Carl Crawford Relieved To Be Out Of Boston
Crawford officially introduced by Dodgers
When Carl Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox during the winter meetings before the 2011 season, there were those who thought the Red Sox hit the jackpot. ”[Bleeping] Theo,” one GM said of then Boston general manager Theo Epstein. “What a brilliant move.”
Boston had acquired the best hitter available on the trade market, Adrian Gonzalez, and the best free agent hitter, Crawford, that offseason. As it turned out, both were dealt along with Josh Beckett to the Dodgers in a nine-player blockbuster trade earlier this summer in what may turn out to be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.
Crawford was officially introduced at a news, Friday at Dodger Stadium and spoke of his time in Boston and about the trade that brought him to Los Angeles. Crawford had Tommy John surgery in July and regrets having waited so long to undergo the procedure, but felt the pressure of playing in Boston that compelled him to play hurt. Crawford said he realized his elbow was hurt in April when he was unable to make throws from left field.
“I tried to push it a little bit. With the Boston fans, you’ve got to try. A big deal was made about my money and stuff, so I tried to prove it and play for the team,” Crawford said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, I should have taken care of myself when the doctor told me to.”
Crawford played 31 games in 2012. Barring any setbacks, Crawford should be ready to play for the Dodgers sometime in April or early May.
“You felt the pressure from the outside to have to play in that atmosphere. If you don’t play, it’s like you’re soft or somebody who’s just trying to take money from them or something like that,” Crawford said. “I wanted to prove that that wasn’t the case. Me being stubborn like that probably cost me a little time the next year.”
Crawford was recovering from back surgery when he found out that he had been traded to Los Angeles. He said he did not believe the news at first, but then felt a sense of relief.
“It’s no secret it was a tough year in Boston,” Crawford said. “It’s one of those things I wouldn’t want any player to go through, so for me to be able to get out of that situation is definitely a relief. I won’t have to go through all the stress and stuff every day that they were putting us through.”
And that’s why signing with Boston made sense financially for Crawford, but it was never a good fit. Crawford left small-market Tampa Bay for Boston and a media horde that seemingly scrutinizes every move a player or the organization makes. In other words, to succeed in Boston, you will have to learn how to deal with all the “stress and stuff everyday.” Obviously, Crawford isn’t that type of player.
Red Sox relieved as well
Time will tell if Los Angeles will be any different. The new owners of the Dodgers have deep pockets and winning or losing on this trade simply won’t matter, so that pressure is off. Fans in Los Angeles are more laid back and don’t care about the day-to-day operations of the team as much as they do in Boston.
While Crawford is relieved to be out of Boston, the trade provides Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington a clean slate. There is no doubt that Cherington also feels a sense of relief. Forgotten in this trade are the players the Red Sox received along with the salary relief that was created.
The Red Sox got top pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. The Red Sox think that De La Rosa could become a top of the rotation arm. Allen Webster is a sinkerballer and more of a middle of the rotation pitcher. Infielder Ivan De Jesus may make the team in a utility role, with the Red Sox sending middle infielder Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays to complete the trade for new manager John Farrell.