(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
If fans of the World Champion Boston Red Sox wonder why fans of other teams hate us (and they do), just take a look at Twitter and social media from yesterday and today.
Red Sox fans are claiming to now hate Jacoby Ellsbury, a guy who helped win not one but two World Series titles for Boston. A guy who got big hit after big hit in the 2007 World Series, nearly won the MVP in 2011 and would have won the Division Series MVP in 2013, if such a thing existed, is persona non grata to some Red Sox fans because he signed with the Yankees.
THIS is why people hate us.
Because we went from “We’d give anything to see one World Series title” to complaining that not everyone came back after THREE.
There was no shortage of idiocy on line last night, like this winner.
Sell your soul?
OK, ask yourself did ANYONE think Ellsbury was going to return to the Red Sox this year?
No. His leaving was a foregone conclusion. He wanted a longer deal than the Red Sox were willing to offer him. Everyone thought he was going to go to the Mariners or maybe the Mets.
So if you were expecting him to leave and another team met his demands and we all psychologically said goodbye to him, how is this a shock?
Ohhhhh, it is the YANKEES! I forgot. The World Champion Red Sox lost a player to a team that couldn’t snatch the second Wild Card spot.
An aging injury prone team in the Bronx thinks the best way to improve is to sign a player who will be 30 next year and has had injuries in 3 of the last 4 seasons to a 7 year deal.
And that’s how we have to think about it. The Red Sox got the Championship seasons out of Ellsbury. Let the Yankees pay for his decline.
That mindset has worked in the past. Remember how the Red Sox won in 2004? (It was in all the papers.)
Were the Red Sox sentimental when it came to Pedro Martinez, Bill Meuller, Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar, Keith Foulke, Derek Lowe or Johnny Damon?
Nope. But that opened the door for Josh Beckett and the crew from 2007 to arrive.
Was there any sentimentality with that bunch? Beckett, Manny Ramirez, J. D. Drew, Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima and yes even Daisuke Matsuzaka all contributed to winning the 2007 title. And the Red Sox cut bait with every single one of them.
With payroll freed up, the crew from 2013 came in and now take a look at what is happening. Jarrod Saltalamacchia got a walk off hit in the ALCS. Stephen Drew homered in the World Series clincher. Mike Napoli got many big hits. And Ellsbury was a one man wrecking crew against the Rays.
Any sentimentality there? Are ANY of them coming back?
Are you detecting a pattern here?
While the Yankees have committed long term paychecks to a catcher in his 30s and a center fielder in his 30s (along with the A-Rod and Teixeira contracts that they would gladly trade for a used Q-Tip), the Red Sox have virtually no long term commitments besides Dustin Pedroia.
After 2014, the Red Sox will have Pedroia, Victorino and Buchholz on the books and Nava, Doubront and Tazawa arbitration eligible.
After 2014 the Red Sox can spend money like crazy and be in a position to win the fourth World Series in our lifetime.
And a big reason for that is because they DON’T sign players like Ellsbury to long term deals.
Ellsbury signed with the Yankees. So what? Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees. Damon was a bigger fan favorite than Ellsbury, publically said he wouldn’t take the Yankee money and was coming off the three year dogfight between the two teams in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
And Red Sox fans were wondering if the 2004 title was a fluke and something we’d never see again.
The argument for Damon being a traitor was more compelling, but in the end childish as well. The Yankee fixation real then. Not so much now.
The Red Sox didn’t fight the Yankees for the 2013 title. In case you missed it, the Red Sox beat the Yankees 13 out of 19 times last season, finished 12 games ahead of them in 2013. In case you didn’t notice, the Red Sox have won 3 World Series in the past 10 seasons to the Yankees one.
Don’t act like spoiled punks.
Salute Jacoby Ellsbury for his service to the Red Sox and be happy that, like Papelbon in Philadelphia, we got the Championship seasons and someone else will pay for the decline while the Red Sox reload for another title.
Nobody was a traitor. YOU would take the money and the years too.
As for us fans, let’s focus on the next title.
Don’t embarrass yourself by saying that someone “sold their soul” or some crap like that by signing with the Yankees. Remember the rest of baseball sees the Red Sox and Yankees as being the same. Both are big market teams that sign big free agent contracts.
Signing with the Red Sox is as soulless and gutless as signing with the Yankees for the other 28 fan bases out there.
Don’t be a hypocrite. Enjoy the World Series title and realize that more are on the way.
Damon left the Red Sox for the Yankees and Boston won two titles since. Ellsbury left the Red Sox for the Yankees. Jackie Bradley Jr… you are on!