Speaking to reporters in Toronto, Kevin Youkilis — who clearly played hurt Wednesday night in Tampa Bay — said he and his teammates wish Ellsbury was with them.
“The one thing I say,” Youkilis said, “is there’s a lot of guys here that are hurt and supporting the team, and we wish Jacoby was here supporting us, too.”
It was a strong statement lobbed at Ellsbury, who was expected to join the team this weekend in Toronto to be re-evaluated.
Despite Youkilis’ claim, Hall of Famer Jim Rice doesn’t think an injured player needs to be with his team.
“If the guy can’t play, why have him around?” Rice said Friday on Red Sox GameDay Live. “I don’t need someone there to put on pom-poms to rah-rah me. I have a job to do. If you’re not able to play, go home and get yourself worked on. I don’t want you on the ball club, because you’re a distraction. … That’s my opinion.”
Jerry Remy said he could relate to Rice’s position.
“I know in my career at times, at the end when I was hurt, when I had a bad knee, I did not want to be around the ball club because I felt like I was just being a pain in the neck around there, taking up space,” Remy said. “You don’t feel like you’re part of the ball club.”
Remy also said that it’s not entirely fair to compare Ellsbury to Jason Varitek and Dustin Pedroia, because the situations are not apples to apples.
“There’s two sides to this story,” Remy said. “You’ve got guys like Varitek and Pedroia who enjoy coming out here, they’re doing things baseball-wise. Even though it’s limited, they’re able to play catch … And of course, Varitek, being the captain, feels like he should be there. Pedroia — you can’t tear him away from a game.
“On the other hand, with a guy like Ellsbury, I think everybody felt the best thing for him to do was get away from it all and get himself physically ready to play the game of baseball.”
To hear more from Rice, Remy and Tom Caron, watch the video below.