Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bifurcated Feelings On The Ellsbury Signing

If you want a crystal clear illustration of the cluelessness of Boston's mainstream sports media, you need look no further than the Globe's Nick Cafardo. The newly-minted employee of John Henry went on MLB Network last night and gave this piece of advice to Red Sox fans upset over the Jacoby Ellsbury signing: "Grow up".  According to Cafardo, we in the Peanut Gallery (who aren't employed by moribund print outlets) have to recognize that baseball is a "business". I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing that canard. No kidding, Nick, we get that. However, fandom is not a business. It is driven by what you would consider "petty" considerations like loyalty. It is possible, Nick, to have a more complex view of the Ellsbury situation: sort of a 'left-brain'/'right brain' type of thing. First, a Red Sox fan can be outraged that yet another Boston player (this one totally homegrown) has defected to our mortal enemy. Secondly, that same fan can offer an assessment of the deal that sees it as a good thing for the Red Sox and a bad thing for The Evil Ones. Seven-year contracts given to 30-year olds have not worked out well in the past. Ellsbury will be 37 at the end of this contract—and his unique skills (speed and elite defense) will have probably eroded. Over that span, the Red Sox may have a far younger and cheaper clone in Jackie Bradley, Jr. So, we don't have to "grow up" to know how we stand on this deal. Thanks for the advice anyway, Nick.