Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury becomes Red Sox’s first 30/30 man

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The Red Sox may have collapsed, but their MVP certainly isn’t to blame.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a pair of solo homers Sunday off the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett to become the first member of the 30 HR/30 SB club in Red Sox history.

It’s the 57th 30/30 season in major league history.  Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun have also pulled it off this year.  Kemp has 37 homers and 40 steals for the Dodgers, while Braun has 33 homers and 31 steals for the Brewers.  Ellsbury currently has 38 steals.

Ellsbury’s second homer also gave him 100 RBI for the season.

Ellsbury is the first American Leaguer to go 30/30 since the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler in 2009.  He’s the first American League to amass 30 homers, 30 steals and 100 RBI since the Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano in 2005.

While Ellsbury was always a good bet to get the required steals needed to pull off such a feat, none were expecting this kind of power from him.  He has 10 more homers in 639 at-bats this season than he did in 1,372 at-bats entering the year.

Multiple Miami Marlins passed on joining Jose Fernandez on that boat

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Pitcher Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins poses for photos on media day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 24, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.

Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:

After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.

Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:

Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.

Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.

David Ortiz: “I was born to play against the Yankees”

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 29:  David Ortiz  #34 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning during the game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on April 29, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.

In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.

Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”

And he’ll get to do it only three more times.