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Is Jacoby Ellsbury being a wuss?

May 28, 2010, 10:43 AM EDT

ellsbury high-five.JPGTony Massarotti reports on the little dustup the Red Sox are having with Jacoby Ellsbury over his injury.  Short version: Ellsbury is still out of the lineup and says he’s hurting.  The Sox are downplaying it and wondering just how hurt Ellsbury really is.  Massarotti is siding with the team and is questioning Ellsbury’s desire to play:

Has Jacoby now become to the Sox what (medical) Bill Cartwright once was
to the New York Knicks? Is it Ellsbury – or DLsbury? . . . In the minds of the Sox – and others – Ellsbury has a reputation,
something only he can be responsible for. Earlier this month, Mike
Lowell openly wondered whether he still had a role on the Red Sox, but
at least Lowell’s remarks were motivated by the desire to play,
something that hardly makes him different from the majority of athletes. In Ellsbury’s case, the problem seems to be the opposite.
Does he want to play or doesn’t he?

I can’t say that partake in enough Red Sox Kremlinology to know whether or not Ellsbury is malingering or has questionable intestinal fortitude or what.  This smells to me, however, like something of an unfair broadside, if for no other reason than Massarotti cites the imagined pleas of “the pink hats in Camp Jacoby” and everyone’s favorite villain, Scott Boras in furtherance of his argument.

I don’t know if Ellsbury truly is well enough to play or not, but I don’t see how anything Massarotti cites in his article helps us figure that out.  This is one of those situations where an anonymous source who actually knows what’s going on medically-speaking could be useful.  Short of that, Massarotti is just knocking Ellsbury’s character, isn’t he?

  1. JCD - May 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Yes, Mazz is attacking his character, as is every sports writer in Boston. Jacoby had a hairline fracture of a rib, which is an extremely painful fracture. The team didn’t even want to DL him, expected him to “play through” the pain. They started making remarks about Jacoby’s toughness two years ago when he was injured, something I’ve never heard them do with chronic dl’er JD Drew. I have no idea why they seem to be tougher with this kid, but if he says he’s in pain I don’t think you want him on the field. DL him, let him rest and go from there.

  2. Moses Green - May 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    There is a growing consensus that he’s a little soft. And the latest MRI/x-ray had definite overtones of making Manny get MRI’s on both knees.
    That being said, Boras and the pink hats stuff is a little overboard. Cheap shot of the sort I usually reserve for trolls and David Wright.

  3. TMW - May 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I don’t care for the baseless character attack, but man…’DLsbury’? Hilarious! I wish I had thought of that one myself.

  4. John - May 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Trade him to the Yankees! Curse of the Ells-burino? 😉

  5. Josh - May 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    He was out for awhile because of cracked ribs right? Try swinging a bat, running into walls, and diving for balls with cracked ribs. Give the guy a break.

  6. Charles Gates - May 28, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Well, now that Ortiz is hitting what else do Boston writers have to write about?

  7. Moses Green - May 28, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Laser Show.

  8. ThinMan - May 28, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Mazz is king of the Unfair Broadside School of Character Assassination. He and the other scion of the Boston media, Dan Shaughnessy, are both bomb throwers of the finest order.

  9. Mike G. - May 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Ever crack a rib? It’s painful. Some people go 3-4 months before they can resume their lives normally.
    Funny how the Sox are involved in these kind of medical problems all the time yet seem to get a pass. If Ellsbury were a Met, this story would be front page news.

  10. JBerardi - May 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Ellsbury has a been highly durable player for the better part of a decade. He played all those games while making crazy diving catches in the outfield, crashing into walls at, sliding headfirst on about a million steal attempts, etc. He’s unquestionably earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to injuries. If he says he’s hurt, then I’m really left with no choice but to conclude that Mazz is just trying to stir the sh*t now that he can’t complain about “ZOMG Theo built the worstest team ever run prevention sucks!!!!!111one!!!” anymore.

  11. J Rose - May 28, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    I just read that article and I was appalled. The kid was an absolute stud last year, doing everything possible to help the team win. This season he gets moved from his natural position for a geezer, then gets crushed by a teammate. The original diagnosis said he was bruised and would probably miss a few days. Two months later he is still unable to play. I have been saying he was misdiagnosed from the beginning, went he went on the DL. I am a Sox diehard, but they way they spin things against players they get upset with (Dice K and now Ellsy) is really making me sick. Whatever happened to keeping things in house? If Ellsbury is soft, what does that make Drew? And management seems to love him. This is going to get ugly fast and it’s almost guaranteed they will end up trading him, as was talked about all offseason.

  12. JBerardi - May 28, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    “There is a growing consensus that he’s a little soft.”

    Really? Among who? I’m a pretty tuned-in Sox fan, and this is the first I’ve heard of this. And really, I don’t see how anyone who actually watches the Sox on a regular basis could even believe this. You don’t steal bags the way he does, or play the outfield the way he does, without getting banged up. And even if he didn’t get himself banged up, how do you get a reputation for being “soft” when you don’t miss any games?

  13. J Rose - May 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I agree with you, but read the Mazz article and it explains how evidently he’s had this reputation for a while, but it’s been kept under wraps until now. I love how a guy who goes all out all the time is called soft. Unbelieveable. And although I’ve been a Sox fan for 32 years, I guess I’m a Pink Hat cuz I love Ellsy.

