Dustin Pedroia knows that it's all over. He and his teammates on the Boston Red Sox won't be playing postseason baseball this season. There's nothing in the universe that could change that fact.
Still, he's going to put on his jersey and cleats, grab his glove and play a meaningless baseball game. Oh, and did I mention that he's going to do so with one broken finger and another injured one.
Now that's tough.
In a season full of Bobby Valentine blunders and miserable on-field results, this is a refreshing occurrence. Pedroia has long been thought of as the next man to wear the captain's "C" on his jersey (and the first since Jason Varitek), and it's pretty obvious that he is the leader of the Sox' clubhouse.
It would have been very 2012 of him to just say, "You know what? We're done, and I don't really want to play anymore. I'll just rest up for next year." But he didn't. He decided that he was going to tough it out and play for the fans that pay his salary.
"I will change the culture," Pedroia said.
Kudos, Dustin. Kudos. The Red Sox need more guys like you.