BOSTON -- The last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, rookie speedster Jacoby Ellsbury became a starter down the stretch and was mostly a starter in the postseason. He was outstanding in the four-game sweep of the Rockies in the 2007 World Series, hitting .438/.500/.688.
This time around, the veteran Ellsbury could well be playing in his final series as a Red Sox.
With free agency and a potential huge payday on the horizon, there's no certainty the Red Sox will make a strong push to bring him back. Some teams -- like the Mariners -- are reportedly going to strongly court Ellsbury, too.
Not that he's thinking about anything but this series at present.
"No," Ellsbury said when asked if he's taken any time to think about the possibility of this being his Boston swan song. "I'm thinking about going in there and competing, playing as hard as I can, being with the fellas and getting a ring."
It would be his second ring, obviously, but it's a totally different situation.
"In 2007, everything happened so fast," he said. "I got called up and put on the roster and won a ring. This year, I'm definitely enjoying it, slowing it down a little bit and enjoying the whole process of it. I knew at the time (in 2007), there are players who played their whole careers without even making the postseason. And to win it my first year was unbelievable. Still, you do realize now how tough it is to get here. For us to get to this level, we're obviously very happy but we still have plenty of work to do."
And if the Red Sox do the work they're planning to do, it's very possible that Ellsbury ends his Red Sox career with bookend World Series championships.