FORT MYERS, Fla ó Carl Crawford said upon his arrival at JetBlue Park today that he was surprised to hear that John Henry was against the signing.
Henry had made the comments last fall in the context of trying to indicate that he stayed out of baseball matters and left those decisions up to Theo Epstein at the time.
Asked if he thought he needed to meet with Henry and get on the same page, Crawford said, "What page? You know, I donít know, if he wants to meet with me weíll have that meeting. Iím not too sure. I donít know if he has plans.
"I canít do nothing about what he said ... just go out and play. It was unfortunate he feels that way. It"s nothing for me to say to him. I wasnít happy about it. I was a little surprised to hear the comments but you know it's unfortunate he feels that way. Wish those words hadnít came out."
Henry said via text: "Again, this wasn't about Carl. At the time I was opposed due to too many lefties in the lineup and particularly in the outfield. Also, our two best prospects were lefthanded hitters. My answer was an honest, off-the-cuff response on a radio station to a false assertion that ownership signed him for offseason PR purposes.. This was a baseball decision I ultimately backed."
Here are some of Crawford's other comments to questions posed by media members this morning:
Was he aware of clubhouse problems? ďI didnít know about that (chicken and beer). I always thought team chemistry was good. Me personally it was fine. I got along with everybody. It was always a fun time. I thought it was a cool place to be."
On team chemistry last season: ďI guess youíre talking about chicken and beer. Iím on the field so I didnít know what was going on with that. It was a surprise for me but like I say, pitchers have so much time on their hands and theyíd been successful with how theyíd done it. Who knows what they might have done. It didnít really impact us. It wasnít really like guys complaining. I donít think it had a big role. When I heard the story, I couldnít believe that you guys (media) knew about it. That was a surprise but itís one of those things that was unfortunate it had to happen and you try to move on.Ē
He later said, ďGuys are gonna rally around that chicken and beer thing and rally together. Stay positive. Hope for the best.Ē
On working this off-season to change his swing: ďI think the batting stance was a little dramatic. I couldnít figure it out and it got worse and worse and worse. Now Iíve tried to stay on top in what I need to remember. Hope my athletic ability takes over.Ē
Will he be motivated by last season? ďItíll definitely be a key factor and one of the reasons why Iím here (so early). Iím motivated to play well this year. I donít want to think about last year because it was so bad. Nothing you can do will make up for it.Ē
On his surgically repaired wrist: ďItís been better. I really donít know when it will be all the way healthy but it definitely feels better than what it was and Iíll continue to build up the strength upÖ.. Bobby saw me throwing today, he didnít even know I could throw. Iím not gonna rush it. Iím only gonna do what feels good. I definitely want to be back on the field as soon as possible so I got to make sure I do the right things.
Could he make it back by Opening Day? ďI donít know. In my mind the odds are good. I definitely donít want to miss any games. My goal is to make it for Opening Day.Ē
When will he be able to swing? ďIt should be pretty soon. It feels stronger. I feel good about it.Ē
Was the wrist a factor all of last season? ďI donít know. I was out of whack in so many ways that the wrist thing was minor. I got a few shots in it so it was fine. I think I was just so far out of whack that Iím not sure it had anything to do with it.Ē
More on his wrist: ďThe thing is the rest of my body feels really good. I donít think itís a real big deal like everybody is thinking. I just think itís gonna take a little time. If I thought it was dramatic Iíd be worried. I donít think this is a problem thatís gonna set me back.
"I wish I would have started hitting a little bit early because I figured it out the first week I started hitting. My wrist was sore. And If I had started hitting earlier I would have figure it out earlier. I donít think itís too much of a setback.Ē
Make corrections to your swing? ďMost definitely. Went back and had a bunch of things to correct. I was able to think about it and saw what went wrong and hopefully Iíve corrected them. My mechanics were not where they should have been for whatever reason. It wasnít normal. We worked on that. Hopefully itíll be better.Ē
On Valentine: ďI just met him today actually. Upbeat guy. Real smart guy. Actually looking forward to learning as much as I can from him. Heís been very positive and talks about stuff we can and canít do. Iím looking for Bobby to have a real good impact on us.Ē
On ESPN comments Valentine made critical of his swing: ďI donít have feelings about that. Thatís his job to say things on TV. I understand Iím playing for him as a manager now and Iím sure he doesnít feel that way. Itís just stuff you have to say when youíre on TV so me and Bobby have no hard feelings. We share a common goal to help the Red Sox win. ď
On last seasonís struggle: ďLast year was one of the toughest things I had to go through. For what ever reason I struggled. It was really hard to deal with. I had a lot of time to think and make corrections and I think itíll be better. I watched tape. Worked with the hitting coach more. Just try to clear your head and put last season behind. That was bad. The main thing was to let that go and try to start over and do what you normally did.Ē
Excited to show fans the real Crawford? ďDefinitely exited to do that. Like I said, I put a lot of pressure on myself last year. I just need to stay relaxed and stay focused."
What specifically did you see about your batting stance? ďJust from my batting stance being too wide and too open and I think I shortened that a little bit. Seems like I was late all the time on the ball. Just trying to do a better job of getting ready. Little stuff like that. Compared to last year, itís definitely different. It should help.Ē
Where will he bat in the order? ďThatís the big question. Not sure where Bobby wants to hit me. Ideally Iíve always hit at the top of the order. I canít do much [running] hitting behind Big Papi. Just have to wait and see.Ē
Did batting different spots in the order effect him? ďI donít know. Where I never did it before, it probably had an impact that I didnít realize until later. Maybe it did and maybe it didnít.Ē
Has he thought about the Robert Andino liner he couldn't get to that ended Bostonís season? ďAs soon as it happened. It was over and over. It was all the time. So I had to forget it. It was a sore spot for me. I had that bad cringe in my body every time I watched it.Ē
Did he come in earlier than usual? ďI think with my wrist being sore they wanted me to come early so they could monitor it a bit. Last year I came real late and I couldnít get a good idea what was going on. I can get a head start and get a routine going and just feel comfortable about it.Ē
Goals? ďI just want to get back to what I did in Tampa. Those numbers are reachable. I did it every year before last year. So I want to at least reach that.Ē
On one more year of the Boston experience: ďIt definitely helps to know what to expect a little bit so I can prepare a little bit better. Iím pretty sure there will be obstacles to come. After one year of it Iím a little better prepared.Ē
Did the big 7-year, $142 million contract have an impact? You never know until you sit back and think about it. It probably had its affect on me. You want to show youíre worth the money. The pressure builds up on playing in Boston. This year I have to find ways to get over that and play my game.Ē