Ellsbury Sails Past ‘Absurd’ and Heads For The Twilight Zone

“The situation with the Red Sox and Ellsbury has become absurd. The Sox are falling fast against mediocre competition and Ellsbury is still on the disabled list even though he’s played five games of minor league ball, and Sunday went 2 for 5, almost jumping out of McCoy Stadium in pursuit of a Durham Bull home run.”

Those are the words of globe Columnist and Jacoby Ellsbury antagonist, Dan Shaughnessy. Truer words have never been spoken by Mr. Shaughnessy.

My only criticism of Shaughnessy is his use of absurd. Dan, we are long past absurd.  That came and went about three weeks ago. Instead, Rod Serling is calling this game and he just screamed that Jacoby Ellsbury has entered the Twilgiht Zone.

So this is the basic chronology. Ellsbury hurts ribs. Ellsbury tries coming back but his ribs still hurt. Ellsbury gets a second opinion. Ellsbury convalesces in Arizona for a month and in Florida for a couple of weeks. Ellsbury starts swinging a bat almost a month ago. Hidden in there is an incident where Ellsbury accuses the Boston medical staff of butchering his treatment.

OK, so three full months after first being injured, Ellsbury picked up a bat and started his rehab. Well, actually his second rehab as the first didn’t take.  Ostensibly, his pain was manageable this time around or he wouldn’t have got the process going. That was three weeks ago. Since then, Ellsbury played in some rehab games down in the Florida and then he played twice this weekend for Pawtucket, where the reports were glowing.  So he should be ready to go, right?


Instead of being activated yesterday, Ellsbury was given the day off for some unexplained reason and came up to Boston to be checked out. While in Boston, Ellsbury stopped by to watch Eric Patterson man center-field and let the media know that “I’m going to be feeling something for the rest of the year.” So that seed has now been planted.

Today, rather than leading off for the Red Sox, Ellsbury was back in Pawtucket playing for the Pawsox. And at the time of this writing, he had smoked three hits. I presume he will be checked out again after the game for reasons I can’t fathom at this point. All of this leads me to conclude something awfully strange is going on behind the scenes.

Now last night, Francona claimed: “he still feels it at times, so we’re trying not to get caught up in . . . activating a guy before he’s ready.’’ But Terry, he is ready. He played well over the weekend and he just banged out three knocks. If he can swing for the Pawsox, he certainly can do the same for Red Sox. After all, his body can’t tell the difference.


I’m hopeful that that this lunacy ends soon. It has to as there are now more excuses left in the till and news of another “setback” will be met with unending mockery. And it will be the kind of mockery that will stain Ellsbury forever. So time’s up Jacoby. What’s your final answer: “are you gonna play or not?”

At this point, the Sox need Ellsbury to produce, not just to help this season but to re-affirm his value for a potential trade this off-season. And that is where I think this is headed. The Sox seem completely disgusted by Ellsbury and it wouldn’t surprise me if they are motivated sellers this November. Now if Ellsbury comes back and stinks, I doubt the Sox will sell him for fifty cents.  But if he bounces back with a solid finish and they can get ninety cents, Jacoby Ellsbury will most likely not be here next April.


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