Like an unfinished Charles Dickens novel, the life of the Red Sox centerfielder has taken on caricature and hyperbole during the 2012 season.
With a few games left in the season, Ellsbury was yanked from the lineup for several games. No one was talking about what was wrong, if anything. Ellsbury professed it was not worth talking about. It was apparently separate from the once-per-week day off he needed some weeks, but not others.
For a team to consider paying a player $100,000 per game who chooses to have an unnamed problem to the tune of many games is a worry to anyone who does not have a billion dollars and owns a sports team.
Whether Ellsbury shall be the hero of his own life and career, the past few seasons have provided teasing omens.
There have been good times, on the verge of an MVP season-and there have been bad times, cracking more ribs than a restaurant having an all-you-can-eat night or putting a little separation between him and his playing.
It is a far, far better thing Ellsbury does than play when he has a hangnail. Perhaps the undoubted influence of oft-injured J.D. Drew (his agent's client too) has taught him the importance of leverage.
During the next season he will approach ownership like the waif Oliver Twist, hungry for the big meal, and ask humbly for more.
You can count on the fact that some unknown owner, like Magwitch, will step forth (albeit secretly) to become an anonymous benefactor, offering a king's ransom to Scott Boras for the tenuous service of his vassal.
If you have great expectations, you may end up in a pip of a season with Ellsbury. Boston is only half the tale; Jacoby's career will end up in a second city. Whether it is a far, far better place, only someone with the mind of Charles Dickens could tell.