Dodgers: Joc Pederson clearly showed he misses LA this weekend
By Adam Weinrib
Has any former Dodgers player returned to Chavez Ravine and been as completely welcome as Joc Pederson was this weekend?
Does any ex-Dodger have a higher approval rating and a more open invitation to enjoy the rolling greens of the outfield than the current … Cub? Is that where he is now? Sorry, we still refuse to acknowledge his departure.
Over the weekend — while clearly pressing more than a little bit — Pederson went 1-11 with a double in four games (three starts), though these contests were more about the pageantry than the performance.
In that regard, the lefty masher got every chance possible to fit in with his old teammates, and slid in seamlessly at every turn.
We understand, at the heart of it, why Pederson was let go in favor of getting Zach McKinstry more (and cheaper) at-bats, though the utility man has missed games just as often as he’s appeared in them, and he’s only out-WAR’ing Pederson by .1 (0.0 to -0.1, baby!).
When the playoffs roll around, though, which would you rather have? Pederson’s oppo pop or McKinstry’s first ever try under the pressure of October?
As much as we tried to forget about what we lost, there was Pederson at every turn this weekend, grabbing his well-earned ring or running the bases with his boys, spending some quality family time with his forever teammates. He misses us, and dammit if we don’t miss him, too.
Do the Dodgers miss Joc Pederson as much as he misses Los Angeles?
That just stings! In a “last weekend of college” way. Except actually it’s more like that thing where you graduated, went back to school for some event during the next year, and then on Sunday morning at the bagel place, all your friends are like, “OK, dude. That was great, but, uh, we all still go here. So………enjoy Comcast!”
Pederson will eternally be a Dodgers champion, and he’s obviously not quite the caliber of player to have earned a lifetime contract, but the indefinable quality of grace under pressure he left with won’t be easily replicated, and Los Angeles might not even be aware they need it back before the postseason begins.
Of course, this roster is inexplicably behind the San Francisco Giants, a team that employs an awful lot of magic in 2021. Might Pederson be able to make up some of that deficit?
This weekend, the Dodgers devoted a large chunk of their Thursday night to celebrating Pederson’s exploits, gave his brother a ring, and watched him frolic in the grass with his real family when the series ended.
Clearly, he misses the place he grew up. In mid-October, we’ll likely find out if the emotional hole was mutual.