It must be nice to be Carl Crawford. He finished up 2012 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, after being part of a multi-player deal that included Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett going to the Dodgers. Two years earlier, he signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox in December of 2010, getting himself a huge seven-year, $142 million dollar little deal. At the time, players, GM’s, managers, and coaches around the league had nothing but great things to say about both his hitting and fielding abilities.
So what exactly happened? “I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me,” Crawford was quoted in the Los Angeles Times. “I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in kind of a depression stage. You just don’t see a way out”. Wow. Not exactly kind words toward your former team who made you the first player to sign a $100 million dollar contract without ever having hit 20 HR in a season.
Carl Crawford was supposed to be that game-changing type of player. A left fielder who would rob the opposition of an extra base hit that would have drove in runs, then turn around and drive in teammates his next time at bat. A player who would make other hitters better with his ability to get on base, then have the pitcher concentrating on him at first as well as the hitter.
It didn’t happen. Injuries plagued Crawford, and when he did play, it appeared the $100 millions dollar man was, shall we say, an everyday player at best? While with the Red Sox, Crawford hit a very meager 14 home runs and 75 RBI in just 161 games over two seasons. His batting average was at a passable .260, and his base stealing prowess? How about 23 swipes in those two years. Not very intimidating in any sense of the word.
Yet when speaking with the Los Angeles Times last week about his time with the Red Sox, Crawford had this to say: “Toughest two years of my career, by far,” Crawford was quoted.
“It was just everything. Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, ‘Is this ever going to end?’”
Wow, a contract worth that kind of money, and those results. I think the Red Sox Nation deserves something more along the lines of “I’m sorry it didn’t work out”, or “I didn’t play to my capabilities.” Or play up to his contract in Boston.
Crawford is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery he underwent in August 2012, and expects to be ready by opening day. He still has five years left on that, once again, in case you forgot, seven-year, $142 million dollar contract he signed with the Red Sox. A contract that now the Los Angeles Dodgers have the pleasure of paying. Enjoy SoCal, Mr. Crawford.