The two titans of baseball are set to clash once again. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play a 4-game series this weekend and over the off-season, the Yankees poured more fuel onto the fire that is baseball’s greatest rivalry. In classic Yankees’ style, the Bombers stole away the Red Sox star center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, on a huge 7-year deal worth $153 million dollars. Ellsbury is the most recent star to switch sides in the historic rivalry and now it’s time to face the team he was a part of for 7 successful seasons. He won two World Series with the Sox in 2007 and 2013 while turning himself into one of baseball’s most elite outfielders. Ellsbury has been on a hot streak lately and he’ll be looking to make an impact against his former team.
I’m looking forward to it, but it’s just really another game…But I’m definitely looking forward to it. I try not to get into an emotional roller coaster. That’s just each and every game. A good amount of time, a good portion of my life I spent with that organization. I gave them everything I had. I left it all on the field.
The Yankees are hoping that he can beat up on Boston like he used to beat up on them. Yankees-Red Sox games are usually long and are known for their intensity and excitement. Ellsbury is one of baseball’s most dynamic players and he always added a degree of excitement to the historic match ups. Now that he’s flying Yankee colors it may give him some added motivation to outplay his old team. Switching sides is an odd experience as guys like Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs, and Roger Clemens will tell you. It’s strange to see your old teammates playing against you while sporting your old uniform. Ellsbury, normally a player with nerves of steel, will hopefully transform his feelings into big time numbers during this series and beyond.
Manager Joe Girardi said, “I think it’ll be interesting for him. My thought process is, it’ll be a little bit more interesting when we go there.”
I’d put good money on that. Red Sox fans are not a particularly forgiving bunch and they’ll likely let Ellsbury hear it when he returns to Fenway Park for the first time. Playing in Yankee Stadium in front of a friendlier crowd should allow him to focus on the game rather than his emotions. It’s game time! Yankees play the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium as baseball’s greatest rivalry is renewed! Play Ball!