Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jacoby Ellsbury was never soft, but deal with Yankees proves he was a mercenary

Jacoby Ellsbury has a career .431 slugging percentage at the new Yankee Stadium.(Photo: Anthony Gruppuso Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport)
Posted by Chad Finn:  There have been two longstanding narratives attached to Jacoby Ellsbury, the two-time Red Sox champion and filthy-rich new Yankee.
The first is that he is, to use a gentler synonym than you might hear on sports radio, soft.
That one is pure nonsense. Always has been.
Did he miss a lot of time with injuries? He sure did. He played just 18 games in 2010 after suffering multiple rib fractures in a collision with a brick-wall-on-wheels named Adrian Beltre, and the soft label was slapped on him after he took his time coming back after a misdiagnosis by team doctors.
I don't know how you fault anyone for being wary in that situation. If my doctor misdiagnosed anything, let alone a serious injury that could alter a career, reputation and earning power, he'd no longer be my doctor.
If Ellsbury held a grudge -- against the team, or those who yelped about his toughness -- who could blame him?
Two seasons later, he was limited to 73 games after the Rays' Reid Brignac dropped all of his 190 pounds on Ellsbury's shoulder during a hard slide at second base in the fourth inning of the seventh game of the season.
It was a brutal injury, another unavoidable blunt-force trauma that cost him a large part of a season. The injury would have put even the grubbiest of dirt dogs on the DL for multiple months. It was lousy luck, not a sign of fragility.
Funny how those who call him soft had little to say when he played this postseason with a swollen, purple-hued hand and on a foot that still wasn't fully healed from a late-season stress fracture.
His performance when he was healthy was anything but soft. Ellsbury habitually played his best in big moments, contributing in an essential way on two championship teams during his seven seasons in Boston...Read here...

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