Wednesday, December 4, 2013

YANKEES, ELLSBURY, AND 'CIVILITY IN BASEBALL'

On Monday night at a library in Stamford, CT.,  Brian Cashman took part in a series called,
'Civility in baseball.' Cashman talked about winning 'the right way' during his time at the
podium.

I thought of this when news broke on Tuesday that the general manager of the New York
Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a mammoth, 7-year, $153 million contract. In less than
24 hours, Cashman went from 'civility' to insanity. It wasn't so much that Cashman had
snagged away a good player from the Yankees arch-rivals, but he shocked everybody by
making Ellsbry the fourth-highest paid outfielder in the HISTORY of Major League
Baseball.

It's so absurd that even Carl Crawford, who was lavished with a $142 million contract
despite never hitting more than 19 home runs, was laughing his ass off. So were many of
the so-called'experts' in the sport that employs them.


Yes, I realize that money is no object to the Yankees. They are still paying off Kei Igawa
and his $45 million contract, most of which he has earned playing in the minor-leagues.
I realize they have long been an organization that can erase previous mistakes by lavishing
more money on coveted free-agents. But this mega-deal with Ellsbury is ludricrous.

In his first seven years in the major leagues, Ellsbury's seasonal averages look more like
those of Juan Pierre than Josh Hamilton:

102 games 68 runs 9 HR's 44 RBI's 34 Stole bases .297 average  .350 OBP

Cashman needs to get his head examined after giving a contract out like that to Ellsbury.
Theo Esptein is off the hook for good after giving Crawford that colossal contract.



Through the ages of 24-30, Ellsbury proved to be brittle with the Red Sox, missing more
than 150 games and having his toughness and commitment questioned by his own teammates.
Does anybody really think that from the age of 30 to 37, the life of his Yankees contract,
Ellsbury is all of a sudden going to get more durable? The body doesn't work that way.

I've heard many of the talking heads on television say that Ellsbury has proven he can play
in a tough market like Boston.


But Ellsbury NEVER had to play under the pressure of a HUGE contract in the media
capital of the world. There is a big, big difference. How many players have we seen
flop under the pressure of trying to live up to a big contract? AJ Burnett? Josh Hamilton
anyone?

Ellsbury was never anything close to being 'the man' in Boston. With Big Papi, Dustin
Pedroia, Jon Lester, and many other 'bigger' players in Boston, Ellsbury had a big shadow
to play in, which was far from the sizzling microscope those other players were under.

That changes now because of the absurd contract. $153 million? Even David Ortiz
is breaking into a cold sweat.

And haven't the Yankees learned anything by now? Look at all the 'dead' money they
had last year with the injuries to Curtis Granderson, A-Rod, Mark Teixiera, and Derek
Jeter. It was more than the payroll of most teams. Now they added a player who is
more brittle than all of them.

Civility in baseball? This is absolutely insane. Good luck, Yankees. Good luck, Jacoby
Ellsbury.


 

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