It’s never easy saying goodbye to a player. It’s never easy when they’ve been with the organization for a decade. It’s even harder when they pour out their heart and emotions in a lengthy article.
Joc Pederson signed a one-year contract with the Cubs last week. His time in Los Angeles has sadly come to an end. Yesterday, he posted a 3,000 word article in the Players Tribune. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go give it a read. You won’t regret it. Oh, and have some tissues ready.
And then when you’re doing tearing up over that article, here are some videos that will bring back the water works.
Pederson talks about a lot of things in his piece. One of the notable moments is when he talks about Andrew Friedman. He could have easily been upset at Friedman for not bringing him back, but there were no hard feelings.
I won’t speak on the Dodgers’ behalf about their reasoning, other than to say two things. One: Andrew Friedman, I have a lot of respect for that dude. He was always a straight shooter, even when he was telling me the team probably wasn’t making an offer to bring me back. I’ll always appreciate him for it. Two: Obviously our team last year was just so, so loaded. We went 43–17, and won a World Series. You don’t go on a run like that without having an absolutely stacked roster. And with a roster as stacked as ours, you can’t prioritize everyone. I get that.
And then on my end, you know, it was really pretty simple: I want a chance to play every day.
You can’t knock Joc for wanting to play every day. After sacrificing so much with the Dodgers, he’s earned that right.
In addition, he also ended his piece by sharing this great piece about his time with Tommy Lasorda.
I’m paraphrasing, but he says, “This is way back when I was a scout. I’m sitting there scouting, man, up in the top row at Dodger Stadium….. and I’m just not at all satisfied with my career. Then one day, something gets into me — who knows what — and I turn to my wife and I say, ‘I’m going to manage that team one f*cking day.’ And I’m telling you, because this is the key: From that day forward, I believed I was going to manage the Dodgers. Next thing you know? Not only am I managing them, we’re winning the World Series.”
Then he comes to his point. He says, “Listen, here’s the deal: If you want to get to where you’re going, you better look in that mirror every f*cking day. And you better tell yourself that you believe in the person you see staring back at you. Because I’ll promise you something: If you don’t believe in that person in the mirror? You don’t have a f*cking chance in this game. Not one f*cking chance.”
I’m sure a lot of guys who crossed paths with him over the years have a Tommy Lasorda story like mine. Still, though, even knowing that….. it feels incredibly special. Moments like that with Tommy — they felt like he’d just told you one of the world’s great secrets. Like he was handing you the cheat codes to baseball, or to life. For all I know, he was.
Pederson shared a lot of great moments with the Dodgers during his tenure here. #JOCTOBER will live on forever. Thank you for all the great memories, Joc. Best of luck in Chicago!