BOSTON — Jacoby Ellsbury knew he was doing something right when the boos at Fenway Park got louder as the game went on.
Ellsbury, who returned to Fenway on Tuesday for the first time as a member of the New York Yankees, received mostly boos before his first at-bat against the Boston Red Sox. The outfielder was honored with a video tribute before the second inning, though, and Ellsbury overall was pleased with how the crowd reacted in his first game at Fenway as an opposing player.
“I thought it was great. I thought the fans were great,” Ellsbury said. “They always treated me well here. They’ve always cheered for me and showed again today. And like I said, the tribute was very classy of the Red Sox to do that as well.”
Ellsbury, who learned about the video tribute shortly before game time, went 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. The triple came in his game-opening at-bat, which paved the way for even louder boos each time Ellsbury dug in.
“Well, usually that’s a good sign,” Ellsbury said of the boos intensifying throughout Tuesday’s game. “I know when I was with the Red Sox, you always knew how well you were playing by the boos. The louder the boos, the better you were playing. I mean, it was expected. But I thought they were great as a whole. I thought they were tremendous, even at the end of the game.”
Ellsbury expressed great admiration for the Red Sox organization before Tuesday’s game, and the 30-year-old reiterated his stance after the Yankees’ 9-3 victory over Jon Lester and Co. While the book might now officially be closed on Ellsbury’s Red Sox days, he’ll forever have a sense of pride knowing he helped bring two World Series titles to Boston. The boos are to be expected moving forward.
“The fans were trying to get me to throw balls to them out there. They were cheering me. I was like, ‘Man, I feel like a home game,’” Ellsbury joked. “But yeah, you’re going to get a little bit (of heckling). As a whole, the 35,000 people that show up (to Fenway) each and every night here, I thought they were tremendous.”