Carl Crawford drew plenty of interest on the free agent market prior to the 2011 season. Multiple teams were rumored to have interest in the left fielder, but the favorite long appeared to be the Los Angeles Angels right up until he agreed to sign a seven year, $142 Million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Rumblings at the time speculated that Los Angeles’ biggest offer had topped out in the neighborhood of $117 Million (some reports suggested $121M), but Crawford elected to follow the money like so many other free agents do.
Now, it would seem, he’s ready to admit, at least to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, that he regrets making that decision.
It just wasn’t the right place for me at the end of my day. I didn’t do my homework. Maybe they didn’t, either.
At the end of the day, it just wasn’t the place for me.
Crawford’s tenure in Boston was rough from the get go as he struggled both at the plate and in the field during his first season with the Sox. He slipped to a .255/.289/.405 batting line on the year, in 539 PA, with just 11 HR and 18 SB. He also clashed with Boston media throughout much of the season. That animosity, coupled with the team’s dramatic collapse at the end of that 2011 season, would carry over until the following Spring when Crawford would once again have some vocal concerns over how the media was treating him. He’d claim they were unfair to him and that they thrived on his unhappiness. Crawford would get off to a decent start in 2012, hitting .282/.306/.479 in 125 PA over the season’s first month. Tenderness in his elbow would flare up and sideline him, before he’d ultimately under Tommy John Surgery that would cost him the remainder of the season. By August he wasn’t even a part of the organization any longer.
That August trade that shipped Crawford (along with Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto) to the Los Angeles Dodgers appears to have been a blessing in disguise for Crawford if you’ve heard any of his comments in recent weeks. He’s continued his onslaught against the Boston media – nearly suggesting that they were in part to blame for his poor production during his two years in Boston – but has remained consistent in his desires to start over and move forward with the Dodgers. Even dealing with some lingering numbness that might keep him out of the Opening Day lineup, Crawford has remained optimistic about what his time in Los Angeles might bring.
While his time in Boston can certainly be ruled a failure by most accounts, it’s time Crawford (and others) move on. He’s a Dodger now and his focus should remain on getting on the field to help this Dodger team win. He has five years remaining on his contract to try and justify the expense. Los Angeles has to be hoping they’ll get more Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay version, instead of Carl Crawford, Boston version.