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Is Ellsbury "soft?"


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#1 czar


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:39 AM

Not sure if this is just pot-stirring by Maz, but he is implying that some within the Sox organization are getting annoyed with Ellsbury's "softness." This comes on the heels of the announcement that Ellsbury will see another specialist this PM and it sounds likely he'll be back on the DL this weekend.

QUOTE
Two months into the regular season, Jacoby Ellsbury has played in nine games. Ellsbury says he is hurting. The Red Sox seem to wonder.


QUOTE
"I think they downplay it because they misdiagnosed it,'' Ellsbury said of the rib injury that has kept him out for the large majority of this season. "They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?"


QUOTE
Before we go any further, we all need to understand something here. This is not solely about this season and about whether Ellsbury has bruised ribs or hairline fractures. This goes well beyond that. During his rookie season of 2008, Ellsbury missed small chunks of time with various assorted ailments. He came to the Red Sox having earned a reputation in the minor leagues of being someone who required a great deal of, well, maintenance. Last year, during a rock-solid season in which Ellsbury batted .301, stole 70 bases, and played in 153 games, manager Terry Francona spoke of how Ellsbury was beginning to understand the "responsibility" of playing in the major leagues, which was a nice way of saying that Ellsbury had an obligation to his manager and teammates to play through minor issues and be in the lineup.


QUOTE
Like officials from many teams, some in Sox management believe that Boras discourages his players from taking the field at something less than 100 percent because it would affect their performance on the field and, therefore, leverage in negotiations.


QUOTE
Ellsbury, of course, is merely 26. While it is always dangerous to wonder whether players are capable of playing through injuries – the Red Sox would be wise to remember the cases of both Scott Williamson and Matt Clement – the issue here is clearly much bigger. In the minds of the Sox – and others – Ellsbury has a reputation, something only he can be responsible for. Earlier this month, Mike Lowell openly wondered whether he still had a role on the Red Sox, but at least Lowell’s remarks were motivated by the desire to play, something that hardly makes him different from the majority of athletes.

In Ellsbury’s case, the problem seems to be the opposite.

Does he want to play or doesn’t he?


#2 Myt1


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:50 AM

Ellsbury is a speed player in a speed position. When he's dinged up his effectiveness is more greatly impacted than that of a first or third baseman who can limp a bit but still hit for power.

More than that, though, the Sox really should stop the whisper campaigns about their own. In addition to remembering Williamson and Clement, they should remember what drove Epstein out on vacation.

#3 trekfan55


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:51 AM

I'm directing this post to any doctors we have on Sosh, but how exactly do you treat broken or bruised ribs? From my limited understanding, it's not the same as a broken arm or leg, where you apply a cast. This just goes to "answer" this quote:

QUOTE
"I think they downplay it because they misdiagnosed it,'' Ellsbury said of the rib injury that has kept him out for the large majority of this season. "They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?"


Edit: What 86spike said just below.

But bottom line: If his ribs have healed, or have healed enough that he should play then he should be on the field. BTW, besides him being "soft", the Sox already lost the services of a serviceable OF (Van Every) to activate him.

Edited by trekfan55, 28 May 2010 - 11:56 AM.


#4 86spike


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE
"I think they downplay it because they misdiagnosed it,'' Ellsbury said of the rib injury that has kept him out for the large majority of this season. "They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?"


Didn't we have several SoSH doctors completely agree that the treatment (which is simply rest) is the same for both ailments?

STFU, Jacoby.

I vote: soft and Boras-itis.

#5 smastroyin


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:57 AM

The comment he made makes me think he is soft more than the missing time. Unless there is some really weird diagnosis I'm pretty sure any rib injury has essentially the same treatment. It has been 6 weeks since the injury, essentially. Unless he has a rib floating in space in his chest, 6 weeks seems on the surface like enough time for minor fractures or bruising to heal.

I only say that because I don't think the Sox have really done anything wrong or have had any greatly out of line expectations. On the other side, if he is hurt, he shouldn't play. So on the injury front he may be injury prone as opposed to "soft." I defend Drew all the time so it would be disingenuous to skewer Ellsbury. I just wish he hadn't thrown this on some kind of mis-diagnosis. If you are talking about the difference between bruising or fracturing of various severities there really isn't a huge difference. Throwing it on the medical staff makes him sound like a whiner and finger pointer.


#6 donutogre

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:02 PM

I've been quite frustrated with the Ellsbury injury saga...the misdiagnoses which lead to him sitting on the bench for a week when he couldn't play, the fact that he was seemingly rushed back to rehab and the team too soon, the fact that he's barely been useful and again clogging up a roster spot for the past week or so...

But I can't really put hardly any of that on Ellsbury himself, and this article really comes off like a CHB hatchet job. I prefer not to put a lot of stock in half-assed implications. There's basically no evidence that Ellsbury doesn't want to be on the field, and given the fact that he needs to be put back on the DL I don't really think that he's milking this.

And it comes back to the same thing we talk about with Drew - would we rather seem him effective for 130-140 games, or try and "gut it out" and "play through injury" at a poor level (like he seemed to be trying to do) and probably do more to hurt himself and the team? Let him get right before putting him back in the game. I have no idea what he was doing at rehab when all indications seemed to be that he was still hurt and I have no idea what he was doing up with Boston. This smells like a piece written to make Ellsbury look like the one doing something "wrong" when the truth is it seems the Red Sox have pretty badly mismanaged this injury.

EDIT: Looks like I'm in the minority here...


Edited by donutogre, 28 May 2010 - 12:04 PM.


#7 Freddy Linn


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:03 PM

For a guy who has been lauded by Edes and a number of others for his work ethic, and has played in 145 and 153 games in the last two years, I am pretty skeptical of this assessment. Especially for a guy who probably abuses his body more than he should (the routes don't help).

#8 The Four Peters


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE (Myt1 @ May 28 2010, 12:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ellsbury is a speed player in a speed position. When he's dinged up his effectiveness is more greatly impacted than that of a first or third baseman who can limp a bit but still hit for power.

More than that, though, the Sox really should stop the whisper campaigns about their own. In addition to remembering Williamson and Clement, they should remember what drove Epstein out on vacation.

I'm not positive that's what is driving the article. I've heard Mazz on The Sport Hub speak to this a few times, and he made it perfectly clear that he got this impression by being around the clubhouse and speaking with other players. Sounds like some of the veterans were less than happy and threw around some idle gossip that Mazz stored away for future reference. Now that the situation has come up again, he's of the mind that where there's smoke there's fire.

