KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Atlanta Braves All-Star outfielder Michael Bourn grew up playing youth baseball with Carl Crawford in Houston and the two remain friends, working out in the offseason and swapping text messages after games on occasion.
Bourn believes that Crawford will recover from what have been a rough two seasons with the Red Sox. Crawford hit a career-worst .255 last year and hasn’t played his year because of a variety of injuries.
“I think last year may have been a rough time for him at the beginning,” Bourn said on Monday. “He got off to a slow start. I think he’ll bounce back. That’s just somebody I believe in, I do. People can say what they want to say about him but I know what kind of player and athlete he is.
“I’ve been watching him play since he was a little bitty boy. I just think that Boston got a great talent. Things happen sometimes that you can’t control. His wrist, and you can’t really control that elbow wear-and-tear. It was a combination of things that happened. Other than that, you still have the same talented player that’s close to almost 2,000 hits. He plays the game hard every day in left field.
“To me, he’s still one of the best out there. People just forget about it if you happen to have an injury that affects you at some point in time. But I don’t think they made a bad decision at all. He just happens to have an injury that kept him out a little while. He’s still a great player and a great talent to have on their team. They’ll see.”