Valentine defended his decision to start Daniel Nava on Saturday, claiming he's adhering to the "four-game plan" for the left fielder. The plan says Crawford can't play in more than four consecutive games.
Plan or not, Crawford was struggling with the decision before the game.
"It feels more like I'm hiding from somebody," Crawford said. "Not playing against someone is more embarrassing than anything. My body is fine right now. If I play five, six games or four games, and need a day off, that's the system. We’ll see how long that system holds up."
The decision was made despite the fact that Crawford is 22-for-69 in his career against Saturday's starter, CC Sabathia.
"It's just what it is — preventative and building up," Valentine said. "We're preventing in this early game that he doesn't overuse his elbow and then we're building up tolerance as we go. I don't think it's going to be four days and a day off all year. I hope not. We're building to a point to get beyond that."
But it contradicts the way Valentine initially used Crawford. When the Red Sox activated him off the disabled list, Crawford played in six straight games before receiving his first day off.
When asked about the contradiction, Valentine said he originally vetoed the training staff's instructions. Not this time around, however.
"I did a manager no-no thing and went against what I was told to do," Valentine said. "Never to be done again. I like to have Carl every day. I’d like to have all my good players every day, but I understand the situation better now than I did then."
Crawford wasn't as understanding. A day after unloading his first home run of the season — over the short right field fence at Yankee Stadium — the 30-year-old was hoping to build on that momentum.
"I found out this morning I wasn't playing and that's it, pretty much," Crawford said. "Could I play? Yeah, I could play today. Like I say, they're following that method right there. I’m just going along with the way things are."
It seems to come down to a breakdown in communication.