Of course, the Sox FO could be driving it as well, but the way he spoke about it came from the perspective of "this was the sense I got around the clubhouse the last 2 years" not "this is what my source told me."

#9 joe dokes

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:12 PM

QUOTE
They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?"


Apparently the answer is a resounding "yes." How might we know this? Well, for one we had a number of docs on this site say so. Oh, so you dont beleive internet geeks? Ok. How else do we know? Well, Jacoby, did your treatment change at all once the diagnosis changed? No, I didn't think so.

I dont think he's "soft", because I dont think "soft" players make it to the majors. I think he's dumb. Dumb guys make it to the majors all the time. I dont think anyone on the team would be surprised that he still has discomfort 6 weeks later. What I think is pissing off the team is that every time he opens his mouth on this, he dumps on the team docs, instead of saying, "they told me there's be days it hurt; today is one of those days." Maybe the trainers are Mazz's source?

By contrast, Lowell had a need for surgery missed that has severely impacted his career; he said something about it once, and hasn't brought it up every single time he's asked about playing time, when, by all rights, he could be saying, "if those jerks had gotten it right, I'd be seeing juicy fastballs every night in Texas batting in front of Vlad."

#10 Plympton91


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE (donutogre @ May 28 2010, 01:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And it comes back to the same thing we talk about with Drew - would we rather seem him effective for 130-140 games, or try and "gut it out" and "play through injury" at a poor level (like he seemed to be trying to do) and probably do more to hurt himself and the team? Let him get right before putting him back in the game. I have no idea what he was doing at rehab when all indications seemed to be that he was still hurt and I have no idea what he was doing up with Boston. This smells like a piece written to make Ellsbury look like the one doing something "wrong" when the truth is it seems the Red Sox have pretty badly mismanaged this injury.

EDIT: Looks like I'm in the minority here...


Well, let me add my voice of support to your common sense statements. Players who are hurt generally suck and end up costing their team wins. For every Curt Schilling with bloody sock heroics, there are 10 or more episodes like Mark Loretta's making a month worth of outs at the end of 2006 (and, occasionally, preventing their teams from playing Carlos Pena regularly) when they should be on the disabled list.

If Ellsbury is the least bit unhealthy, he's not going to be effective. What'd he go, 1-13 in the 3 games he played? They could have called up a teenager from the Domican Summer League and gotten better production.


#11 radsoxfan


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:24 PM

In an earlier thread I posted that I disagreed with the medical staff's imaging strategy for Ellbury's injury. I thought that an earlier CT scan would have effectively ruled him out for 2+ weeks, which would have allowed the team to DL him sooner.

However . . . these quotes from Ellsbury are total nonsense and he comes off like an immature child. I don't know if he really is in too much pain to play, but it certainly sounds like there is some bitterness towards the team for the inital missed diagnosis. Maybe it was annoying for Ellsbury not to have a concrete diagnosis at first, but the delayed diagnosis really did nothing to impede his healing.

As crazy as it may seem for the apparently simple-minded Jacoby, the treatment for a bruise and break in this case are indeed exactly the same. I guess the medical school he attended at Oregon State forgot to add that fact to the syllabus. But you would think he could figure that out since once the CT scan showed the fractures, I'm sure the medical staff didn't alter their treatment for him at all. There's nothing left to do but wait.

Of course it's impossible to tell for sure from afar, but Ellsbury certainly seems like he's being a whiny brat.

Edited by radsoxfan, 28 May 2010 - 12:26 PM.


#12 joe dokes

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE (donutogre @ May 28 2010, 01:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been quite frustrated with the Ellsbury injury saga...the misdiagnoses which lead to him sitting on the bench for a week when he couldn't play, the fact that he was seemingly rushed back to rehab and the team too soon, the fact that he's barely been useful and again clogging up a roster spot for the past week or so...

But I can't really put hardly any of that on Ellsbury himself, and this article really comes off like a CHB hatchet job. I prefer not to put a lot of stock in half-assed implications. There's basically no evidence that Ellsbury doesn't want to be on the field, and given the fact that he needs to be put back on the DL I don't really think that he's milking this.

And it comes back to the same thing we talk about with Drew - would we rather seem him effective for 130-140 games, or try and "gut it out" and "play through injury" at a poor level (like he seemed to be trying to do) and probably do more to hurt himself and the team? Let him get right before putting him back in the game. I have no idea what he was doing at rehab when all indications seemed to be that he was still hurt and I have no idea what he was doing up with Boston. This smells like a piece written to make Ellsbury look like the one doing something "wrong" when the truth is it seems the Red Sox have pretty badly mismanaged this injury.

EDIT: Looks like I'm in the minority here...


Rushed back to rehab? What's that based on? He went 4-10 in 3 games. Did he complain of any pain or soreness from playing? What indications wehre there that he was still hurt when he was in Portland or Pawtucket? Ellsbury played 3 rehab games and did well. He said himself that he had no issues on his return, that the pain returned during BP the other night.

The only thing that got hurt by the original misdiagnosis was that the team got caught shorthanded. There is not a single bit of medical evidence that anything would have been different, treatment-wise, if they had discvered the break on day 1 instead of day 9.

You are right about the gut it out stuff. Let him heal.

#13 donutogre

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE (joe dokes @ May 28 2010, 01:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rushed back to rehab? What's that based on? He went 4-10 in 3 games. Did he complain of any pain or soreness from playing? What indications wehre there that he was still hurt when he was in Portland or Pawtucket? Ellsbury played 3 rehab games and did well. He said himself that he had no issues on his return, that the pain returned during BP the other night.

The only thing that got hurt by the original misdiagnosis was that the team got caught shorthanded. There is not a single bit of medical evidence that anything would have been different, treatment-wise, if they had discvered the break on day 1 instead of day 9.

You are right about the gut it out stuff. Let him heal.


So, I actually thought the exact same thing as you the other night - that his rehab went well and it was bizarre/surprising that he was having such issues back in Boston. I then went and reviewed the Ellsbury rehab thread after getting called out on that. Apparently that isn't the case:

http://www.bostonher...ignment-monday/
QUOTE
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t yet 100 percent recovered from four broken ribs, but the tentative plan is for him to begin a rehab assignment on Monday at Triple A Pawtucket, followed by a game at Double A Portland on Tuesday.

Ellsbury was asked if he’s feeling good.

“Not really,” he said. “But …”


And in terms of the misdiagnosis, that's exactly what I was complaining about. I found it pretty surprising an organization like the Red Sox, with the tools they have available, wouldn't be able to get something like that right. I don't really care about what the treatment would have been, I care about how the Sox were shorthanded for over a week.

