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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Carl Crawford: ‘I don’t think I smiled’ in two years in Boston

Please, go to L. A. to play forever…

Carl Crawford admits he began to have doubts – about ever hitting .300 again, ever smiling again, maybe even playing baseball much longer.

“I don’t think I smiled in two years,” the Dodgers outfielder tells USA TODAY Sports of his time on a troubled team in Boston.

“I was just frowning, I started growing grey hairs on my face from the stress and everything for two years straight,” he says, stroking the stubble on his chin and grinning—as much about how he feels as about a hot start that included multiple hits in eight of his first 13 games and a current .314 batting average.

That’s a long way from his Boston start – seven hits in his first 55 at-bats – that was every bit as stunning as the team’s 2-10 beginning in 2011.

“It’s been awhile since I had this feeling, no doubt,” he says. “Since 2010 with the Rays. It feels good just to feel like my old self again. I’m enjoying every day of it, I’ll tell you that.”

...“I try not to even think about my days in Boston anymore,” says Crawford, who’s back from ligament replacement surgery on his left (throwing) elbow. “It’s still just such a nightmare. Every time I think about it, I cringe.”

Repoz Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:29 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, red sox

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4424574)
What a baby.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4424582)
Paging Shawn Michaels to the white courtesy phone.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4424590)
Boston was not Crawford's ####### city, I guess.
   4. Jerry Lumpe Rutherford (Dan Lee) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4424595)
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4424600)
False.

That is just a frown upside down.


   6. GregD Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4424609)
i don't think Boston fans smiled for two years either
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4424617)
I'm glad that the situation was improbably resolved in a way that made all parties happy.
   8. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4424634)
It really was a travesty that he was kidnapped and forced to sign that contract at gunpoint instead of taking nearly as much money to go play for the Angels. Poor guy.
   9. What Zupcic? Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4424635)
I'm surprised that he didn't, once again, blame the entirety of his struggles in Boston on Francona signalling that no one in the entire org. trusted him by dropping him in the lineup after two games.
   10. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4424644)
Paging Shawn Michaels to the white courtesy phone.


At least Crawford never resorted to some fabrication about being assaulted by nine marines!
   11. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4424673)
At least Crawford never resorted to some fabrication about being assaulted by nine marines!


That was a shoot, I thought? The concussion/fainting angle with Owen was a work, though.
   12. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4424691)
The Marines were real. But Bret Hart's bio is riddled with accusations of faked injuries.

(Bret Hart's bio is also riddled with Harlequin-quality boudoir scenes, but that's another matter entirely.)
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4424695)
I bet Dave Loggins spent all day Saturday trying to find the number for the Fenway Park switchboard.
   14. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4424768)
(Bret Hart's bio is also riddled with Harlequin-quality boudoir scenes, but that's another matter entirely.)


After Jon Meacham read Bret Hart's bio, he turned to Bret with tears in his eyes and said "I just want you to know that you're really the best writer I've ever read. You should have gone over for the Pulitzer, clean." Bret understood, but made haste to catch a flight to Germany. There, he was still bigger than David Hasselhoff and there were ladies lined up in their dirndls for him.
   15. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4424781)
Has anyone done a study on the general impact of a player switching teams, comparing players who switch with similar players who stayed on with their original teams? You would think that it would be benefical overall, since everyone is trying to maximize the utility of an acquisition.
   16. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4424804)
Two years of Mondays, amirite?
   17. Eric Ferguson Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4424848)
Heinie, did you ghostwrite Hart's bio? The resemblance is uncanny.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4424854)
Has anyone done a study on the general impact of a player switching teams, comparing players who switch with similar players who stayed on with their original teams? You would think that it would be benefical overall, since everyone is trying to maximize the utility of an acquisition.


Not that I have ever read. Wouldn't be a bad idea. Heck comparing players switching teams compared against their projected performance would be nice also.

In Jaffe's book on managers he looked at players performance relative to expectations when they left/joined a team, but that was in a way to gauge managers impact on a players performance. Nothing like what you were talking about.
   19. buddaley Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4424864)
Crawford says he was frustrated and unhappy in Boston. And apparently, "Crawford takes care not to assign blame for what happened in Boston – not to anyone with the Red Sox, not to himself. He'd rather just roll with the present." So where exactly is he crying or acting immaturely or in any way saying anything that should be taken amiss?

Yes, he does say the harder he tried, the worse he played. And he also notes that being criticized in the press was unpleasant. Of course, we fans always want our players to avoid cliches and be up front-unless of course they are blunt about not feeling happy. Then we want them to hide behind cliches about being sorry things didn't work out and loving the people and city anyway. Or that he should "man up" and take full responsibility for his failures even if injuries were a factor.

I don't see that Crawford sought out the interview to air his feelings. He was asked questions and answered them.
   20. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4424953)
I wish I had the stress of being filthy rich in Boston.
   21. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4425006)
I've only ever been in Boston for about 14 hours, but I don't recall smiling much then either. I feel ya, Carl.
   22. PerroX Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4425176)
I wish I had the stress of being filthy rich in Boston.


Green can't overcome Black.
   23. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4425201)
Green can't overcome Black.


Pumpsie Green. {drops mic.}
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4425212)
One of the biggest myths about Carl Crawford's time in Boston was that he was a huge underachiever...but it's not like he was Manny Ramirez or Albert Pujols or something before he got here. He had seasons not much better than what he did in Boston:

Age 26, 2008, in Tampa.
Ages 29 and 30 seasons, combined, in Boston.

Which one of the following lines is which?