  14. peteinfla - May 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Seems to me, it is tools like Massarotti who create and foster these type’s of reputations in the first place. And as usual, he refers to unmentioned Red Sox and MLB personnel as his sources, somthing that any hack writer can do, but cannot be verified. Chicken-S**T writing in my opinion. I have had cracked ribs, and it hurts to breathe let alone run, dive slide or swing a bat. Only Ellsbury knows how he feels, so wht attack him without credible proof? And although we all hate Boras to some extent, his innnuendo that Boras is behind Ellsbury’s situation is based on what exactly? I hate Boras, do not like the Red Sox, but find myself disgusted by this article. Ellsbury should find Massaroti before tonights game, crack him the ribs with his bat, and let’s see if this fool could even lift his arm to type.

  15. Moses Green - May 28, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    I didn’t express that I agreed with that consensus. I just thought it was a little strange that the club sent him for another set of MRI/xrays after he asked out of the lineup this latest time. It reminded me of the Manny “Can’t remember which knee I’m faking with” double MRI’s. Coupled with the odd announcement that Ellsbury would be playing CF and Cameron in LF, it made me think this is the club’s tack, and I’ve read other stuff of this ilk on SOSH.
    It certainly wouldn’t be above Boras to use Ellsbury’s unfamiliarity with LF in conjunction with his collision with Beltre as pretext to demand that his client play where he’s more comfortable.

  16. JBerardi - May 28, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    I love this statement:

    “In the minds of the Sox – and others – Ellsbury has a reputation, something only he can be responsible for.”

    1. “the minds of the Sox” — what Sox? Management? Coaching staff? The rest of the team? How come we’ve never heard of this before?

    2. “and other” — oh, well, nevermind then. You can always trust the opinion of totally unnamed “others”. Case closed.

    3. “Ellsbury has a reputation, something only he can be responsible for”. Uhh, WTF is that? Since when are people exclusively responsible for any kind of reputation they might have? No one has ever had a reputation that they didn’t deserve? Really? I mean, what was the point of this article other than to change his reputation? How do you write a whole article about how the guy is soft, and then state that if he’s got a reputation of being soft, it can only be his fault? I mean, honestly, take some responsibility for the stupid stuff you wanna say…

  17. J Rose - May 28, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    It’s pieces like this that have made athletes despise playing in Boston for decades. Like you said, Mazz just created a reputation for Ellsbury that not many fans believed he had. How does he shed it now? By playing with injured ribs? It’s a no win sitaution and the kind of thing that will almost certainly result in the exit of another talented but disgruntled player from the Hub.

  18. GimmeSomeSteel - May 28, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Someone should give Massarotti a cracked rib or two. Let’s see him do his job after that, let alone compete in an athletic endeavor.

  19. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    [Even as a Yankee fan] When I was living in Quincy I heard nothing but 24 hour news coverage of the Sox, but now that I’m in NC I rarely hear anything; however, isn’t it funny that guys seem to develop these “reputations” only after something like this happens? I never remember hearing anything about Ellsbury being soft* when he was first called up and played, but now that he’s out he’s “had this reputation for some time”?
    It’s like Olney’s piece a few days ago when Brent Mayne made himself look like an asshole because he was heckling Cervelli and his helmet (using the Wesley Snipes line that it’s better to look good and be bad then be good and look bad). Then Olney mentions that Cervelli has a bad rep with other teams. Fuck the heck did this come from?
    And oh yeah, he has cracked f’ing ribs! this isn’t a headcold he’s dealing with. My father had open heart surgery in which they break your ribs. It hurts to laugh, to sneeze, to cough. Hell if you have a big enough fart it hurts. I can’t imagine swinging a bat, or even checking your swing with that.
    *note: If WEEI ever said anything, I avoided it like the plague. Those guys can diaf along with WFAN and fatcesca.

  20. ralphdibny - May 28, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    I imagine that Massarotti has this article as a template on his desktop. All he had to do for this version was replace “Drew” with “Ellsbury.”

  21. J Rose - May 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Seems to me like these reps are known to personnell and/or writers with inside knowledge of the team, but they don’t say anything about it until a situation arises in public. Then they use all the info to disparage the player, thus making the team look good in the eyes of the fans.
    I’m listening to EEi right now, and I agree with your take. But since all sports radio sucks, I might as well listen to talk about my hometown team!
    BTW, I lived in Milton, next door neighbor to Quincy.

  22. JudyJ - May 28, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Maybe you should think about trading him to Detroit for Johnny Damon. That is about an equal trade.

  23. The Real Shuxion - May 28, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Tony usually doesn’t do things like this and I am sure there isn’t a track record. I wonder the same thing.
    There is no way someone would take a cheap shot at another person when they have great quotes such as:
    “Can it be now? It’s naughty Massarotti, staring at your boobs.”
    “Tune in Tokyo Tune in Tokyo, my radar has picked up some identified flying objects, they’re boobs.”
    “Yo ho hooters and a bottle of milkballons.”
    “Talk about a taco boob grande.”

  24. JBerardi - May 28, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Update: Ellsbury was placed back on the DL today. So I guess he really was hurt, go figure.

  25. Moses Green - May 28, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    We knew he was really hurt. Let’s just all agree that the Sox’ medical staff is a little “touch sensitive” after dealing with Manny being Manny. Ow my knee.

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