#64) The real reason Red Sox fans are upset about Jacoby Ellsbury

Red Sox fans aren’t upset about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees; they just think they are.

Oh, they’re pissed, no doubt; at least if tweeting death wishes can be seen as a sign of being pissed.   But let’s take a step back here.  The Red Sox are the defending World Champions and have won more titles in the last decade than any other MLB team.  Many baseball pundits believe that Ellsbury isn’t worth what he wanted to be paid by the Red Sox and that the Yankees are overpaying him.  As Yogi Berra once said, in baseball, you don’t know nothin’, but it’s certainly plausible that the deal will have more of a net benefit for the Red Sox than the Yankees.

Granted, the fan who expressed hope that Ellsbury “get[s] herpes from Jeter and die[s]” might not represent the overall mentality of Red Sox Nation, but let’s face it, New Englanders can hold a grudge like nobody else (present company included).  But while the sense of outrage at having lost yet another player to the Yankees might have been justified ten years ago, before the Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino”, it now comes off as a little bit petty.  From 1987 to 2001, no Boston/New England sports team won a championship, but since the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, the market has claimed more titles–8–than any other: three each for the Pats and Sox; one for the Celtics and one for the Bruins.  In the same time period L.A. has six (including the Anaheim teams) and New York has four (including the New Jersey Devils).  Boston fans have the look of the successful businessman who still resents the high school girlfriend who dumped him.

Be all that as it may, perhaps there’s a deeper explanation for why Sox fans are so outraged.  It could be that the recent wealth of Boston championships is actually the cause of the Nation’s animosity.  Before 2004, the line was always, “What are we going to do when the Sox actually win the World Series?”  It’s like prisoners who anticipate their release but once they’re actually on the outside, don’t know how to function.

My guess is that before long Sox fans will have forgotten about Ellsbury.  Sure, he’ll get some half-hearted boos when he comes to Fenway wearing pinstripes, but maybe he’s not the real problem.  Maybe Red Sox Nation misses the good old days.  Maybe they need Bucky Dent to hit the pop-fly home run.  Maybe they need Aaron Boone to hit the home run off Tim Wakefield.  And maybe, just maybe, they need the ball to go through Buckner’s legs.

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3 Comments to “#64) The real reason Red Sox fans are upset about Jacoby Ellsbury”

  1. The mood in Red Sox Nation is different this time. $153 million dollars over 7 years is way too much for anybody, especially for someone prone to injuries. The experience with Crawford and Gonzalez has made fans wary of high long-term contracts (and thankful to the Dodgers for bailing us out). Thus, fans are proud or at the very least neutral about the Red Sox not signing Ellsbury. The mood toward the Yankees is almost that of pity because of the money they are wasting. As for Ellsbury, if he can get $153 million dollars for playing baseball then the more power too him! There is no anger and fans will mainly be nice.

  2. Part 2 – The anger towards the Yankees dissipated after the 2007 World Series. Winning the championship a second time gave fans confidence that the curse was truly broken and that they had an awesome baseball team. The Yankees were no longer feared and bitter feelings waned.

    • Agreed…I do think that the majority of the Nation has moved on but it’s interesting that some of them haven’t and I can only guess it’s because they’re uncomfortable with their new role as the Yankees’ daddy.

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