LOS ANGELES - Carl Crawford admitted that "I was chasing a big contract" when he signed with the Red Sox two years ago, but when asked about whether he regretted the decision he said, "No, I don't regret nothing. At the time I thought it was the right decision."
Crawford met with the Los Angeles media for the first time since he was traded on Aug. 25 along with Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett for prospects. Crawford had Tommy John surgery the day after the deal and never showed up to L.A.
It was the first time he'd ever been in Dodgers Stadium, as he was taken around by team president Stan Kasten and general manager Ned Colletti.
Crawford said he was in disbelief when he heard of the trade. He first heard mention of it on TV, but said, "you hear a lot of rumors. I just didn't believe it. I didn't believe it for two weeks."
Crawford had a no-trade clause, but he quickly waived it, saying "I'm the type of person if someone wants to trade you it means they don't want you there or they're thinking about getting rid of you. I didn't think about it (no trade) too much. It was time to move on. I was really shocked because I definitely didn't see it coming. From what I heard, they were working on it for a while. I'm happy I'm here now."
Crawford said it was outside pressure, not from the Bobby Valentine or Ben Cherington, that kept him playing even after Dr. James Andrews had told him he needed Tommy John surgery.
"Nobody said I should keep playing, that was just me. I didn't want anyone to say 'I'm not sitting on y'all money.' That was the biggest thing, people on the radio shows saying he makes 20 million. I'm a hard worker and I wanted to show that. I wasn't performing well. I know Boston is a blue collar town so I just wanted to have the same attitude that I was working hard to be on the field. At the end of the day, I should have listened to the doctor and helped myself out," Crawford said.
Would he have done it sooner?
"Looking at it now since I got it done. Dr. Andrews is a well respected doctor. The first thing he said was I needed Tommy John. I wish Id done it, because I'd be better now. With the Boston fans you have a big deal that was made about my money and trying to play for the team. Maybe I shouldn't have done that and taken care of myself. I pretty much put pressure on myself to play. You get looked at as being soft and as somebody just trying to take money. I wanted to prove that wasn't the case. That probably cost me a little time for next year. You live and learn from it," Crawford said.
Crawford said the way the trade was presented to him was that it was time for both sides to move on.
"They just said this is best for both sides. They thought it was best to move on. It just wasn't working. They just wanted to start over and start from scratch. It wasn't a bad split or anything like that. 'This is good for us and this is better for you' is the way they kind of said it," Crawford said.
Crawford, who will wear No. 25, said the way the last two years went down he's motivated to prove people wrong.
"It definitely motivates me. It's like I have a fresh start. Like I said, things didn't work out in Boston for whatever reason. I'm happy to have a second start."
Was the major reason injuries?
"I'm the kind of guy who doesn't make excuses. I wasn't 100 percent all the time. For some reason I had issues up there that didn't let me be the normal person that I was. Toward the end I was feeling better, but I still had arm issue and that was wearing me down physically," he said.
He said, however, the worst time was the September collapse.
"September of last year (2011) for me was the one of the worst years I ever experienced in my whole career. I just didn't seem to have one good day. I can't really explain why that was the case. Just couldn't get it going. We was in first place for most of the year but we had that bad fall. I took a lot of the blame for myself. That offseason was the lowest offseason I had in my life. It took a lot for me to come back and start all over," he said.