Jacoby Ellsbury has never been a favorite in his time on the New York Yankees. However, right now he’s providing the most valuable lesson for rookies.
Jacoby Ellsbury was a thorn in the side of the New York Yankees when he was in Boston. He seems to have continued being that thorn, this time from the inside-out.
The “Chief” was brought to the Bronx to serve as an incredible center fielder, one who could help carry the team to a World Series. So far, he’s just been eating away $153 million while withering away on the bench.
But not as of late. As of right now, Jacoby Ellsbury has been worth every penny of his incredibly inflated contract. He’s currently working on a five-game hitting streak and batting .394 since Aug. 26.
But it wasn’t always that way for Ellsbury. The at-bats never came easy, especially with other players outperforming him at every turn. He has waited patiently and pounced when this recent opportunity arrived.
Ellsbury did something that not many players can do. He was a big star in Boston and has struggled in New York. Regardless of what has happened and his past statistics, Ellsbury shut his mouth and played the game until something went his way.
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No excuses, no bad mouthing. Ellsbury just put his head down and worked through it. The circumstances weren’t in his favor but he continued on until he was given a second chance to be a starter.
How humiliating must it have been to be demoted to a bench player and pinch-runner when you’re making $153 million to be in pinstripes. The reality of that, after being a star for years in Boston, had to have been incredibly frustrating for Ellsbury.
But he worked through it and look at him now. He is back to starting in the outfield and making a huge impact with his bat for the Yankees.
Jacoby Ellsbury (Navajo) smashes a 3-run shot to right, breaking the tie and putting the Yankees up 4-1 on his 7th home run of the season. pic.twitter.com/BrxSSXSVJ0
— NDNSPORTS.COM (@ndnsports) August 27, 2017
He is showing young players firsthand how to handle rejection and disappointments. At some point in their young careers, they will likely be benched for one reason or another.
This serves as a lesson for young players to pick up on. When things don’t go your way, you put your head down, work hard and be ready for your next opportunity.
Ellsbury could have lashed out, spoken out to the media about how he didn’t deserve to be demoted. However, he took the news with a grain of salt and went with it.
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And that’s how he got to where he was today. Had he demonstrated a completely different attitude when he turned into pinch-runner extraordinaire, he might not be as impressive as he’s been recently. If he let it all go to his head, Ellsbury’s disappointments from the bench would translate to disappointment on the field…again.
No, Ellsbury is not the vocal, spirited leader that the Yankees have seen in the past. However quiet he may be, his performance and attitude speaks volumes about the right way to play the game.
The Yankees want to win. Jacoby Ellsbury wants to win. And when he’s not performing up to par, he knows he’s capable of far more. And we’ve certainly seen that in his past.
Ellsbury isn’t my first choice to be a leader. However, the way he handled his recent demotion and, now, current surge shows that rookies might just learn a thing or two besides how to steal bases from the center fielder.