So, how’s everyone doing?
Personally, I find myself both confused and surprised by my reaction to Ellsbury’s defection. I’m not angry. I’m not depressed. I’m more annoyed than anything else.
Hard to be angry. He didn’t do anything particularly bad. He went to the team that offered him the most money. By reports I’ve seen, 50% more money. That’s not nothing. And I’m certainly not going to complain about that “loyalty” garbage that’s being tossed about. He gave the Sox his best years. Not sure what else he owes them. They certainly aren’t in the habit of needlessly paying players just to be loyal. Just ask David Ortiz.
Hard to be depressed. Did anyone really think he was coming back? He was a Boras client. The Red Sox have been on a youth movement. The Sox have a young center fielder. There was that rib thing a couple years ago. So, unless the market for Ells completely dried up to the point where the Sox somehow made the best offer, he was gone. Now he’s gone. That’s the way it is. Even for someone who has called Ellsbury my favorite player on the Sox. This wasn’t Nomar or Manny being traded. Or Gonzalez. This was expected, and accepted long ago.
No, I’m just annoyed that he went to the Yankees. Not even, really, because he makes their team better…which he does. But, now I have to hear about it for a week, and a week leading up to each and every series with the Yankees. Will he get booed? Cheered? He stole three bases on the Sox! Will he steal four bases against the Sox? If he had followed Salty to Miami, I get none of that. I get an hour of saying goodbye, and it’s onto the next thing.
I never considered Ellsbury someone the Sox had to keep. He’s a great player, and a fantastic lead-off hitter. But, I think his skill set is more conducive to a gradual replacement than some others. It’s one thing to replace 45 home runs. It’s another to replace a .350 OBP. You can get a guy who gets on base pretty well easier than a power hitter. A lot of the reaction to this departure depends on the next move. Do the Sox go with Victorino-Bradley Jr-Nava in the outfield? Do they get Beltran? Does this mean Napoli’s signed by Friday?
For the Yankees, the move makes some sense, under one condition. If the printing press they used to have in the front office is back up and running and printing out money like the good old days. People in Boston are laughing saying they’ll regret this signing in three years. Well, that means they won’t regret it for the next three. Plus, they regret most of their contracts right now. They just spent more money to compensate. If they’re going to keep doing that, might as well sign the best players you can. It also means Gardner is expendable. They couldn’t find a good pitcher on the free agent market. Maybe now they can trade for one.
I’ll need to take a wait and see for this one. I’d prefer the Sox still had Ells, but I’m OK going on without him. It’s all about the next move.
Just wish it wasn’t the Yankees.