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BOSTON — To honor one of their all-time greats, the Red Sox brought in an all-time terrible Yankees acquisition.
Jacoby Ellsbury, wearing a Red Sox jersey, joined his Boston teammates Mike Lowell and Tim Wakefield as well as all-time Bosox greats Pedro Martinez and Luis Tiant to salute Dustin Pedroia, who formally retired earlier this year after barely playing in 2018 and 2019 and not at all last year.
Following the ceremony, at Fenway Park before the Yankees and Red Sox faced off, Ellsbury walked by the Yankees dugout and exchanged handshakes with manager Aaron Boone, outfield coach Reggie Willits and first baseman Luke Voit, none of whom he actually played with in a game, and hugged catcher Gary Sanchez.
Ellsbury’s promising career, like Pedroia’s, hit a roadblock of injuries. Ellsbury, however, suffered more of a smorgasbord of ailments, whereas Pedroia suffered a traumatic left knee injury in 2017 when colliding with Manny Machado, then with the Orioles. Ellsbury, who left the Red Sox for a seven-year, $153-million deal with the Yankees following Boston’s 2013 championship season, didn’t play after 2017 and put up numbers representative of his Red Sox run only in 2014. The Yankees released him following the 2019 season and declined to pay him for 2020, accusing Ellsbury of getting unauthorized medical treatments. As of a few months ago, the matter remain unsettled.
Ellsbury and Pedroia won Red Sox rings together in 2007 as well as 2013.
“Me and Ells were tight,” Pedroia said following the ceremony. “He hit in front of me all the time and we had some conversations that were legendary. We kind of came up together, pushed each other. He meant a lot to me. His family does, too. He’s a great guy.”
Ellsbury couldn’t be tracked down for comment.
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