Boston Red Sox

Ellsbury 'comfortable' with Red Sox

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Ellsbury 'comfortable' with Red Sox

ANAHEIM -- If, as has been widely speculated, the Red Sox want to discuss a contract extension for outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury this winter, Ellsbury is more than willing to listen.
Scott Boras, the agent for Ellsbury, has a track record of advising players to wait for free agency rather than agree to contract extensions with their current team, believing that players benefit from having more teams bid.
But Boras said nothing is absolute and the decision will be up to Ellsbury.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the player's service time,'' said Boras, "or whether or not he's a free agent. I've done deals for players with four years or five years service time, or before free agency. I did one with (Greg) Maddux in Atlanta. We were able to have a meeting of the minds about what his free agent value would be and we got (a deal) without free agency.
"I don't use anything as a bar. I just look at a situation, evaluate it, communicate with the team and go from there.''
Having missed most of 2010 and half of this season with injuries, Ellsbury's durability may become an issue, both in negotiations with the Red Sox or with others if he elects to wait for free agency.
But Boras isn't concerned that teams will see his client as brittle.
"Players are accountable for what their bodies do,'' said Boras. "They're not accountable for impact injuries. In Jacoby's case, he's had a player fall on him (Ben Zobrist) and a player run into him (Adrian Beltre). That's freakish behavior. It has nothing to do with Jacoby Ellsbury's durability. He's a very sound athlete and his body is fit and he plays much younger than his chronological age.
"So in the game, I don't think anybody's worried about the durability of Jacoby Ellsbury. The only factor, when you get into all those things, is that when you evaluate players, you may have less statistical (data with which to judge a player). The durability is defined by a player's performance and his ability to withstand (injuries) when he plays.''
Speculation also has Ellsbury interested in playing closer to home on the West Coast, and perhaps in a less intrusive market. But Boras said Ellsbury isn't uncomfortable in Boston.
"Jacoby was raised (as a player) in Boston,'' he said. "Boston's comfortable. It's a place where he knows how to play. I think it's much harder for players raised outside of Boston to play there. When a player is raised there, there's a value to that.
"When fans are raised in other organization and then come to Fenway, there's a 'wow' factor. And that's a good thing. But it's not the norm. For a guy like Jacoby, I think there's a real value point for the team to know that someone fits so well in Boston.''

MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

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MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball umpires have ended their protest of what they called "abusive player behavior" after Commissioner Rob Manfred offered to meet with their union's governing board.

Most umpires wore white wristbands during Saturday's games after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez. Kinsler said Tuesday that Hernandez was a bad umpire and "just needs to go away."

The World Umpires Association announced Sunday in a series of tweets that Manfred had proposed a meeting to discuss its concerns.

"To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wrist bands pending the requested meeting," the organization posted on Twitter.

Kinsler was ejected by Hernandez last Monday in Texas after being called out on strikes. The next day, Kinsler sharply criticized Hernandez, saying the umpire was "messing" with games "blatantly."

"No, I'm surprised at how bad an umpire he is. ... I don't know how, for as many years he's been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line," Kinsler said.

Kinsler was fined, but the umpires' union felt he should have been suspended.

"The Office of the Commissioner's lenient treatment to abusive player behavior sends the wrong message to players and managers. It's `open season' on umpires, and that's bad for the game," the WUA said in a release on Saturday.