Ellsbury to New York, Part Three: Rivarly resumed

Ellsbury to New York, Part Three: Rivarly resumed
December 4, 2013, 11:00 am
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The third of five thoughts, after a most busy day, about the fallout from Jacoby Ellsbury leaving the Red Sox to sign a seven-year, $153 million deal with the New York Yankees.

Thought Three:  Last year, it seemed it took Ryan Dempster's beaning of Alex Rodriguez to stir the juices of the the dormant Red Sox-Yankee rivalry. Next season, the rivalry won't need any artificial sweeteners.

It will be in full play in the ninth game of the season when the Red Sox travel to New York for a four-game series with the Yanks. And it will truly heat up on April 22, when Jacoby Ellsbury returns to Fenway for the first time as a member of the Yankees.

Remember all the drama that came with Johnny Damon returning to Fenway in pinstripes? Get ready for more of that . . . in spades.

Once again, the debate will rage: Is Ellsbury a traitor for signing with the Yanks, after spending the last seven seasons with the Red Sox?

That's a ridiculous assertion, of course. As if we needed further proof, baseball is the embodiment of big business and it will be foolhardy to suggest otherwise. Why should Ellsbury not make the most he can? Through free agency, he earned the right to determine where and for whom he would work. That's the essence of the free-market, capitalist system.

But that won't stop some from sliming Ellsbury.

His presence in the Bronx will, however, rekindle some of the rivalry which has dissipated in recent years. The Red Sox and Yankees haven't met in the postseason since their epic 2004 ALCS clash.

Failing a repeat of that, a star player switching teams is the next best thing.

If you though that Yankees-Red Sox games were too frequent on Fox and ESPN, just you wait.

Coming up next, in a few hours: The biggest difficulty the Red Sox face in replacing Ellsbury is not his defense, but his on-base ability.