#14 joe dokes

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:39 PM

QUOTE (donutogre @ May 28 2010, 01:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, I actually thought the exact same thing as you the other night - that his rehab went well and it was bizarre/surprising that he was having such issues back in Boston. I then went and reviewed the Ellsbury rehab thread after getting called out on that. Apparently that isn't the case:

http://www.bostonher...ignment-monday/


And in terms of the misdiagnosis, that's exactly what I was complaining about. I found it pretty surprising an organization like the Red Sox, with the tools they have available, wouldn't be able to get something like that right. I don't really care about what the treatment would have been, I care about how the Sox were shorthanded for over a week.


Well, as to the first, I obviously stand corrected. With the only caveat being that I hope he told the team what he told the Herald. I also wonder if he said anything upon his recall, since my recollection was that he said he was feeling good right up until the BP swing Saturday(?).

As to the latter, this being thread about Ellsbury alleged softness, the Sox being shorthanded a month ago is irrelevant (to this thread, not to the team at large). Ellsbury's treatment, however, is quite relevant, as a respose to his absurd (implicit) claim that the misdiagnosis led to mistreatment.

#15 donutogre

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (joe dokes @ May 28 2010, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, as to the first, I obviously stand corrected. With the only caveat being that I hope he told the team what he told the Herald. I also wonder if he said anything upon his recall, since my recollection was that he said he was feeling good right up until the BP swing Saturday(?).

As to the latter, this being thread about Ellsbury alleged softness, the Sox being shorthanded a month ago is irrelevant (to this thread, not to the team at large). Ellsbury's treatment, however, is quite relevant, as a respose to his absurd (implicit) claim that the misdiagnosis led to mistreatment.


Fair enough. In terms of the first point (Ells not feeling great when coming back), there were other reports that he supposedly felt great right before coming back until he hit the batting cages and then got screwed up there. So who really knows, but there does seem to be evidence that he tried to come back too early - which may negate the "soft" claims but is still stupid.

In terms of the Sox being shorthanded, I only bring that up to point out that in this whole situation, I think the Red Sox have not handled this nearly as well as I would have expected across all facets of the situation, and thus it isn't really fair for people to be jumping on Ellsbury. However, I will agree that his quotes regarding treatment are stupid. Saying anything negative about the org to the press is stupid - if he's got an issues it should be taken up w/the team, not with the press. Nothing good can come out of that as we all know.

#16 smastroyin


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

Whether Ellsbury is soft is a question that the Sox will have to answer, though.

Because honestly he is going to have pain from baseball activities for a long time with this injury. If he can't effectively play through that pain, then the Sox should treat him as such, should not have activated him, and in fact at the end of the day they may have been better off throwing him on the 60 day DL and opening a spot on the 40 man. But, in terms of diagnosis, that is pretty specific to Ellsbury. I think most guys who fractured ribs in the middle of April would be ready to play by now and deal with the discomfort (this evidence is anecdotal and not researched, but the Red Sox expectations dovetail with that). Ellsbury may have a worse case than many, but it seems specific to him, so I'm still not all that happy that he is playing self-doctor/conspiracy theorist.

#17 Al Zarilla


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:55 PM

No, I don't think he's soft. Adrian Beltre is built like a linebacker and they collided with both of them going full tilt, no pads. The entire force of the collision looked to be concentrated in Ellsbury's ribs. Anybody calling him soft had this kind of collision before?

#18 smastroyin


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE (Al Zarilla @ May 28 2010, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, I don't think he's soft. Adrian Beltre is built like a linebacker and they collided with both of them going full tilt, no pads. The entire force of the collision looked to be concentrated in Ellsbury's ribs. Anybody calling him soft had this kind of collision before?


To clarify my statement. Players have different pain thresholds. To be honest, Ellsbury's seems low based on this injury. It could be specific to this injury and the way he swings. He should not play if it affects his swing. But there is a difference between being defensive and accusing your employer of trying to cover up bad treatment and just being a guy who can't deal with this specific pain in a way that makes him effective. In a sense that makes him "soft" compared to other players. But that's no big deal. It is more a big deal (to me) that he seems to be trying to deflect blame. An injury is an injury, there is no reason to worry about blame, just about making it right.

Put it this way. If his quote read: "Well, I'm still in pain, something in my swing tweaked it and I don't feel comfortable" then I would be excoriating Mazz for writing this.

#19 mabrowndog


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE (smastroyin @ May 28 2010, 12:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The comment he made makes me think he is soft more than the missing time. Unless there is some really weird diagnosis I'm pretty sure any rib injury has essentially the same treatment. It has been 6 weeks since the injury, essentially. Unless he has a rib floating in space in his chest, 6 weeks seems on the surface like enough time for minor fractures or bruising to heal.
It took me two months after cracking three ribs just to able to move around without any major discomfort, and to sleep without propping my torso longitudinally at a 45-degree angle with extra pillows under my left side from head to toe. It was three months before I was completely pain free -- and I wasn't swinging a bat, throwing a ball, or chasing down flies.

I have no doubt whatsoever that his ribs haven't fully healed yet -- and I'm not just talking about the bones themselves, but also the surrounding cartillage and tissue. Unlike a broken limb, which bears no weight load and is kept immobilized as it heals, the rib cage expands and contracts with every breath. It's constantly moving. So anyone on the Sox who doubts his pain is legit is talking out of their ass.

However, I agree with others here that Jacoby needed to deflect the issue as "just one of those things, I might have aggravated it, hopefully I can get it figured out and get back on the field ASAP" rather than cast blame on team officials regardless of what he thinks of their diagnosis and treatment.

Edited by mabrowndog, 28 May 2010 - 01:12 PM.


#20 doc

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:12 PM

Misdiagnosis is probably not the right term either, he had a rib injury, the x-ray showed no fracture, a certain percent of those are going to be rib fractures you can't see on a plain film, a certain percent will be rib contusion/intercostal muscle strain. Treatment is pain control and activity as tolerated. The x-ray is as much to rule out a displaced fracture that could poke into your lung as to diagnose the fracture. The healing time is up to pain tolerance, I have some patients go back to work in a day, some go on short term disability. If Ellsbury feels that he was "misdiagnosed" he may be a bit paranoid now and doesn't trust the medical staff, I don't know them but if the didn't really educate Ellsbury during the initial evaluation that could be the problem here.

#21 Sprowl


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:43 PM

QUOTE (Myt1 @ May 28 2010, 09:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ellsbury is a speed player in a speed position. When he's dinged up his effectiveness is more greatly impacted than that of a first or third baseman who can limp a bit but still hit for power.

