Jacoby Ellsbury was classier than the fans who booed him

The New York Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury gestured to fans at Fenway Park Tuesday.

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New York Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury gestured to fans at Fenway Park Tuesday.


Jacoby Ellsbury was a key contributor to two World Series championships; in 2011, the chicken-and-beer year in which many players were perceived to have quit on the team, Ellsbury almost single-handedly kept the Sox above water. When he became a free agent last year, the Red Sox wanted to keep him, but, by most reports, many teams outbid them. Ellsbury did what most players do, and went with the best offer — in this case, from the New York Yankees. But he made a classy exit, thanking the Boston fans and signaling that he’d always feel a part of the city and the Red Sox. But when he returned to Fenway Park on Tuesday night, the fans booed him. Perhaps that’s just a function of the Sox-Yankees rivalry. But it was rude and ungrateful, nonetheless.

Last season, the Red Sox demonstrated how team chemistry and a sense of character can elevate a team and the city around it. The fans, who quickly banished their bad memories of the previous two seasons, did their own part to extend the good feeling. This year’s team is off to a slower start, but fans should remember that they, too, have a role in creating a winning aura, for the team and the city. Tuesday’s churlishness was a bad sign.

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