"Well, he's a young player, he needs to get out there," Francona said. "It happens to veteran players, too. Sometimes a guy like an Ellsbury, Coco [Crisp]kind of did it yesterday, we can still win when you're not 100 percent. Sometimes you go out and you take an 0-fer for the team and we can still win. I'm not pointing a finger at Ellsbury because I think he's a pretty tough kid. I guess my point is you're not always going to be 100 percent. I don't know that we can wait for guys always to be 100 percent or we won't ever be able to field a team."
Ellsbury was back in the lineup last night playing center and batting in the leadoff spot after missing three games. He had thought he would be fine after Monday's offday, but was not ready to play in the series against the Blue Jays.
"We take the opportunity to talk to these guys because we have a number of younger guys," Francona said. "We don't want to just assume things. I think he thought all along on the offday he was going to be fine on Tuesday, and he wasn't. It just gives us a chance to talk to him and explain to him that every game we play here is a big deal. That's probably what's different in the minor leagues is that they're very protective, which they're supposed to, and we try to be protective. But at the same time we want guys to understand the responsibility that every game here is a really big deal."
I think this topic deserves it's own thread. In today's Globe, the Red Sox notes article has the same quote as above, and then this quote a few sections later:
What do people think of these post-game comments by Tito?
Maybe this is my Ellsbury love talking, but I really wish Francona hadn't said this. I don't see what purpose it serves except to cause the fanbase to question his toughness the next time he's out of the lineup. "I'm not pointing a finger at. . ." is one of those phrases like "No offense, but. . ." which pretty much guarantees that whatever follows is going to do just that. If it was a discussion that needed to be had, then fine, I'm glad they had it, but why let everyone know about it? It strikes me as a little bit of an odd thing for Tito to do.
J.D. Drew was back in the original lineup last night, Francona said, but then removed in later versions. Francona said Drew asked for one more day off to recover from tightness in his left quadriceps, though he said he could play if needed
These comments from Francona seem completely and 100% contradictory to me. The Sox as an organization seem to baby just about everyone, from Papelbon to Drew to Manny to Ortiz to Pedroia last year to their young pitchers and so on. I can't really understand why Tito chose to make these comments publicly, given how protective he has been in the past of his players with regard to the media. Not only that, it was only about 10 days ago that they held Crisp out of the lineup for about 10 days and didn't even put him on the DL because he was nursing some injuries.
Tito's comments seem hypocritical to me. I know someone said that the comments could be used to light a fire under Ellsbury, but I worry that they could be harmful, that Ellsbury could conceal injuries and hurt both himself and the team in the long run by playing hurt. Also, Tito's comment about every game being a "really big deal" seems contrary to his strategy in particular games (like the Sunday JV lineup).
Am I overreacting here?
Edited to add full Tito quote
Edited by tims4wins, 03 May 2008 - 11:16 AM.