Jacoby Ellsbury eager to see old Red Sox friends

TAMPA, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury is not playing for the Yankees Tuesday because of a strained right calf. But he is eager to see some of his old friends with the Red Sox when the teams meet for a spring game.

He told reporters this morning that it will be a little strange.

“It will be the first time in nine years since I wore the uniform, seven in the big leagues. It will be a little different looking across,” he said. “I’ll see a lot of familiar faces. Obviously the coaches will make the trip, so I’ll see a lot of those guys and say hello to them. It was a great time, a great seven years that I spent there.”

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Ellsbury was asked about his encounters with Red Sox fans since he signed with the Yankees.

“Oh yeah, I run into them all the time in the offseason,” he said. “Pretty much all positive stuff; thanks for the two championships, thanks for playing hard, best of luck, stuff like that. Definitely very positive.”

Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and Matt Thornton are all with the Yankees after playing with the Red Sox last season.

“Seems to me more that go from the Red Sox to the Yankees than vice versa. I can’t put a read on anything about that, but definitely aware of the past history,” he said.