It’s funny how things work out sometimes.
In this case, I’m talking about former Boston Red Sox World Series Champion and current New York Yankees scrub Jacoby Ellsbury announcing that he will be missing the start of Spring Training due to plantar fasciitis.
So, I’ll say it again for the people in the back. It’s funny how things work out sometimes because since joining the Yankees Ellsbury has somewhat fallen off a cliff.
So, let’s rewind to 2007. Ellsbury exploded onto the scene for the Red Sox, while the guys loved his talent on the field, the ladies loved his smile off of hit. He was an instant hit in Boston. In just 33 games, he hit for .353, stole 9 bases, drove in 18 runs and ultimately helped the Red Sox capture their second World Series title in three years.
Then, in his real rookie year. He hits for a .280 average, leads the league with 50 stolen bases, and finishes 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting to Evan Longoria and Alexei Ramirez. He led the league in stolen bases (70) and triples (10) the next year, hit for a .301 clip, I mean this kids career was taking off and he was only 25. His future was bright.
Even though, he is only a one-time All-Star and came in second to Justin Verlander in the 2011 MVP race, Ellsbury was one of the best players in the Major Leagues.
In 2013, his age 29 season, he led the league in stolen bases for a third time, (52). He hit for a .298 clip, the third highest total of his career. Oh yea and he had also helped the Boston Red Sox ANOTHER World Series Title. The future was bright for the young center-fielder after showing out in a contract year.
The money was going to come calling and the New York Yankees were on the other end as they stormed into Ellsbury’s home and opened up their multi-million-dollar checkbook for the Madras, Oregon native.
Just as Ellsbury was set to turn 30, the Evil Empire offered him a contract that no baseball player in their right-mind would turn down at that age. 7-years, $153 million dollars. The type of contract that would ultimately put Ellsbury in pinstripes for the rest of his career.
As much as it pained me to see the Yankees steal yet another outfielder, aka Johnny Damon in 2005, it was more of a good riddance rather than a thank you for your service. You chose the New York Yankees for money over staying with the Red Sox, that’s the only reason I need to feel that way.
He was reaching the peak of his career. He was bound to lose his legs sooner or later, which in turn would take away a lot of his talents. He was a terror on the base paths. He could stretch a single into a double with ease and he also played a golden glove caliber center-field.
In the end, I didn’t believe he was worth a contract of that length and value, so when the Yankees signed him I was actually somewhat happy and it turns out I was right.
The legend of Jacoby Ellsbury has changed from a once-young and energetic outfielder who could change the scope of a franchise, to a sub-par outfielder who is injury prone. He hasn’t hit above .275 since joining the Yankees, his only season over 70 RBI’s came in 2015, his first year on the team, and after stealing 39 bases in that same season, he has eclipsed 25 stolen bases in a year.
For once, the New York Yankees’ ability to spend big hurt them and for that, I could not be more thankful.