees during games. This would effectively turn him into a modern-day Eddie Gaedel. True, he would have trouble running the bases, but Boston could limit him to bases-loaded situations. Pedroia pinch hits, the pitcher walks him, a run comes home and the Red Sox pinch run for Pedroia. Genius.
The only drawback is Joe West might complain about how long it takes Pedroia to get to first base on his knees.