CHICAGO -- Bobby Valentine thought he had a healthy appreciation for Dustin Pedroia from afar in his former role as an ESPN broadcaster. Now, he is realizing you can't truly appreciate the second baseman until you watch him day in and day out.
Unprompted, Valentine started raving about Pedroia during his Sunday morning session with the media.
"You know what, during this little road trip here, Dustin has played great defense," the Red Sox manager said. "I guess you guys are used to it. I haven't seen it [on a daily basis]. Every day, he comes up with a big play, or two or three, that are spectacular. Unbelievable. He's special. Seeing it is believing it."
As much as Valentine enjoys Pedroia's talents, he's just as impressed by his infectious energy.
"It's amazing -- consistently amazing. It's unbelievable," Valentine said. "He's in there with the guys, so I only get echoes. If I'm in the dugout with him early or out early, it's fun. It's always baseball. How could it not be fun? It's what he wants to be doing. It's great. Passion and commitment, right? He's got it."