Carl Crawford Calls Time in Boston ‘Nightmare,’ Says ‘I Don’t Think I Smiled in Two Years’

Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Josh Beckett, Don MattinglyNewsflash: Carl Crawford didn’t enjoy his time in Boston.

Crawford, who was traded to the Dodgers last August, has made it perfectly clear on multiple occasions that he wasn’t happy while playing for the Red Sox. Crawford recently spoke to USA Today, and he again hammered home just how miserable he was during his season and a half in Boston.

“I don’t think I smiled in two years,” Crawford said. “I was just frowning. I started growing gray hairs on my face from the stress and everything for two years straight.”

Crawford hit just .255 with 11 home runs, 56 RBIs and a .289 on-base percentage in 130 games in 2011 after inking a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox. His lack of production, injury problems and massive contract all led to the outfielder falling out of favor among much of the team’s fan base.

Crawford was particularly frustrated with the way he was treated by the media, saying that the media loves to see people miserable. The 31-year-old also called the environment in Boston “toxic,” and he hasn’t backed off that stance since.

“I try not to even think about my days in Boston anymore,” Crawford told USA Today. “It’s still just such a nightmare. Every time I think about it, I cringe.”

Crawford is off to a fast start in Los Angeles. He enters Wednesday’s action hitting .314 with a .400 on-base percentage in 19 games with the Dodgers. That has Crawford smiling again, and it also begs the question of why he was unable to perform up to such a level in Beantown.

“Certain places for certain people, I guess,” Crawford said. “L.A. for me, that’s the way I look at it right now. L.A. might not be as comfortable for others, but it seems to be a place that works for me. Why? I don’t know.”

Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto — two other players sent to the Dodgers by the Red Sox in last August’s trade — are also off to hot starts. Gonzalez is hitting .377 (26-for-69) with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 19 games, while Punto is hitting .444 (8-for-18) in 11 games as a backup infielder.

Crawford was forced to conquer an elbow injury to get back on track, but the outfielder admits that his resurgence is about more than just overcoming a physical ailment.

“I had to dig down as deep as I’ve ever had to dig, into my soul, to find myself,” Crawford said. “I didn’t want to believe that stuff is true. To my mind, it wasn’t like trying to show those guys. To me, it was like if I don’t do it this year, it’s the end of my career.”

Now, it looks like Crawford has plenty of baseball ahead of him. Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, that also means there’s more complaining to be done about his short stint in Boston.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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