More than that, though, the Sox really should stop the whisper campaigns about their own. In addition to remembering Williamson and Clement, they should remember what drove Epstein out on vacation.

Yes, this season has been marked by anonymous comments, whisper campaigns and CHB-style hack jobs more than I can remember since the bad old days (pre-2004). It looks like Tito's customarily deft touch in dealing with players' egos hasn't been quite as deft with some of the newer additions.

QUOTE (donutogre @ May 28 2010, 10:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
EDIT: Looks like I'm in the minority here...

Nope, not really. I think Ellsbury's broken ribs may have been re-injured or aggravated on the diving catch he made in his first game back. It was quite a nice catch, and made me think, first, how nice it is to have Darnell McDonald out of centerfield, and second, that's gotta hurt. He dived, caught the ball, and landed on the right side of his rib cage. The fractures from the collision with Beltre were on the left side of his rib cage, but surely if one slams an enclosing structure like a rib cage on one side, the shock on the rest of the structure is going to hurt. I was surprised that he finished the game in the field, and not surprised to hear that he wasn't able to go the next day.

I agree with doc's surmise that the team's medical staff may not have communicated properly with Ellsbury about the uncertainty of diagnosis, the risks, and the course of treatment for the first injury. Either they didn't walk him through the possibilities, or they did, and he did not understand. It sounds like he's getting plenty of pressure to play hurt from the team, resents it, but wants to avoid direct criticism of Tito, and is taking it out on the medical staff. Tito doesn't seem to have a good feel for how to handle this player (at least).

Remembering how badly the 2008 wrist injury set back his hitting that season, I'm inclined to think Myt1 is right that Ellsbury does not function well at 80% health.

Is he "soft"? That sounds to me like customary macho sports fan braggadocio, and it says a lot more about the posters who use the term than about the player.

#22 Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

Perhaps doc can back me up on this one:

some course I took years back made it a point to distinguish between pain threshold and pain tolerance. (IIRC, as it's been 20+ years, but I always remembered it because I thought it was a really interesting concept) Threshold is the point where you simply become mentally aware of the discomfort (but you don't let it have a physical affect on what you're doing); tolerance is the point when the pain actually becomes PAIN and you let the mental aspect of it affect what you're doing physically (i.e., you can no longer 'suck it up'). And the two don't go hand in hand: you can have a low threshold, yet have a high tolerance.

Could very well be that Jacoby and the Sox are differing on the 'tolerance' point.

Edited by Omar's Wacky Neighbor, 28 May 2010 - 01:57 PM.


#23 iayork

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE (Sprowl @ May 28 2010, 02:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It sounds like he's getting plenty of pressure to play hurt from the team, resents it, but wants to avoid direct criticism of Tito, and is taking it out on the medical staff. Tito doesn't seem to have a good feel for how to handle this player (at least).


"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 if we can wait for guys always to be 100 percent or we won't ever be able to field a team. ... We try to be protective, but at the same time, we want guys to understand the responsibility that every game here is really a big deal."

Tito on Ellsbury, in 2008 (from Joy of Sox). That's the harshest criticism of a player I can ever remember Francona delivering.

Ellsbury responded to that pretty well -- I can't find his exact quote now, but it was something about how he'd been taught in the minors that he needs to heal completely, but that he now understood that in the majors you don't have that luxury. It was a definite mea culpa.

Then, Aug. 25 2008, after Ellsbury took a hit in the outfield, Tito said:
"The fact that he stayed in and played that game is - and it might be a little overdramatic - but I thought he grew up a little bit today," manager Terry Francona said. "I don't mean like he had to, but he understood where we were physically with the rest of our team and what he can do by staying in the game. I thought that was huge." (Boston.com)

OK, this is a compliment, but it's a pretty backhanded compliment that really comes across like criticism. He just grew up now, so he was acting like a baby before? Again, coming from Francona, this is harsh stuff.

Again, Ellsbury has been pretty evenhanded in his responses before. But today, if he really does still feel sore, he's got to be remembering that criticism and feeling defensive, expecting his manager to throw him under the bus again. I can really understand him offering a pre-emptive excuse.

Edited by iayork, 28 May 2010 - 02:32 PM.


#24 MHead81

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:38 PM

I don't understand the benefit that the front office would have by starting a "whisper campaign" against Ellsbury.

(a) Why would they want him to rush back if he really isn't healthy?
(b) Why would they want to make it public that they think he's soft if they really do think so?

It's not like this is a guy who's on a 5-year/$70 million guaranteed and unmovable contract and they want him to get out there and earn his money. (Not a dig at Drew, I just think he's the ideal comparison here.) In fact, they actually save money in arbitration next year the less productive he is so if they can win a bunch without him, there's even more motivation to be patient. With Boras as his agent, would the front office really need to remind him of this publicly? I don't think so. That said, it makes no sense that the front office would want him labelled as soft because then he's less tradeable if they want him gone, and I'm not saying they do, I'm just saying it doesn't add up. The only logic would be a smear campaign in the event that they are planning on dealing him in the near future, and I'm not saying that is the case by any means, I'm just saying there's no other benefit to the front office in making it public information that he's soft if they really feel that way. I'd start questioning the source of all this and try to figure out who actually has anything to gain by this, or who might've vented off the record while being frustrated at losing. I could see Pedroia doing this. I also agree with joe dokes that the medical staff would have something to gain since Ellsbury is making them look bad. Either way, I see no reason the front office would want this information out there if they really believed it.



#25 LoweTek

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:43 PM

QUOTE (Sprowl @ May 28 2010, 02:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nope, not really. I think Ellsbury's broken ribs may have been re-injured or aggravated on the diving catch he made in his first game back. It was quite a nice catch, and made me think, first, how nice it is to have Darnell McDonald out of centerfield, and second, that's gotta hurt. He dived, caught the ball, and landed on the right side of his rib cage. The fractures from the collision with Beltre were on the left side of his rib cage, but surely if one slams an enclosing structure like a rib cage on one side, the shock on the rest of the structure is going to hurt. I was surprised that he finished the game in the field, and not surprised to hear that he wasn't able to go the next day.
It's this. Between Browndog's post upthread and a review of the previous thread where those of us who have had this injury shared recovery experiences, I can't see how anyone would do anything but ridicule the implication of this article. As soon as I saw Ellsbury make this play, I knew the cycle would start over. There is no way from my experience with the injury, I could even imagine tolerating the pain from the trauma caused by making a diving catch so soon after the original injury. To Ellsbury's credit, he showed no reaction immediately afterward. This could be attributable to in-game adrenaline and nothing more. If his injury is anything close to mine that catch hurt like hell and he's fortunate if it didn't significantly worsen the condition. I couldn't believe he went for it. Good thing he got the message, played through pain and came back as soon as he did... If he was soft, he circles and lets that ball drop.

