Jacoby Ellsbury fans have laid low for a season because he is on one of those off and on cycles in his career and life.
Now that he seems to be “on” for this year, Ellsbury’s Elves are out of the closet. Ellsbury now has 200 steals with the Red Sox, and his loving supporters are gearing up for a year to remember.
Leading the league in steals (most recently thrown out for the first time after eleven attempts) puts the tea-leaf Ellsbury fans into a dither. It is a portent you expect to hear from the Three Weird Sisters around their kettle.
At the least, you expect to have Ellsbury’s agent pop up after one month and insist this young man (pushing 30) is aiming for the stars.
Before we label him the next Werner Von Braun, we should see if he has his feet firmly planted in center field, or whether he may crash into a teammate, ending another season of wild potential with the microcosm of a hangnail.
Perhaps some fans are reluctant to jump on his fan base bandwagon for a good reason: he is likely ready to jump ship for a good ship with lollipops on the west coast.
Ellsbury is a quiet, unassuming, brave man. He plays without chitchat, braggadocio, or sundry scandals that surround most modern athletes. It’s what makes his success all the more maddening. He will take his talents not to South Beach, but to Rodeo Drive and never look back with a complaint.
If you want to admire Ellsbury and sing his praises, the window of opportunity is smaller than the one Alice found in Wonderland.
The man with one sleeve may have nothing up that bare arm to slake the needs of Boston fans.
Being healthy this season will make him rich next season. But, being healthy and wealthy does not guarantee being wise.
Be sure to read William Russo’s books of satiric analysis on the Boston Red Sox, including RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY and RED SOX 2012: BOBBY VALENTINE’S SEASON IN HELL.