161 games, 664 PAs, 88 RS, 162 Hits, 39 2Bs, 9 3Bs, 14 HRs, 75 RBIs, 23/6 SB/CS, 26 BBs, 126 Ks, .260/.292/.419 slash line, OPS+ of 89

109 games, 482 PAs, 69 RS, 121 Hits, 12 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 8 HRs, 57 RBIs, 25/7 SB/CS, 30 BBs, 60 Ks, .273/.319/.400 slash line, OPS+ of 89

The 161 game line is from his total time in Boston.
The 109 game line is from 2008.

He obviously had better seasons in Tampa (including his contract year season, which was his best), but when you consider how bad a park Boston is for his skills, it's a little too easy to give Crawford a pass on his performance due to "Boston just not being a good fit for him". He's not that good, and the contract is enormously too long, and for too much money.
   25. Pingu Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4425216)
I laughed at #4. If for no other reason than it was taken the day he was introduced to the Boston media. Yeah, 142 million reasons to smile.

I wouldnt doubt him if he said that was his last smile in Boston. But good, I'm glad it was no fun for Carl. It wasnt any fun for us either. I'd be madder if he came out and said, "yeah, I didnt hit all that well, but no skin off my back, i was swimming in cash munny!!!"
   26. bobm Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4425231)
Notable Carls in Red Sox history:

Carl Mays
Carl Yastrzemski
Carl(ton) Fisk
Carl(os) Quintana
Carl Pavano
Carl Everett
Carl Crawford
   27. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4425257)
but when you consider how bad a park Boston is for his skills,


Crawford's away 2011 splits: .236/.271/.397

Also short 2008 season: 2.5 WAR
2011: 0.1 WAR
   28. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4425266)
LOL Crawford just pulled a 2011.
   29. Publius Publicola Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4425272)
Notable Carls in Red Sox history:


Reggie Smith's first name was Carl too.
   30. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4425278)
So, Boston guys named Carl avoid the infield, huh?
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4425317)
“I don’t think I smiled in two years,” the Dodgers outfielder tells USA TODAY Sports of his time on a troubled team in Boston.


Oh boo bleeping hoo. He got paid $35 million to suck and not play. I expected him to rebound this year, but whining about it is a bit much.
   32. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4425328)
He had seasons not much better than what he did in Boston

Yes, technically. But after emerging as a star at age 22, Carl Crawford had season (singular) not much better than what he did in Boston. Also worth noting he was playing totally banged up for much of 2008 before he finally gave in and had surgery in August on the finger that had been bothering him. And even then, compared to his Boston tenure (on a rate basis), Crawford walked more, struck out less, stole more bases, and played much better defense during that injury-plagued massive outlier season in the middle of his Tampa Bay prime.

So if your point is that Crawford was absolutely garbage in Boston (when he wasn't hurt), then point taken. If your point is that the Red Sox should have seen his implosion coming because he'd been that awful before, then I have to disagree. I was less than fully enthusiastic about his contract at the time, but it wasn't completely bonkers. This is Crawford's average season over the seven years before he signed for Boston (which includes his stinker in 2008):

146 games, 637 PAs, 95 runs, 177 hits, 27 doubles, 13 triples, 14 HR, 73 RBI, 49/11 SB/CS, 37 BB, 89 SO, .301/.344/.461 and 113 OPS+ with some gold glove defense sprinkled on top.

That guy might not be worth $142M, but he'd be pretty close - especially when you consider he'd been much better than that average season for two full (and injury-free) years prior to becoming a free agent.
   33. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4425333)
Not even on payday?
   34. Benji Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:45 AM (#4425357)
Us Met fans smiled at Crawford for giving us the game tonight.
   35. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:43 AM (#4425370)
I feel for Crawford, in a way. He really tried hard, too hard, to be a great player in Boston and it just never clicked for him, which must have felt pretty awful. The fans and media were actually pretty patient with him (for Boston) because he was clearly busting it out there and wanted it so bad, and you could tell it was eating him up to be so awful.

Then again, he's an incredibly rich and successful athlete, so my feelings of sympathy are somewhat limited.
   36. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 25, 2013 at 08:13 AM (#4425392)
So if your point is that Crawford was absolutely garbage in Boston (when he wasn't hurt), then point taken. If your point is that the Red Sox should have seen his implosion coming because he'd been that awful before, then I have to disagree. I was less than fully enthusiastic about his contract at the time, but it wasn't completely bonkers.


Well-stated. Nobody thought he'd be as ineffective in Boston as he was, though I do think there was a fair amount of voiced concern that his skill set was a poor match for Boston. Excellent defense...in the smallest left field in baseball. Decent power to right-center...in one of the longest right-center gaps in baseball. Unspectacular on-base skills...for a franchise that has valued OBP more than most franchises over the past decade. Wonderful speed...for a franchise that, outside of Ellsbury, has not valued stolen bases much since about Tommy Harper...at 7 yrs/$142 million. A lot of people were voicing that he would be an asset to the team - but that this was far from a perfect fit.
   37. Mattbert Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4425451)
What was "interesting" about Carl was how every single facet of his game collapsed. That he was such a good all-around contributor was a big part of the logic behind giving him that contract: even if he would have to adjust to hitting in Fenway, his defense (especially in the 81 road games) and baserunning skills should buttress his value during that adjustment period. Or so the thinking went. Of course, any vestiges of the plate discipline it appeared he'd discovered his last couple years in TB completely vanished. He was a shadow of his former self in the field, and he seemed afraid to run much on the basepaths because his legs weren't right. So that went well.
   38. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4425462)
34. Amen. And what was with Mattingly's TLR imitation, taking Crawford out for an extra infileder ahead of the IBB to Duda? Is that a hot new thingy?
   39. andrewberg Posted: April 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4425548)
I clicked on the headline and did CTRL+F for "Shawn Michaels," and was impressed that it only took two posts!

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