I'm with Ellsbury on this one. I'd be ripped at the medical staff too. Sure, don't say anything about it and take the high road. That is, right up until the same staff implies to your manager and apparently to your teammates as well that you're "soft." All bets are off after that. He's not soft. He's hurt.

#26 Myt1


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:51 PM

QUOTE (The Four Peters @ May 28 2010, 01:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not positive that's what is driving the article. I've heard Mazz on The Sport Hub speak to this a few times, and he made it perfectly clear that he got this impression by being around the clubhouse and speaking with other players. Sounds like some of the veterans were less than happy and threw around some idle gossip that Mazz stored away for future reference. Now that the situation has come up again, he's of the mind that where there's smoke there's fire.

Of course, the Sox FO could be driving it as well, but the way he spoke about it came from the perspective of "this was the sense I got around the clubhouse the last 2 years" not "this is what my source told me."


I didn't just mean the FO. A lot of the Williamson stuff was coming from the players as well, right?

(Not directed at you)

My main point is that the guy plays balls out, diving and exposing himself to injury (definitely owning a lot of that because of the routes he takes). Stealing bases at the rate he does tears up a body, too. His game is built on his speed, though. And that's one of the harder things to fight through. If he loses half a step due to the injury, how effective of a ballplayer is he really? Can he dive or slide headfirst with the injury he has? Is he likely to be guarding and get a compensation injury?

The Sox had two guys tough the team into downright awful defense at 3rd and catcher last season. Let the centerfielder heal up.

#27 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE
"I think they downplay it because they misdiagnosed it,'' Ellsbury said of the rib injury that has kept him out for the large majority of this season. "They said you treat it all the same way. Remember that comment? How do you treat a bruise the same as a break?"


I think there is huge danger in the way too much gets read into quotes like this. Ellsbury is almost certainly frustrated that he's had a setback. Things get said in the heat of the moment out of frustration that aren't really meant, or they come out the wrong way. The mediots and Internet weirdos like us then spend hours or days perseverating about the quote, wondering what it signifies about Jacoby's inner character. Add in the fact that baseball players are always the most articulate or media-savvy individuals in the world, and its easy to blow things out of proportion.

At the end of the day, if a player says he's hurt and can't perform, what else can you do? There's no test for pain other than "how do you feel today," right? Unless Ellsbury is really some sort of malingerer, this should be a non-issue. If he says he can't play, then he can't play, whether he's "hard" or "soft."

#28 sheshistory

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 28 2010, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It took me two months after cracking three ribs just to able to move around without any major discomfort, and to sleep without propping my torso longitudinally at a 45-degree angle with extra pillows under my left side from head to toe. It was three months before I was completely pain free -- and I wasn't swinging a bat, throwing a ball, or chasing down flies.

I have no doubt whatsoever that his ribs haven't fully healed yet -- and I'm not just talking about the bones themselves, but also the surrounding cartillage and tissue. Unlike a broken limb, which bears no weight load and is kept immobilized as it heals, the rib cage expands and contracts with every breath. It's constantly moving. So anyone on the Sox who doubts his pain is legit is talking out of their ass.

However, I agree with others here that Jacoby needed to deflect the issue as "just one of those things, I might have aggravated it, hopefully I can get it figured out and get back on the field ASAP" rather than cast blame on team officials regardless of what he thinks of their diagnosis and treatment.



This makes good sense.

The author of this article is making a huge leap in his statement "The Red Sox seem to wonder. And there is an indisputable disconnect between the team and its flashy center fielder." Why? Because he made a childish comment in frustration over being injured? The story isn't about a disconnect between Ellsbury and the team more than it is about how not to make an offhand comment to the press about a nagging injury.

I can see how there might be some discussion about Ellsbury wanting to play in top form, and not wanting to play through pain, since his numbers now will play a large part in dictating what he will make in the future however to dispute the legitimacy of the injury or, as Sprowl and others point out, how diving on sore ribs could very feasibly aggravate the injury, seems ludicrous.

So I guess put me down on the he's not soft, he's hurt category.


#29 sittingstill

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (trekfan55 @ May 28 2010, 04:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So who do we blame on the fact that Sox now lost Van Every?

Van Every's on the PawSox roster (on reserve), FWIW, outrighted May 26. Sox have 39 men on the 40-man by my count. I don't know if the same waiting periods for recalls apply to outrighting as to optioning.

#30 joyofsox


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:12 PM

Nothing much to add.

I also agree with donutogre that Mazz is flinging BS.

Mazz drops hints that Ellsbury "missed small chunks of time with various assorted ailments" in his rookie year of 2008 and in the minors he was a player who "required a great deal of, well, maintenance". And when Ellsbury says that he expects to deal with some discomfort in his ribs for the rest of this season, Mazz says that is nothing but "an alibi if he plays poorly".

Welcome to Boston, Ellsbury! You're a True Red Sox now! emot-buddy.gif

Theo has said many times he wants Sox players to be totally honest about how they feel and he would rather they stay out for some extra time to get healed rather than come back too soon and risk re-injury (and way more missed time).

If some Sox vets have an issue with it, they should take it up with the GM rather than whispering to CHB Jr.

Edited by joyofsox, 28 May 2010 - 04:15 PM.


#31 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:24 PM

No one knows how much discomfort he's feeling, and the team lost the high ground when they punted on his initial diagnosis.

The FO thinks he's soft, and that this will be a problem going forward? Trade him. In any case, STFU. You're alienating your player and driving down his trade value.

#32 EP Sox Fan

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:34 PM

One reaction that I had to all of this back and forth is that the FO and maybe to a lesser extent Tito don't like Ellsbury for whatever reason. Going back through Tito's quotes from 2008 and some of the stuff in the Mazz article reinforces that impression. I'm sure that they think he's a good player, perhaps even a dynamic player, but maybe they thinks he's above the team. It's almost like they are setting him up to be shipped off somewhere else in a trade a la Manny Ramirez. He's certainly popular enough with the fans that there would presumably be some backlash if he was traded off. Hence the whisper campaign.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this but if Tito doesn't really have your back, I don't think it's a good sign as to your standing with the team.

Edited by EP Sox Fan, 28 May 2010 - 04:34 PM.


#33 URI


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 28 2010, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It took me two months after cracking three ribs just to able to move around without any major discomfort, and to sleep without propping my torso longitudinally at a 45-degree angle with extra pillows under my left side from head to toe. It was three months before I was completely pain free -- and I wasn't swinging a bat, throwing a ball, or chasing down flies.

