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Dustin Pedroia Embraces Leadoff Spot, Compares Baseball To A Heartbeat

Dustin Pedroia hit leadoff during Sunday's Grapefruit League win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. Jacoby Ellsbury has manned the spot over the past few seasons for the Boston Red Sox, but manager Bobby Valentine is experimenting this spring with the left-hander batting second. Pedroia supported the decision, saying, "I embrace everything."

"Absolutely," Pedroia said. "I've hit leadoff a lot in my life. I hit leadoff in high school, college, and '07 when we won the World Series. I can definitely hit leadoff. Whatever they ask me to do I'm going to do. If [Jacoby Ellsbury] needs to drop down to hit some homers with more guys on base, or whatever the thought process is, that's what I'm willing to do, and that's what he's willing to do. It doesn't matter. I've grown up a lot. I'm a lot smarter offensive player than I was a few years ago."

Pedroia last hit from the leadoff spot in 2009, going just .214 from the plate. He compared baseball to a heartbeat when reminded of his struggles three seasons ago.

"I hit. 214? It's good because if they would have kept me in another 20 games I would have hit .414," he said. "Ride the wave. It's a wave, dude, How's a heart beat go? It goes up and down, just like baseball. If you flatline you're dead. If you flatline in baseball, I've never seen it in baseball. Ride the wave, dude. Surf is up."

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