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Jacoby Ellsbury
As told to Austin Murphy
March 10, 2008
RED SOX CENTERFIELDER
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March 10, 2008

Jacoby Ellsbury

RED SOX CENTERFIELDER

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On being a starting centerfielder in the World Series, just 16 weeks after his big league debut, and batting .438

There was pressure, but I figured this is uncharted territory for a lot of guys. Even if you're a five-time All-Star, if you've never been to the postseason, it's new. I told myself there was no reason to back down. I didn't want it to be over and think, Oh, man, I could've gone harder.

On the post-Series parade held in his honor in his hometown, Madras, Ore.

The coolest thing was that it seemed like I knew everybody by first name, my old teachers, my former teammates, my old classmates. Only 5,000 people live in our town, and at least that many were at the parade. A lot of people talked about seeing me on TV running in to celebrate after the last out. They were saying, "You should have seen your face. It was priceless."

On Boston's Coco Crisp, whom he replaced in center during the ALCS

We talk, we joke, but the centerfield job hasn't come up. We know what's going on. He's been great. The day I got called up, Coco took me out to centerfield at Fenway and started telling me, "O.K., if the ball hits [the wall] here, this is what it will do and where you need to be." He spent an hour with me.

On the off-season regimen that helped him gain 15 pounds and improve his considerable speed

I do something called SPARQ. It stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness, and it's about focusing on muscle groups that relate to what I do on the field. One thing I do is swing a [612-pound] medicine ball like a bat—it generates explosiveness through your hips, abs, legs, upper body. I've never felt more prepared for a season. I've never been this powerful, this explosive.

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