I have no doubt whatsoever that his ribs haven't fully healed yet -- and I'm not just talking about the bones themselves, but also the surrounding cartillage and tissue. Unlike a broken limb, which bears no weight load and is kept immobilized as it heals, the rib cage expands and contracts with every breath. It's constantly moving. So anyone on the Sox who doubts his pain is legit is talking out of their ass.


To be fair, you are part walrus, and in his 40's. Jacoby is a dreamy gazelle and his in mid-20s.

Or in other words...I broke 2 ribs when I was 17, and missed like 2 weeks of summer workouts, so Ellsbury is a pussy. Now that I'm almost 30, I hurt my back when I sneeze and spend the rest of the night alternating between laying on the floor, and laying on the bed, so Ellsbury is not a pussy.

Ellbury's comments make him seem frustrated that he's not 100%. Meanwhile, his 12-years-older-than-him hombre in center had an abdominal tear (which is, to use a medical term, motherfuck painful) and is back in the lineup without blaming the Red Sox for misdiagnosing when the Red Sox actually misdiagnosed him. Ellsbury isn't bouncing back quickly from this injury, which is frustrating, and I am loathe to make a character assessment based on that, but if Drew did what Ellsbury is doing you would get hours of painful listening on EEI and TSH, followed by the nether regions of the internet celebrating the day that paulftodd became their Glorious Leader.

Nancy Drew lol booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOO

#34 mabrowndog


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:57 PM

QUOTE (URI @ May 28 2010, 05:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be fair, you are part walrus, and in his 40's.
It was 9 years ago when I was 36. And I didn't even know I'd broken them after smacking down on the pavement. I kept playing parking lot football for another hour, went to the Pats game, and drank like a fish (i.e. not a pussy). It wasn't until the next night when I pushed off the armrest on the couch that I collapsed into the fetal position and began wailing in agony (i.e. a total pussy).

But you're spot-on with the walrus assessment.

#35 twoBshorty


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 05:39 PM

Has anyone pointed out his next set of comments? He definitely backtracked off blaming the medical staff:

QUOTE
On Thursday, Ellsbury tried to make clear that he did not find fault with the Sox’ medical staff for his initial diagnosis with a contusion (rather than a hairline fracture).

“It was just, originally, we thought it was just bruised ribs and it turned out to be four fractures. For an injury like that, you had to see it on an MRI or CT scan. It just takes a couple more evaluations. The symptoms just kept on going. It just took a little bit of time to see what was going on,” said Ellsbury. “I think everyone has my best interests [in mind]. Everybody wants you to play. I want to be out there playing.”


http://fullcount.wee...turn-its-tough/

I don't think he's soft. Maybe a bit whiny, but I think this injury was initially misdiagnosed and underestimated, and that created unrealistic expectations for his return and performance. As for his comments about the medical staff, he should have kept his mouth shut, but his frustration is understandable.

#36 Pumpsie


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 05:46 PM

I'm with Ellsbury and LoweTek on this. As soon as I saw Ellsbury's catch the other day, I KNEW he must have screwed up his ribs again. How could he NOT have?

Does this guy have the worst luck this year? His first game back and there's a ball where he has to decide to stretch out or punt and he went for it. I think that was a mistake, but he might have felt under pressure from Tito and management to go all out. Fractured ribs are a tough injury. Often, you can't breathe properly without pain. And everyone's injury is different and you can't know what kind of pain someone dealing with this injury is facing.

I also think that Tito is screwing this up a bit and should re-assess his attitude towards Ellsbury. Forced to choose between the two, I'd keep Ellsbury.

#37 mabrowndog


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 06:16 PM

Just heard Tito's comments on Josh Beckett's injury, and the juxtaposition with his earlier thoughts on Ellsbury was quite the contrast. He sounded annoyed, confused and impatient when discussing Jacoby, emphasizing in a shoulder-shrug tone of voice that "it depends on how he feels" while repeatedly stating that he "hopes it's quick."

Regarding Beckett, Francona's tenor conveyed far more caution and concern, driving home the point that the team "didn't want to rush him back" and that "the last thing we want is for this to linger on into the season."

I'm generally dismissive of attempts to read too much into the manner in which comments are delivered, and I'm usually forgiving when it comes to word choice. But there was no mistaking the night vs day, black vs white nature of how he views these two cases.

#38 luckysox


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Posted 28 May 2010 - 10:18 PM

QUOTE (twoBshorty @ May 28 2010, 06:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think he's soft. Maybe a bit whiny, but I think this injury was initially misdiagnosed and underestimated, and that created unrealistic expectations for his return and performance. As for his comments about the medical staff, he should have kept his mouth shut, but his frustration is understandable.

I think the perception to some decent fans and the whole WEEI crowd is the bolded part above. He DOES come off as whiny, which can be interpreted by some, including myself in my less classy moments, to be soft. I say in my head, "Cripes, here we go again. He's a little wimpy."

But he's not soft. He made that catch the other night and we all winced and none of us are so surprised now that he's back DL-ing it. It HAD to hurt.

But he's a Boras client, kind of a pretty boy, and he sounds whiny...and a thread is born.

I hope Cam holds up b/c I don't expect him back until after the All-Star break.

#39 reggiecleveland


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE (joe dokes @ May 28 2010, 11:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.

I dont think he's "soft", because I dont think "soft" players make it to the majors.


Trust me soft guys get there. I saw Pat Riley speak once and he said the problems of an NBA team were pretty much the same as a high school or college team. You have hard working guys who can't shoot, you have guys that can score but are (as he put it) "soft as butter" guys don't run back on D, etc. NHL players I know have stories about the wimpy excuses used by some guys to miss games. Almost all of the guys that are soft have talent that allows them to get away with it.

I don't know if Ellsbury is soft, I tend to agree with you he is a dimwit. But, he has the physical talent to get to the bigs and be soft. Could Gabe Kapler stay in the majors if he was soft? No. Pedroia, despite his exceptional talent with a bat probably wouldn't have got past Juco if he was soft. But Ellsbury has an easily measurable talent, speed, that gets him in the door every time. I happen to believe it is an ability that is grossly over rated, and that he is over rated. Francona's insistence on placing him (not to mention another "fast" guy Lugo) in the leadoff spot makes me think Tito values his speed a great deal. He could absolutely be a huge pussy and still be in the bigs. But I can't conclude that he is a pussy despite the fact I think he is over-rated.

