To be properly called a “gamer,” a ballplayer must be possessed of several crucial characteristics, most vitally the twelve listed below. It is the contention of this post that Dustin Pedroia fits all these essential criteria, and is, potentially, baseball’s newest Ultimate Gamer:

1) Dirty uniform. I don’t think I have ever seen Pedroia’s uniform clean. It attracts dirt like it’s a giant dirt magnet. Gamer? You betcha.

2) Small stature. If you are over 5’10” tall, you are too big to be a gamer. Pedroia is listed at 5’9″, but those of us with the power of sight know better. Total gamer.

3) Inability to regularly hit for power. No gamer would ever hit 20 homers in a season. However, gamers do hit homers in key postseason games:

4) Can-do spirit. With Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek out with the flu, the Red Sox have played their last three games with only Kevin Cash available to catch. But Dustin Pedroia has volunteered to be the emergency catcher, should something happen to Cash. What a freakin’ gamer.

5) Hustle. Pedroia slid head-first into first base tonight, beating out the throw. Gamer alert! Next batter? David Ortiz, tattooing one into the right field seats to tie the game.

6) Helmet-banging/bat-tossing. Essence of any self-respecting gamer.

7) Knowing how to party. Pedroia’s got this locked down, with shirtless dancing (the “DADDY” scrawled on his chest only adds to the gamerishness) and impromptu bartending.

8) Permanent five o’clock shadow. Gamers don’t have time to shave every day. They’re too busy rocking out, hustling, and rubbing dirt all over their uniforms. Plus, they have so much testosterone, that the stubble regenerates fifteen minutes after they’ve shaved anyway.

9) Self-sacrifice. One of Peter Gammons’ favorite stories: in college, Dustin Pedroia gave up his scholarship so that his team, the ASU Sun Devils, could go out and recruit some pitchers. After Pedroia had already gone pro, those new pitchers and Pedroia’s old teammates made it to the college world series and all wore his initials on their hats. Gimme a G-A-M-E-R!

10) Playing in pain, but not sucking. Pedroia played through the last two months of the 2007 season with a cracked hamate bone. He OPSed .832 during the playoffs. Gutty.

11) Leadership/spark-pluggishness. Last year, Dustin was a wee rookie and thus acted as the team’s ‘spark plug’ in dark moments. Now that he’s entering his second year in the majors, he’s becoming more of a ‘clubhouse leader.’ But he’s still wee. Because he’s a gamer.

12) Terrible local television commercials. This is the essence of a gamer, right here. How much intestinal fortitude do you think it took to grit this out?

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

And of course, to be called a gamer, a player has to be white. As you can see, Pedroia is gamerishly pasty.

David Eckstein, watch your back! There’s a new King Gamer in town!

15 Responses to “Dustin Pedroia: The Ultimate Gamer?”

  1. I see one glaring omission in this list. Qualifications 1 thru 12 normally don’t come in to play unless the player just happens to be a white boy. The mainstream media almost never applies this term to a player of color. We all know they must be out there but we’ve yet to hear it or see it in print. David Eckstein is the cover boy for “Gamer Illustrated” and he just happens to be whiter than Wonder bread. What a gamer lacks in ability he makes up for in sheer whiteness.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Melissa, this is unquestionably true. This is like “Evil Hidden Gamer Quality Unlucky #13,” or something. In fact, I think I’ll go back and add it now.

    I think non-white gamers tend to be called “acrobatic fielders.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard a white guy get called an “acrobatic fielder.”

  3. Sarah Green says:

    There, now it is complete.

    If we were to make a list of all nonwhite gamers, who would be on it?

    I nominate Dave Roberts.

  4. Oh god that Sullivan Tire commercial is killing me slowly.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Now you know why I sometimes seem so unhinged. They run that thing half a dozen times during every Red Sox game!

  6. you missed one: said player also gives his teammates (taller ones) noogies. (see: end of 4/15/08 v. Indians)

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Yes, the noogie was awesome! (And that was also an awesome catch by Jacoby.)

    For those of you who have no idea what we are talking about:


  8. Nick Kapur says:

    Dave Roberts is not white enough to be called a gamer, so he is actually never called a gamer. I have never heard a member of the MSM call Roberts a “gamer.” They always call him “injury-prone outfielder Dave Roberts.”

  9. Sarah Green says:

    Nick, the whole point is to think of nonwhite gamers who have heretofore been overlooked as gamers because they are nonwhite. So of COURSE Roberts hasn’t been called a gamer—-until now!

  10. Nick Kapur says:

    Well, maybe, but I still don’t see how you could possibly call Roberts a gamer! He is hurt all the time! He misses like 80 games a year, sometimes with real injuries, but usually with classic non-gamer injuries, such as hamstring “soreness” or a “tight” quad.

  11. Sarah Green says:

    Let’s hear you think of some nonwhite, previously unrecognized gamers, Kapur. It’s not cool just to show up to shoot down other people’s ideas!

  12. Alejandro referred to Orlando Cabrera as a gamer and he tends to fit the profile. He has a lot of pine tar on his batting helmet, gamers do that. Juan Pierre falls into a lot of gamer categories. Jimmy Rollins would be a gamer if they called guys with a lot of talent gamers as would Pudge Rodriguez. I actually believe Jeter has been referred to as a gamer but let’s all admit the media treats him like he’s white.

  13. Sarah Green says:

    Also, Chone Figgins!

  14. Michael Bourn, emerging “gamer.” Emotional, balls-out, fast, youthfully enthusiastic.

    Rafael Furcal
    Brandon Phillips

    And though I’ve just named an outfielder, it’s probably worth noting that there is a strong infielder-preference in the “gamer” ouevre.

  15. Sarah Green says:

    Oh, I almost forgot: another essential role of Pedroia, King of the Gamers is Manny’s cuddlemonster.

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