Is Ellsbury “soft?”
May 28th, 2010 by czar

Not sure if this is just pot-stirring by Maz, but he is implying that some within the Sox organization are getting annoyed with Ellsbury’s “softness.” This comes on the heels of the announcement that Ellsbury will see another specialist this PM and it sounds likely he’ll be back on the DL this weekend.

Two months into the regular season, Jacoby Ellsbury has played in nine games. Ellsbury says he is hurting. The Red Sox seem to wonder.

“I think they downplay it because they misdiagnosed it,” Ellsbury said of the rib injury that has kept him out for the large majority of this season. “They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?”

Before we go any further, we all need to understand something here. This is not solely about this season and about whether Ellsbury has bruised ribs or hairline fractures. This goes well beyond that. During his rookie season of 2008, Ellsbury missed small chunks of time with various assorted ailments. He came to the Red Sox having earned a reputation in the minor leagues of being someone who required a great deal of, well, maintenance. Last year, during a rock-solid season in which Ellsbury batted .301, stole 70 bases, and played in 153 games, manager Terry Francona spoke of how Ellsbury was beginning to understand the “responsibility” of playing in the major leagues, which was a nice way of saying that Ellsbury had an obligation to his manager and teammates to play through minor issues and be in the lineup.

Like officials from many teams, some in Sox management believe that Boras discourages his players from taking the field at something less than 100 percent because it would affect their performance on the field and, therefore, leverage in negotiations.

Ellsbury, of course, is merely 26. While it is always dangerous to wonder whether players are capable of playing through injuries – the Red Sox would be wise to remember the cases of both Scott Williamson and Matt Clement – the issue here is clearly much bigger. In the minds of the Sox – and others – Ellsbury has a reputation, something only he can be responsible for. Earlier this month, Mike Lowell openly wondered whether he still had a role on the Red Sox, but at least Lowell’s remarks were motivated by the desire to play, something that hardly makes him different from the majority of athletes.

In Ellsbury’s case, the problem seems to be the opposite.

Does he want to play or doesn’t he?

Posted in Message Board Ramblings

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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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