#40 Pumpsie


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:39 PM

I think that there's a lot of whining about Ellsbury being done in this thread by people who have never had the misfortune of having fractured ribs. The guy is not an accountant. His work is physical and depends on lightning-quick responses to pitched and batted balls on the ML level.

I also think that Tito has his head up his own ass when it comes to Ellsbury and he better stop it because it's only hurting the team, not helping it. Part of Tito's job is getting the best out of each individual by treating his players AS individuals. He seems to be earning a big "fail" regarding his handling of Ellsbury here.

#41 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:54 PM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ May 29 2010, 02:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Trust me soft guys get there. I saw Pat Riley speak once and he said the problems of an NBA team were pretty much the same as a high school or college team. You have hard working guys who can't shoot, you have guys that can score but are (as he put it) "soft as butter" guys don't run back on D, etc. NHL players I know have stories about the wimpy excuses used by some guys to miss games. Almost all of the guys that are soft have talent that allows them to get away with it.

I don't know if Ellsbury is soft, I tend to agree with you he is a dimwit. But, he has the physical talent to get to the bigs and be soft. Could Gabe Kapler stay in the majors if he was soft? No. Pedroia, despite his exceptional talent with a bat probably wouldn't have got past Juco if he was soft. But Ellsbury has an easily measurable talent, speed, that gets him in the door every time. I happen to believe it is an ability that is grossly over rated, and that he is over rated. Francona's insistence on placing him (not to mention another "fast" guy Lugo) in the leadoff spot makes me think Tito values his speed a great deal. He could absolutely be a huge pussy and still be in the bigs. But I can't conclude that he is a pussy despite the fact I think he is over-rated.


The Ellsbury I see--who, I would note, is a far cry from my favorite player--runs into walls, dives for balls, and otherwise does not appear to take plays off. I could turn the whole "he should be back by now" argument on it's head by suggesting he's back on the DL because he came back too soon, and I have just as much data on my side. Which is to say, none.

Pedey didn't get to the bigs because he's "tough;" he made it because he's got other-worldly hand-eye coordination, works hard and is a very smart player (my first impression of him at Pawtucket wasn't that he was a good hitter, it was that he knew where he needed to be on the field at every freaking second of every freaking play). There's no reason to believe he made it because he's more willing to play through injuries than Ellsbury. Nor is there any reason to believe that Ellsbury made it simply because he's fast. He's more or less putting up the numbers at the ML level that rational people would have expected given his minor league career. I don't think his career is going to age particularly well, but he's doing his job, in spite of the fact that his actual baseball skill set isn't particularly strong.

Also, I'm extremely skeptical of the notion that you can get to the highest level in any sport if you're "soft." There are a very small number of ML jobs available, you don't get one by accident, and you sure as shit don't get one just because you're fast. I would assume that Riley was speaking in a relative sense or, as he is sometimes wont to do, talking out of his ass.

#42 reggiecleveland


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE (P'tucket, rhymes with... @ May 29 2010, 01:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Ellsbury I see--who, I would note, is a far cry from my favorite player--runs into walls, dives for balls, and otherwise does not appear to take plays off. I could turn the whole "he should be back by now" argument on it's head by suggesting he's back on the DL because he came back too soon, and I have just as much data on my side. Which is to say, none.

Pedey didn't get to the bigs because he's "tough;" he made it because he's got other-worldly hand-eye coordination, works hard and is a very smart player (my first impression of him at Pawtucket wasn't that he was a good hitter, it was that he knew where he needed to be on the field at every freaking second of every freaking play). There's no reason to believe he made it because he's more willing to play through injuries than Ellsbury. Nor is there any reason to believe that Ellsbury made it simply because he's fast. He's more or less putting up the numbers at the ML level that rational people would have expected given his minor league career. I don't think his career is going to age particularly well, but he's doing his job, in spite of the fact that his actual baseball skill set isn't particularly strong.

Also, I'm extremely skeptical of the notion that you can get to the highest level in any sport if you're "soft." There are a very small number of ML jobs available, you don't get one by accident, and you sure as shit don't get one just because you're fast. I would assume that Riley was speaking in a relative sense or, as he is sometimes wont to do, talking out of his ass.


Did you even read what I wrote?

I didn't say anything about Ellsbury being soft, I even went as far to say, despite feeling he is over-rated

I said it was possible to get to the majors and be soft. especially if you have an obvious skill. Pedroia's talent is less obvious than Ellsbury's. I am huge proponent that Pedroia is not successful for any reason than his talent,in fact I believe he underachieves by expanding the strike zone. But he had to prove people wrong because he was small and it takes time to see his talent with the bat.

Christ I hate when people put words in my mouth. I never fucking said he only made it because he was fast, I said it opened door and possibly made people over-rate him.

And there are not that many guys with talent to play. It doesn't matter how many jobs there are. So many people think it is like some job you apply for, that there are 500 guys for every job. It doesn't matter how many people. How many people can throw over 90mph, are 7 feet tall, can run 4.3? Now that you have picked that tiny amount. Can they throw strikes with a 2nd pitch, can the footer, run catch a ball, understand a team game, can the guy with a 4.3 catch the a ball, run a pattern, get his weight over 200lb?

So you end up with a tiny number of guys with ability, and of those their are varying degrees of toughness.

And out of that maybe 200 guys on earth there are some with way more talent than the others and they get more leeway.

Ellsbury is an amazing talent. He isn't just fast, he's really blazing fast, and he has shown he can hit big league pitching. There are maybe 10 guys on earth like that. He has the physical tools to be superstar. So if, I said IF he was soft it would be stupid to not give him a break and keep him around and hope he gets tougher.

Look at the deficiencies of any guy of the AAA guys that come up when somebody gets hurt. Christ you can tell the difference between Atchinson and an average big leaguer on TV. If you are a soft ass whiner but do the job when you are on the field, if you are good enough you hang around.

QUOTE
I would assume that Riley was speaking in a relative sense


No shit Sherlock. And what the fuck is this thread about? Are we comparing Ellsbury to ourselves? I don't see it, other than people saying when they broke their ribs it was awful. It is relative to his teammates.


#43 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE (reggiecleveland @ May 29 2010, 04:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did you even read what I wrote?


Yeah, I read what you wrote. It was an irrelevant diatribe about how overrated you think Ellsbury is in a thread about whether he's "soft" or not. My big mistake was trying to sort out your mishmash of "soft," speed and the fact that you think he's overrated, and to address the "soft" issue which is, Sherlock, what the thread is about.

If you think he's overrated, start a thread about it.

Edited by P'tucket, rhymes with..., 29 May 2010 - 08:16 PM.


