Saturday, April 23, 2016

Can Ellsbury save his Yankee soul?

After Curt Schilling and the New Kids on the Block, no ex-Bostonians have more disgusted the Yankee fan base than the guy we signed as a distraction to Robbie Cano's farewell jog to Seattle. Of course, I mean Jacoby Ellsbury - thus far, one of the worst Yankee free agent acquisitions in humanity's Kardashian Era, and trust me here: When we talk about ranking Yankee disappointments, the bar is high.

Thursday, even on the generally upbeat River Ave blog, Mike Axisa was outlining potential trades that would make Ellsbury disappear. When River Ave is looking to dump you, that's a bad sign. That's looking up and seeing "Surrender, Dorothy." Not even Alphonso plots trades; (he'd rather boil them in oil.) And yet... this morning Axisa can be found waxing over Ellsbury's "Signature Yankee Moment." 

And he's right. It was Friday night's electrifying - and incredibly stupid? - steal of home against Tampa. Ellsbury ran on a full count and two outs, with two runners in scoring position, and Brett Gardner at bat. How does a runner attempt to steal home in such a scenario? If the pitcher throws a strike... dear God. Gardner either takes strike three - inning over -  or he swings and potentially fractures his teammate's skull. There's a reason why guys don't steal home on 3-2 counts with two outs.

So what happened? Ellsbury stole home! The place exploded. It was incredible... but it raises a legitimate question: Did Ellsbury not know the count was 3-2? 

And yet... who cares? HE DID IT! He pulled it off! If a strategy works, forget the insanity, right?

Well... yeah. I'm in. If Gardner had been forced to take strike three, or if Ellsbury were called out at the plate, today's tabloids would be going wild, and NYC talk radio would be re-enacting the 2004 movie "Hotel Rwanda," (remember killing the cockroaches?) This could well have been the end of the Jacoby Ellsbury era in New York. That's the chance he took.

But he did it.

So... I ask you: Is this his Giambi grand slam? Is this Coney perfect game? Is this the moment that finally anoints Jacoby Ellsbury as a Yankee for life? Because we haven't yet seen one.

Is this the game that turns him around. He's still batting only .255 with no home runs and four stolen bases. Yesterday, Ellsbury was even benched against the lefty. He only played because Aaron Hicks hurt himself on a dive. Last night, we witnessed one of the ballsiest career gambles in Yankee memory. Last night, did something happen?

2 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Question posed by this fabulous success include:

. . . are we spozed to regret that Gardner DID NOT swing the bat?

. . . did Gardner have second thoughts after the play (about not swinging the bat) ...?

. . . does the 3B coach go over the situation with the runner on 3rd??? I would think this would be routine. "There's one out, if there's a fly ball of any kind, come back to the base and tag"......"There are two outs, the count is 1-and-1".....etc.
-- or do they NOT do this to they don't insult the player's intelligence....???

If the player is not aware of the game situation (3-2, 2 outs) . . . is that the player's fault? The coach's fault? The manager's fault? OR: Is this another problem caused by Hillary?

Deep down inside, does Gardner take this as an insult? "I have 2 RBI in 43 at-bats, no wonder the guy is stealing home......"


Anonymous said...

I DON'T KNOW WTF IS GOING ON WITH US......... THE WHOLE IDEA WAS FOR ELLSBURY AND GARDNER TO GET ON BASE AND BOTH BE "FIRE ON THE BASEPATHS"........OTHER THAN A BRIEF PERIOD EARLY LAST SEASON, IT JUST NEVER HAPPENS......BETWEEN EITHER ONE OF THEM GETTING HURT, ONE OF THEM NOT FEELING "CONFIDENT" ENOUGH TO RUN, ONE OF THEM "SLUMPING", OR ONE OF THEM BEING "RESTED" BY GIRARDI, THE DYNAMIC OF THE 2 OF THEM EXCELLING TOGETHER AND CAUSING HAVOC FOR THE OPPOSING TEAM, JUST NEVER HAPPENS. IT'S KIND OF AMAZING TO ME THAT IT HASN'T IN THE YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN TOGETHER.....MY OPINION IS THEY BOTH NEED TO BE IN THE LINEUP ALL THE TIME WITH MAYBE AN OCCASIONAL DAY OFF (MAYBE ONE GAME OUT OF 10)......IN OVER 100 YEARS OF BASEBALL, WHY ARE THE YANKEES, (AND JOE GIRARDI), DECIDING THAT THE FULL SEASON SCHEDULE IS FAR TOO LONG FOR THESE 2 PLAYERS AND THIS TEAM?..GARDNER AND ELLSBURY ARE BOTH IN THEIR EARLY 30'S!!......HASN'T GIRARDI BEEN ON THE AGGRESSIVE SIDE OF "RESTING" HIS PLAYERS THE LAST FEW YEARS?.....AND WHERE HAS IT GOTTEN US?.... THE PLAYERS HE HAS BEEN RESTING HAVE BROKEN DOWN TIME AND TIME AGAIN BY THE LAST MONTH OF THE REGULAR SEASON...... THE SOLUTION?....STOP BABYING EVERYONE!...START GETTING TOUGH (BILLY MARTIN STYLE)!..... PLAY THE FUCKING GAME!....PRODUCE! ...OR YOU WILL BE BENCHED, CONTRACT OR NO CONTRACT!!.......SIMPLE.