The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 11, 2013

Ellsbury is a businessman in the outfield

Jacoby Ellsbury’s jump from historic Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium will hit some Red Sox fans as an act of treachery. Players might say it’s about the rings and banners that are all but assured to those who play in the Bronx. But, in Ellsbury’s case, it’s about the Benjamins, a calculation that makes sense.

Ellsbury reportedly will get $153 million for seven years work for the Yankees. That obviously appealed to him in the short term — but there had to be long-term considerations, as well.

A friend who played professional basketball once explained to me the three stages of his athletic career: High school was about having fun. College ball was a job. The pros were all business.

What seemed like a harsh assessment at the time has proven true as I’ve seen players come and go. Fans see the glamour of a celebrated player’s life, but athletes in the spotlight — like Ellsbury — must know their fame is fleeting, even as obligations and expectations will surely persist.

For the Yankees, signing Ellsbury was undoubtedly a short-term move. They needed to get fans excited for the 2014 season, especially after missing the playoffs for only the second time since 1994. What better way than steal the darling of the Red Sox’s world championship team?

Ellsbury brings excitement to a team in need of good news. He’s a capable outfielder who batted .298 last year and produced a .355 on-base percentage. Hitting from the left side should help him clear the short right-field fence in Yankee Stadium more often than he did in Boston, where he had nine round-trippers in 2013.

If Ellsbury stays healthy, the Yankees should benefit from his speed. The fleet former American League all-star stole 52 bases last season.

The down side is that Ellsbury is susceptible to injuries. He played in 134 games for the Red Sox last summer. That makes the Yankees’ offer of a seven-year deal more than a stretch for someone who may have already seen his best days.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Walter Williams mug Wage discrimination everywhere 'President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community College provides good, affordable education The people of the Clinton area can be very proud of their outstanding educational services starting with pre-school through the 12th grade. In addition we have Clinton Community College, which provides two more years of education with preparation for

    April 24, 2014

  • Will Illinois school aid formula get a makeover? People in Illinois hear a lot about schools not getting enough funding from the state, but not much about an effort afoot in Springfield to develop a fairer way to distribute the money. Whether Senate Bill 16, the School Funding Reform Act, can achie

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook