We hear time and again that all of these transactions, trades and switching between teams boil down to MLB being "a business." Still, Jacoby Ellsbury made it personal for one final act in Boston, and he did it in the best way possible.
Thanks to the following tweet from The Boston Globe, we get to see what saying your fond farewells to an entire Red Sox Nation looks like:
It's short, sweet and classy.
This wild offseason has seen Prince Fielder change uniforms and home-plate collisions take a back seat to safety. Amid the upheaval, a Boston Red Sox player decided it was time to move on and chose to don the garb of a hated rival.
Ellsbury is hardly the first athlete to take out a full-page ad to thank his former fans, and he isn't the first Sox star to leave for the pinstripes and the twinkle of green that comes with playing in New York.
On Dec. 4, The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham reported that Ellsbury would be leaving for New York on a seven-year deal worth $153 million, reminding us that Johnny Damon recently paved that way when he had a similar departure back in 2005.
Sure, the sting might wear off after the wounds of a familiar face now wearing the enemy's jersey linger for a season or two, but a classy gesture like this should go a long way.
Clean-shaven and wearing a Yankees uniform, Ellsbury made the transaction far more real on Friday. Boston.com reports the outfielder was finally introduced to New York media. He said, "I’m proud to be a New York Yankee."
The 30-year-old who batted .298 last season continued, "From the get go, the Yankees showed a great interest and showed that they really wanted me."
However, he would later find room to throw another shout out to Red Sox faithful:
[I have] nothing but great things to say about my old team. I’m just truly honored to be here. I know the rivalry being in the AL East, it’s just going to be an exciting time; I’m just happy to put on this jersey and hat.
Johnny Damon, via MLB.com, offered his own unique take back in early December:
The good thing is Jacoby brought two World Series championships to Boston, and he's a heck of a player. It just seems like he's finding a way to stay healthy, and he's going to be awesome for New York. Unfortunately for Boston fans, this is kind of what happens sometimes.
As much as your heart belonged to Boston and everything, it comes down to being a business. Unfortunately, we're part of that. I wish him the best and, yeah, it's pretty crazy.
There's that business line again.
Well, the Red Sox proved they can handle that part of the sport, winning three World Series titles in this young century with two of them coming in the last six years.
We all know someone else will step into Ellsbury's role or craft a new one that resonates well with fans. Before he fully embraced this "business" side of the sport, Ellsbury decided to make it personal one more time before the boos in Fenway officially start.
He knows it's never too late to doff his cap to a job well done and some priceless memories that will linger well after retirement.
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