Friday, April 11, 2014

Rewriting History - II

Shank's Friday column takes a look at Jacoby Ellsbury, now a member of the New York Yankees. Now that the Boston Globe has finally dropped their paywall, you once again have the pleasure of reading Shaughnessy's unabridged works of art in their entirety. I'll just highlight the more amusing part(s):
Still, it would be great to have Dr. Charles Steinberg roll out an Ellsbury video montage when the Bombers come to Fenway. We’d love another look at his electrifying steal of home at Fenway against a stunned Andy Pettitte. We could watch all those homers (32) from 2011 when Ellsbury was runner-up for the American League MVP Award. Maybe we’d get another look at his four-hit World Series game against the Rockies when he was a Xander Bogaerts-like call-up at the end of the 2007 season.
Compare and contrast this seemingly affectionate tone about Ellsbury to that of a mere nineteen months ago:
Ellsbury has three homers in 62 games this year. He is hitting .268. Ellsbury is the greatest flight risk since Whitey Bulger, and the Sox are not going to contend next year with him in center field.

The Sox must trade Ellsbury this winter. Scott Boras thinks Ellsbury is a $20 million-per-year player. Maybe last year. But Ellsbury has missed 1½ of the last three seasons and is going the wrong way. He’s not even Carl Crawford this season. Trade the dude.
Back to today's column:
Ellsbury was a terrific player for the Red Sox any time he was on the field. The only problem was the slow healing and the long stretches when he was on the shelf. But let the record show that he played with a broken bone in his foot in the 2013 playoffs. And his major injuries came as the result of hard play — the collision with Adrian Beltre in 2010, and the shoulder-crushing play at second base in the home opener in 2012.
Jacoby Ellsbury, the terrific player in 2013:
We know the negatives. Ellsbury gets hurt and he’s slow to come back from injuries. He missed 144 games with broken ribs in 2010. He injured his shoulder and missed 88 games last year. Both injuries were results of collisions from playing hard, but he’s stuck with the image of a pampered baseball softy.
And when Ellsbury's not on the field?
Shank can't seem to write a story about positive things, like the Bruins' 3 - 0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, so instead he returns to beating the crap out of Jacoby Ellsbury. The reader is tipped off almost immediately:
This is not a rip job on Ellsbury. There’s no calling into question Ellsbury’s toughness or willingness to play hurt.
Then Shank proceeds to rip Ellsbury:
No need for columnist Tom Werner to run to the keyboard and defend his player. Ellsbury missed the first two games of the Yankee showdown this weekend, but he’s played in 54 of 57 games in 2013. He’s practically been Cal Ripken Jr. Let’s call him Iron Man Ellsbury. Everyday Ells.
Nope, no rip job here!
Today's column is nothing more than Shank weakly trying to airbrush his previous columns on Ellsbury. I am becoming more convinced that Shank's being asked or told what to write, and in what tone to write it, when he does columns about the Red Sox. I believe his future columns this season will bear this theory out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the art of trolling as practiced by columnists and radio hosts. They rip fans for doing the exact same thing (in the opposite direction), but they make they're living off of it. During the first half the Pats season, only "footy-pajama wearing honks" thought they had a good defense. Columnists and radio hosts "knew" they were overrated and playing a tomato can schedule. But after the season, after Taleb is gone? Only "footy-pajama wearing honks think Taleb was overpaid and don't realize how important he was to they very good Pats defense last season."