#44 mabrowndog


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Posted 29 May 2010 - 08:15 PM

Not for nothing, but "No shit, Sherlock" is still one of the 10 funniest retorts in the English language.

#45 Archer1979


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:23 AM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 28 2010, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It took me two months after cracking three ribs just to able to move around without any major discomfort, and to sleep without propping my torso longitudinally at a 45-degree angle with extra pillows under my left side from head to toe. It was three months before I was completely pain free -- and I wasn't swinging a bat, throwing a ball, or chasing down flies.


Testify Brother Dog!

I fractured a rib last year and it took me about six weeks before I felt close to functional as a soccer coach and that's only jogging and practicing with the players. Depending on the collateral damage you do to yourself, you are limited in many ways. In my case, I also ripped a ribcage muscle. Simple things like rolling over in bed are adventures, not only from the pain, but from the fact that the muscles that support the activity just aren't there. Nasty stuff.

That being said, deserved or not, Ellsbury's got the rep. Its up to him whether to combat it or not. JD Drew had that rep, I don't think its hurt his career that much. As a fan, the key questions I have are:

Is an 80% Ellsbury is better than a 100% Darnell McDonald? If the answer to that is yes, will Ellsbury playing cause more damage? Based on my experience, and minor setbacks, he might want to wait for this to be pain-free.








#46 Worst Trade Evah


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 09:14 AM

Bill James had a wonderful essay in the 1980s or 1990s about Danny Tartabull, where he said that every man is the conservator of his own talent. It's just not appropriate to second-guess what someone is feeling in their body, or how they feel about their ability to play effectively. The Sox messed up communicating with Ellsbury -- at least -- and to question him now just seems pretty wrong. Leave him alone, let him heal, and let him come back when he's ready. I love Tito, but he's dead-wrong to be putting any idea out there in the public that Ellsbury is soft, whether or not he thinks its true.

(Can anyone remember where exactly that James essay occurs, by the way? It's a great one, but I haven't been able to locate it yet and am just going off memory here.)

edit: well, in looking for it, I did stumble on an indirectly related essay James wrote in the 1990 Baseball Book, titled "All Those Damned Injuries". Great essay, but more a correction of the perception that modern players are soft compared to the tough warriors of yesterday. He pointed out the 1949 Yankees roster was littered with injuries of all sorts that caused players to lose time -- 71 of them, and then runs through some injury histories of great and would-be great players. He notes the irony of Don Zimmer complaining about players out with injuries -- when Zimmer himself had a career shortened by injury. Anyway, this site has a nice index of James's publications.

Edited by Worst Trade Evah, 30 May 2010 - 09:27 AM.


#47 Dick Pole Upside

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE (mabrowndog @ May 28 2010, 07:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just heard Tito's comments on Josh Beckett's injury, and the juxtaposition with his earlier thoughts on Ellsbury was quite the contrast. He sounded annoyed, confused and impatient when discussing Jacoby, emphasizing in a shoulder-shrug tone of voice that "it depends on how he feels" while repeatedly stating that he "hopes it's quick."

Regarding Beckett, Francona's tenor conveyed far more caution and concern, driving home the point that the team "didn't want to rush him back" and that "the last thing we want is for this to linger on into the season."

I'm generally dismissive of attempts to read too much into the manner in which comments are delivered, and I'm usually forgiving when it comes to word choice. But there was no mistaking the night vs day, black vs white nature of how he views these two cases.

I agree that the contrast was notable. However I think it's pretty misguided, imo.

Beckett is clearly one of Tito's favorites. Francona holds him in reverance, which I guess is fine given that Francona often cites the "example" that Beckett provides for the pitchers in terms of intensity, preparation, and leadership.

But the Sox are now taking the kid gloves treatment with Beckett and his injury, and he's headed for a 3-4 week vacation for an undetermined muscle pull in his back. "Be careful! If he compensates for the back he might hurt the arm or shoulder!!!"... and yet the Sox are questioning the toughness of Ellsbury and his four broken ribs.



Heck, here's a cherry-picked picture of Beckett (Soft as a sneaker full of sh*t!) and one of Jake (Jake sounds tougher than Jacoby, and he's obviously NAILS!)

I know it's a hypothetical, but I'm sure if someone asked Beckett which he'd rather have... a muscle spasm in his back or four broken ribs, he'd probably laugh. Speculating on the "mental make-up" of a pitcher or a centerfielder and using that as a determining factor around the severity of a diagnosed anatomical injury is stupid.

Not soft.

#48 donutogre

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:24 PM

Can we get a ban on posting that picture of Beckett? He's in the middle of one of the most unnatural things a human body does in the sporting world, contorting his whole body, while Ellsbury looks like he's posing for a picture.

I understand Beckett's conditioning may be up for debate right now, but that's not what the thread is about, and a 2+ year old picture adds nothing to this discussion.

#49 Blacken


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE (donutogre @ May 30 2010, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can we get a ban on posting that picture of Beckett? He's in the middle of one of the most unnatural things a human body does in the sporting world, contorting his whole body, while Ellsbury looks like he's posing for a picture.

I understand Beckett's conditioning may be up for debate right now, but that's not what the thread is about, and a 2+ year old picture adds nothing to this discussion.

He's making a point with it, and a pretty good one. Beckett has on multiple occasions been less than 100% when he shows up to camp (and he's not the one with this "Ellsbury is soft" shit, so I'm not really faulting him for it), and I don't care how the dude's contorting, he's got a gut. Him being held up so highly by the RSFO, and Ellsbury getting shit on for having broken ribs, is really kind of weird. Neither is a good barometer for gauging a player's mental makeup, and that was what he was getting at.

Edited by Blacken, 30 May 2010 - 02:13 PM.


#50 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE (Archer1979 @ May 30 2010, 07:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is an 80% Ellsbury is better than a 100% Darnell McDonald? If the answer to that is yes, will Ellsbury playing cause more damage? Based on my experience, and minor setbacks, he might want to wait for this to be pain-free.

A 100% healthy but less talented athlete will out-perform a sick or injured but more talented athlete almost all of the time. People don't GET that. The competition amoung players for a place on a MLB roster is so fierce, that the reality is the next guy down the line isn't that much inferior. When the MLB roster guy's performance is compromised by injury or illness - the next guy down is generally a better performance choice.

QUOTE
Like officials from many teams, some in Sox management believe that Boras discourages his players from taking the field at something less than 100 percent because it would affect their performance on the field and, therefore, leverage in negotiations.

God forbid a player prioritize playing under conditions which would maximize their on-field performance. Wouldn't want a high performing athlete to help you win games, because he might wind up making more money, after all.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 30 May 2010 - 02:33 PM.