Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Quite A While Ago"

Who is it? Oh, I'm sorry, I can't answer any questions about last year. I'm afraid that in my weakened condition, I could take a nasty spill, reinjure my ribs, and subject myself to further baseball absences. You can reach my doctor or agent at their places of business. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your concern for my well being. Have a nice day!

Apparently the recipient of the most devastating broken rib injury in human history was medically back to 100% some time in 2010. He was cleared, in his words, "quite a while ago," which didn't score him too many points with those of us who thought he was pouting while healthy last year. According to Dan Roche's update on the radio, 46 was feeling good as early as the end of the 2010 season. Thanks for playing at 99 percent, Jacutler Ellsbury.

Apparently, according to the fluffier media reports I read tonight, Jacutler talked a lot about turning pages, putting 2010 behind him, and dropped a lot of "no comments." Luckily Jacutler decided to stay away from the T.O. press conference style, because doing situps in his driveway while saying no comment could subject his ribs (front and back) to trauma that could reinjure the devastating broken rib condition that cost him all but 18 uninspired games last year.

Look, I think all you guys know that 46 died to me sometime in December 2007 when he decided to be the first major leaguer to hire Scott Boras after the Arod opt-out situation. Let's just say that by doing that, he proved that if he were in Egypt last month, he'd be wearing a "Re-Elect Mubarak" t-shirt.

But there are a lot of people, including a lot of you guys, who still call Jacutler Ellsbury by his real name. And the first two months of this baseball season are arguably the most important of the player's career. Even more than the two months when he actually showed up to play well in 2007. The first two months, if he can prove that he has the desire to play baseball for two months straight without any dubious injuries...if he can prove that he can provide anything more than league-average offensive production...and if he can prove that he's more than a one-tool player in the prime of his career, he'll win back the admiration of the pink hats and a lot of you.

Jacutler's already dead to me. But let's throw out some numbers here. What is 46 going to have to do to win you (front and) back?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

DV

Is there anyone outside of you and Tim who refer to Jacoby Ellsbury as anything other than his proper name?

But to answer your question--the guy just needs to play well. He didn't give the Sox anything last year at all. But the year before he was a .300 hitter and had a decent OBP (.355). If he can do that and defend well, then that's a good season, provided that he's batting out of the bottom of the order. He's not a franchise player. Maybe he adds a little pop, but as you've mentioned before--he's not a kid anymore. So it's tough to imagine he'll be a significantly better player than he was in 2009. Now I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to see him become an All-Star caliber player. But even if he's not, even if he is never anything more than what he was in '09, that's good enough for the 8/9 man in the Sox order.

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

agree with gunn, if he can return to his 2009 that has to be considered excellent production relative to where he is in his career. he had a 97 ops+, so a few ticks below, but basically average. but he's not a traditional player, as his legs are his biggest tool. he stole 70 bases that year. as long as you're not relying on him to do too much, and he's batting at the bottom of the order, a league-average-ish bat that can mix it up on the bases and do some different things for you can be very valuable. you don't need all-star bats batting 8th or 9th, you just hope for guys that aren't total zeros. 2009 ellsbury would definitely classify as not a zero. if he could get back to playing some solid or even great defense - he was atrocious in 2009 after a wonderful 2008, with the sample size in 2010 being too small - then you have a little something.

changing topics, but relevant to your post, is there ever a conspiracy/dramatic/popular media topic where you sell instead of buy? jay cutler had a grade II mcl sprain, which is essentially the same thing as a tear. most people with that injury are usually out 3-4 weeks, so it would make sense that cutler would miss the rest of the game in which the injury occurred. i know his name matched cleverly with ellsbury's, but i have a feeling your opinion is that more than just their names match, but probably their approach to injuries too. not a fair comparison.

finally, nine weekdays (typical "posting" days for us) since the announcement that we were "scaling back", and nine posts have gone up. dv has been writing approximately 3 days per week to my approximately 2 for about 18 months now. will he go to 4 days a week as i go more towards 1 because he can't stand to see the blog empty for a day? stay tuned on as the blog turns.

Anonymous said...

PF

I think DV is just a lot like the rest of us that comment--when I come in early to work and pull up the blog, it looks weird if the same post from the day before is up. You guys will either stop writing entirely or continue to write as you have.

On Jay Cutler--he seems like a complete asshole. Aloof. More importantly he seems to be out of touch with what his talent level really is. He carries himself like a top-five quarterback, which is interesting because he's arguably the third best quarterback in his own division. It's his attitude/personality as much as anything that is the reason for why he's caught so much heat. It didn't really look like he cared in the NFC title game. That's what rubbed people the wrong way.

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

don't get me wrong, i'm not a jay cutler fan for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned. and i agree with his outward disposition in the game. but i think sometimes too much stuff gets put into that. if you have an injury that forces you out of the game, you have an injury that forces you out of the game. he had that kind of injury. dv seemed to be implying here that he was milking it (because that's what he said about ellsbury all of last year), and while you can say a lot of other things about cutler's career to date, you really can't say that he was milking it in that game, or that he was faking an injury, or whatever. that's all i'm getting at here, the narrow situation that arose in that game, not the broader jay cutler stuff.

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

All your points are fair. Jacutler should hit 9th, period. Steve Buckley still said he looked like a future Hall of Famer. Whatever.

You also bring up something I've been meaning to say: Happy birthday Pat. Pat turned 26 last weekend. And while it's too bad that Pat is now in his "late" 20s, he can feel better because he's still significantly younger than Jacutler.

Cutler's missing of the second half of that football game is about ninety times more legitimate than 46 missing games in September because he broke his ribs in April. So let's not say I'm buying this one. At the same time, I think in the year 2011, the gold standard for an athlete being a pussy - fair or not - is Cutler. That's why I went that route.

Both players were aloof, uncaring, a dog (a Theo Epstein line-drop) regarding their attitude while injured, though - Bandi's point holds weight.

I already have a post written for tomorrow in my head, but it's only one paragraph long. I'm hoping I can keep from expanding it to a full post so that we can actually follow the business model.

the gm at work said...

My apologies for making absolutely no grammatical sense in paragraph 4 of my last comment.

Patrick said...

that's a reasonable assessment gm. as long as we're acknowledging that it appears ellsbury and cutler are not on the same level in terms of injury situations.

the gm at work said...

I mean, you know how I feel. I feel like the extent to which 46 milked his injury and is unwilling to play at 99% is unparalleled on this team or anywhere in sports. We can talk about how Brett Favre looked like he was shot every single time he got hit, but he played. My point is that 46 should be the gold standard of being a pussy, at least regionally. Much more than Cutler.

46 should also be the gold standard nationally. Oh wait, no, he shouldn't. In order for that to be the case, you have to be a player of relevance, something that Cutler is but 46 clearly is not. A one-tool player who hit .192 last year, has a career OPS+ of 92, is a slap hitter who strikes out every 8.5 plate apparances, and can't stay healthy is a borderline major leaguer.

At least, however, 46 showed up to spring training and participated in a workout. The boy wonder Theo Epstein once said that players shouldn't be judged by their "outward signs of passion." Can players' dedication toward their job be judged if the player shows up, signs their name on a piece of paper indicating they showed up, and promptly peaces out? I thought you were gonna ask me about that.