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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Carl Crawford regrets signing in ‘toxic’ environment in Boston

Carl Crawford turned out to be one of the worst Boston Red Sox signings in team history, and there are a number of reasons why. For starters, it seemed like he was never healthy after signing a whopping seven-year, $142 million contract with the team. Whether or not he could have played through more pain than he did is a matter of personal opinion, but it seems fairly obvious that Crawford was incapable of handling the pressures that went along with playing in Boston.

On Wednesday, Crawford essentially admitted that when speaking with Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

“I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me,” Crawford said of his nearly two awful seasons in Boston. “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.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers absorbed more than $100 million of Crawford’s contract to bring him to the west coast, a place where he said he feels “a lot better” about himself. Despite having yet to play a game for the Dodgers, Crawford said he now feels like the player he once was with the Tampa Bay Rays. But here was the part of his interview with Hernandez that I got the biggest kick out of:

Asked if he regretted signing with the Red Sox, Crawford replied, “A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision.”

The contract made Crawford feel like a prisoner. Because of the money he was owed, Crawford figured no team would trade for him. But two days after he underwent his operation, Crawford was sent to the suddenly wealthy Dodgers, along with Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and infielder Nick Punto.

There’s such a thing as being a “prisoner” to a $142 million contract? If there is, lock me up. You mean Crawford could have gotten stuck in that horrible city and been forced to earn slightly over $20 million a year? The horror…

From the day the Red Sox introduced Crawford and the sweat was pouring off his forehead, I knew something didn’t look right. Crawford says he felt pressure from Boston fans to play hurt, but players who make $20 million a season are always going to feel that. It may be worse in Boston, but you’d feel it anywhere. If Crawford tears it up in LA, Dodgers fans will adore him. If he plays the way he did in Boston, they’ll dislike him almost as much as the fans on Yawkey Way do.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE



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