Boston has always been a town that specializes in building up stars and then tearing them down. But usually that cycle takes many years, precipitated by a bitter contract dispute. Not so with Ellsbury, who won't even be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. ...It is always refreshing to see some sanity in the Boston sports media. However, I noticed that Swidey did not mention how this sorry saga began: a hit piece penned by his Globe colleague, Tony Massarotti, back on May 28.
While other injured players drew sympathy, the scorn for "soft" Ellsbury grew louder on talk radio, in the sports pages, and on the blogs that featured Ellsbury's face photo-shopped onto images of women in dresses. It didn't help when unnamed members of the Sox organization apparently raised their eyebrows about him behind the scenes ...
[B]efore booing Ellsbury out of town, consider Clay Buchholz. After the young pitcher's stomach-churning performance in one stretch of 2008 -– 0-6 and 8.19 ERA over eight starts -– many of the same critics who've been riding Ellsbury were writing off Buchholz, saying it was foolish to keep this one-no-hit-wonder. Funny how none of them are bringing that up this year as they campaign for Buchholz to be the next Cy Young Award winner.
Swidey simply notes that the scorn for Ellsbury "grew louder on talk radio, in the sports pages, and on the blogs". It is as if the scorn and derision simply appeared one day -- poof! out of nowhere! -- and set about infesting the Boston media and then moving on to the fan base (who were, naturally, helpless to resist).
As I have said before, I know of no news story that ever questioned Ellsbury's work/play ethic before Mazz's May 28 column. Not one. Not when he was in the minors (though Mazz hinted at that) and not during his first 2.5 seasons in Boston. I have asked both here and at Sons of Sam Horn for copies of (or even quotes from) any such articles. No one has come forward with anything.
Does Swidey know how this depressing turn of events was created? I doubt it. Even most serious fans could not pinpoint its genesis. And even if he did and wanted to include it, I'm sure that his editor would consider pointing out that all of this crap sprung from a Globe employee's hatchet job to be the height of impoliteness.
Better to let everyone assume it was just one of those strange, unexplainable things that happen from time to time.