September 14, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left field Carl Crawford (13) makes a throw during the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Reports are swirling that Carl Crawford, recent addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, has begun to throw a baseball. Mark Saxon kicked off the media firestorm yesterday with this scintillating story. Attempting to return from reconstructive surgery on his left, throwing elbow, Crawford has recently begun to pick up, hold, and then throw a baseball. These are the facts. There remains a high probability that Crawford has started to throw a baseball various lengths, probably from shorter distances at first, followed by a slow progression to longer throws, and so on. These throws were more than likely accompanied by a catching and throwing partner, with Crawford expected to catch return tosses himself, one would assume with a baseball mitt.
The above image represents an approximation of what such activity may have looked like. Granted, the image is from September 14th, 2011, and Crawford is playing in a live game. He’s also wearing the uniform of the Boston Red Sox, his former team. To fully imagine the scene from yesterday, remove the 2011 patina from your mind and return to present time. Then envision a baseball complex devoid of fans and without a live contest taking place. Then swap Crawford’s jersey, hat, and shoes to better reflect his allegiance to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their team colors. He was probably also just wearing some shorts and a sweatshirt or something, and maybe some cross trainers. He probably didn’t resemble anything like a baseball player participating in an actual, consequential game. His use of sunglasses, at this point, is anybody’s guess.
Of course, were Crawford to continue to throw the baseball with success and without pain or discomfort, his return to the field could substantially help the Dodgers and fortify their outfield and all that garbage. If he’s healthy and plays well the Dodgers will be pretty happy, is what I mean. And this development, while perhaps a bit mundane and anticlimactic (never mind the opening of this post!), is the first step towards such an end. Carl Crawford has begun throwing a baseball. And now you know.