So the deal is done. Jacoby Ellsbury is a Yankee. The Bombers have anointed him and Johnny Damon’d him and the results will be the same.
Ellsbury will be productive for a time and then the wear and tear, big money, complacency, comfort and Ellsbury’s fragility will catch up with him.
He’ll be in his mid-thirties when he nears the end of his contract. Yes, he’ll be productive for a time, especially with that joke of a right field porch in Yankee Stadium but in the end a leopard can’t change his spots.
This has been a long time coming. It started when Adrian Beltre mowed Ellsbury down in 2010, breaking his ribs in the process. The Red Sox were culpable in many ways for Ellsbury’s disastrous season and the demon seed that was sowed by their bumbling. They moved him to left field to make room for..for…anyone? That’s right, Mike Cameron. Ugh!
Without that move things might be very different fort Ellsbury and the Red Sox. He never would have been in left field and the turning point may never have come to pass. But it did happen and the wheels set in motion three years ago rolled on to New York on Tuesday.
After Ells broke his ribs Boston’s medical staff spent the better part of two months – how can I put this delicately – stepping on their dicks. He was misdiagnosed – twice- and he finally and rightly sought the expertise of a thoracic specialist who finally got it right.
In the meantime, some teammates, namely Kevin Youkilis, didn’t make things better when he called out Ellsbury’s toughness. The situation devolved from there.
The bottom line was that Boston’s medical staff messed this up to a fare thee well and in the process cast the die that ultimately and predictably propelled Ellsbury into the arms of the Evil Empire.
Enter agent Scott Boras. This is pure conjecture on my part but I can only imagine how he kept whispering in Ellsbury’s ear, “Bide your time and wait until the end of the 2013 season when your contract is up. Then you’ll show them and get what you deserve.” And indeed Ellsbury has gotten just that. Talk to me in four years and tell me how that’s working out for you Jacoby.
I get the business of baseball. I understand greed and the economics of putting butts in seat. What I don’t understand is how a player who is on top of the world in one of the best baseball cities in America simply walks away, cashes out and moves over to a franchise clearly not as well managed as the one he is leaving.
OK Yankees fans, it’s your time to go nuts and start chanting 27. I’m not interested in 27. I’m interested in three in the last 10 years. That’s what counts here and now.
You’ve been outmaneuvered, out flanked and out smarted by your rivals in the past decade and with the mileage on your players, Jeter clearly on the wane and Rivera retired, Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t your answer.
This move isn’t going to fix it. Ellsbury will be booed long and loud at Fenway Park from here on in and it will be as much for Boras as it is him.
I loved the guy. He is gifted. He predictably had a great 2013 walk year season. Mark it on your calendar kids. His cumulative output with the Yankees wont approach what he did in Boston.
We saw him during his best years.
Bring on JBJ and Shane. Go Sox!
Guest columns by our former Editor, Steve Peterson, will appear whenever Steve gets worked up and we a glad to hear his rants again. [Earl Nash]