By Terry Benish

Special to The Sports Paper


The Boston Red Sox are in the American League Championship series soon to commence against Detroit or Oakland and today writer Ken Rosenthal pushed a story that Jacoby Ellsbury, the very nice centerfielder of the Red Sox, would sign with the Mariners.

Ellsbury supposedly is to make a bunch of money for seven years with the Mariners. The timing of the story seems pretty ripe, that is smelly, given where the Red Sox find themselves.

Also, Jack Zduriencik does not talk to Rosenthal, given Rosenthal’s phony stories about Felix Hernandez to the Yankees, which began as talks were underway and morphed to talks ought to be underway.

So it is doubtful Ellsbury would talk to him and disclose a deal. Besides, Ellsbury’s agent is Scott Boras and normally relationships between the Mariners and Scott Boras involve him using the Mariners as a stalking horse to get somebody to bid more for his client.

Alex Rodriguez and Texas’s John Hicks were our first example of that and two winters ago it was reprised with Prince Fielder.

So it is very doubtful Boras would commit such a faux pas, because Ellsbury’s teammates are likely to be upset about this, and rightly so as they try to take care of business.

TJ Simers, a very old school and curmudgeonly writer for the Los Angeles Times, called out Jon Paul Morosi, a former writer for the Seattle P-I, for tweeting a story that Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto were at each other’s throat and one or both were gone. Turns out neither are gone and a couple of Scioscia’s coaches are. Simers called for clarification on Morosi’s sources and now Morosi is quiet.

Simers does not suffer fools an iota. He is a unilateral shredder of bologna and those that spew bologna.

Ellsbury is a very nice offensive centerfielder. I have a neat little way of looking at that, which does not involve some fancy equation, and it is consistent. You sum every base, singles, walks, HBP, each extra base for doubles, triples and home runs, net stolen bases and subtract double plays and you have the total bases a hitter accumulated.

If you want you can divide that by plate appearances and have a neat little number. It is a little finer than OPS, but shows scale a little better.

Anyway in the American League, Mike Trout who played enough centerfield to be in the discussion, accumulated 390 bases this past summer. That’s a terrific number for anyone, and especially for a centerfielder.

Ellsbury had 286, over a 100 less yet still in the good area, but not great. He’s just ahead of Adam Jones at 282. Michael Saunders by way of comparison had 181, which had him 12th in the American League.

Defensively, I stay away from the published stat of DWAR due to its use of the flawed Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). Range factor captures how many balls a guy gets to, while UZR purports to capture how many balls a player should get to via some algorithm applied to video. I don’t buy it.

Neither Ellsbury nor Saunders have terrific range, 2.65 to 2.54 as contrasted to Coco Crisp of the A’s at 3.03 and Brandon Barnes at 3.02.

Saunders’ throwing compared to Ellsbury’s are ok with Saunders probably a bit better. Dustin Ackley was below both Ellsbury and Saunders in terms of range factor and may have the worst arm out there in all of the American League.

So let’s wrap up. The Ellsbury to the Mariner story probably holds less water than an old sieve. If he were to come here, he will be an ok to good offensive centerfielder. Nine home runs, eight triples and 31 doubles and he walks a little bit such that his on bag at .355 is ok.

Ellsbury runs well, with 52 stolen bases and only four caught stealing. First to home has got to be good too.

He’s a nice player. Not a Cadillac, but still nice.

There are no Griffey’s available, nor are there any in the minors.

The dollars in the story were seven years at $21 million per year. Ellsbury just turned 30 and I suspect those numbers might be rich for the Ms.