Red Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury was not in the lineup on Saturday night.
No, he was not ill with Saturday Night Fever, out dancing and cavorting in celebration of his return from a nearly season long stint on the Disabled List.
He enjoyed something the manager Bobby Valentine had the chutzpah to call “a planned day off.”
Now in the brutally humid dog days of baseball, after playing 100 games in the most difficult weather conditions (unless it rains), players are a bit worn out. Their dogs are barking.
Game playing is a hard business, working for a mere pittance of money and the cruel bric-a-brac thrown at them by hard-hearted fans that make a fraction of the salary.
We learned that after playing a week’s schedule of games, Jacoby Ellsbury needed some time to rest. Apparently the rest he had in April, May, June and most of July was not sufficient.
We are always sensitive to the exertions of baseball where a blister or hangnail may end a career (or at least playing in an important series). Ellsbury may look like he is one of the fittest of the Red Sox greyhounds in the outfield, but every dog must have his day off.
Lest anyone come up with the wrong idea that something has gone awry since coming off the DL, manager Bobby Valentine assured the press that this was merely a routine and regulated schedule for Jacoby’s return from a shoulder separation.
Cynics may contend that Super Agent Scott Boras has found a loophole in the contract he negotiated that allows Ellsbury to take time off to keep his Fenway Frank fresh and piping hot.
Oh, by the way, while Valentine fiddled and Ellsbury sat on the bench, the Red Sox lost again.