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Eric Wilbur's Sports Blog

Shut Up, Carl Crawford

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USA Today Sports


The more Carl Crawford talks, the sorrier you have to feel.

For the Dodgers.

The worst free agent signing in the history of professional sports is at it again, whining to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford about the nightmare that was his $142 million, 19-month stint in Boston, a period of less than two years that has apparently “scarred” the psyche of the man with a .611 OPS for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After all, why should it be Crawford who has to play the role of the prototypical, avaricious athlete who jumps at the highest offer on the table with little regard what the environment might mean for himself or his family?

Talk about your arrested developments.

"That place is going to be the same forever and I don't want no part of it," he told Bradford. “If I could have done it over again I would have gone into more detail into everything. I didn't do any research about nothing. I didn't know much about Boston, only when I played there. If I went into a little more depth as to what I was getting myself into things probably would have been a little different."

Little did Crawford realize that he was entering into a world of credibility, a place where fans see your price tag and expect something of worth for the amount dedicated to your craft. What Red Sox fans saw out of Crawford though was something out “Ishtar,” an expensive mistake that everybody but the people in charge saw coming. The reason he can have a 0.3 WAR with Los Angeles is because he’s living in an anonymity that comes when you play in a place where you are second fiddle to George Clooney. In the process, Crawford’s comparables have gone from the likes of Lou Brock and Roberto Clemente to Roberto Kelly and Vic Power.

Boston’s fault, you know.

But most of all, Crawford’s words raise a most obvious question; What kind of idiot dedicates himself to somewhere for seven years and doesn’t do yeoman’s research about his landing spot?

"I would like to think I know when it's time to make big decisions in your life you know to do a little more research," he said.

See, folks, money doesn’t buy you everything. One hundred and forty two million dollars and the man still can’t find Google.

“I didn't do nothing. I just had my eye on one thing at the time."

"Once I realized it and I had seven years I didn't know what to do. It was just one of those things I had to sit out and wait. I was dealing with the struggling at the time and a bunch of other stuff. I had been in Tampa so we had been shielded from a lot of media stuff. I didn't have to go through that stuff. That was new for me, dealing with the media and stuff like that. I didn't how to handle all that stuff up there and it showed in my game. Then I started getting hurt all the time. It was just always bad, bad all the time.”

Wait, is Crawford still talking about the atmosphere or his performance ever since he left Tampa?

“That's a scar that I think will never go away. I'll always remember that feeling."

Red Sox fans will too, the incredulous feeling that their team had no clue what it was doing, spending $142 million on a guy who didn’t fit the team in the least, and wondering if the investment had more to do with “Christmas at Fenway” and opening eyes over in Liverpool. Some felt cheated, a pawn in a game of public relations, with Crawford at the middle of the Red Sox intending to play in a "more exciting fashion" (copyright MLB commissioner nominee Tom Werner). The outfielder was OK in his first season with the Red Sox, hitting .255 with 11 home runs, production Boston probably could have found in Pawtucket - hell, the waiver wire - at a fraction of the cost. Crawford’s injury-riddled 2012 season was a joke, much like everything going on around him on Yawkey Way. Who wouldn’t want to leave at that point?

But we’re two years removed now and Crawford is still acting like the “scar” was the result of someone holding him down at knife point to sign for the equivalent of the gross national product of Bangladesh. Granted, Boston isn’t the perfect city for everyone, an oasis for some, a place to avoid for many; a city some gravitate to for a variety of reasons, or a place where those raised elsewhere can’t understand the hardened disposition of a New Englander, and vice versa. Does that mean Crawford should skirt any semblance of culpability? Please.

I mean, he only played in Boston nine times a year. How was he supposed to know the sold-out, fervent crowds of Fenway Park might be different from the just-finished-surfing, laissez-faire attitude of the 4,500 who showed up at Tropicana Field in Tampa every night? But Crawford didn’t do any “research.” Great. This is the kind of guy who walks into an Eddie Bauer hoping to find Armani.

Crawford has three more years on his bloated contract at more than $20 million per season. The Dodgers would love nothing more than to move him to a team stupid enough to take on that kind of albatross, but they’d be stuck looking at themselves in the mirror.

Wherever it might be though, it can’t be worse than Boston, a devilish city most notable for celebrating the burning of Sir Guy Carleton at the stake in the middle of the Common in 1781.

Probably. Not going to do any research on it.

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