Friday, June 11, 2010
Jacoby Ellsbury has played in exactly nine games for the big club this season. Yes, he has been injured. But he's rapidly getting a reputation as a "JD Drew" type player. In fact, Drew has missed just three games this season, but that's not the point: as a player, JD is viewed as "soft." He has a reputation for requesting time off for the slightest of ailments, and hangnail jokes are commonplace.
The perception in some circles is that agent Scott Boras is pulling the strings: fearful playing at less than 100% might hurt Ellsbury's numbers in an eventual arbitration hearing, Boras cautions him to take it slow.
Uncharacteristically for the organization, Dr. Thomas Gill spoke out about the situation: "It's simply not there," Gill said. "But whether it's there or not is not medically relevant. You treat it exactly the same."
The Red Sox have been more vocal than normal about their frustrations with the fragile Ellsbury, which is to say that they've actually let on that they're upset. Tito, who is famously tactful, has mentioned some concerns publicly, and the club sanctioned a "conference call with reporters to address what [Dr. Gill] called 'misconceptions.'"
This issue has divided Red Sox Nation. Essentially half the fanbase wants Ells to suck it up and get back on the field, while the other half is livid at the first half for insinuating that Golden Boy is less than perfect.
As for me...? I'm leaning toward the former: I don't want Ells to hurt it worse, but if no further structural damage is being risked (as Dr. Gill and Tito insinuated), it's time to put his teammates before his stats. The team needs him, even if he's only 60-80%. But that's just my opinion... feel free to share yours!
[All quotes in this post found on the Boston Globe Online]