Here’s a word of advice for Carl Crawford: Just let it go, man.
We begged you last summer to move on, focus on life in Los Angeles and forget about your time in Boston. Yet, here you are, once again complaining about how bad it was to be a member of the Red Sox.
The irony here is that no one talks about Carl Crawford in Boston until Crawford starts talking about Boston. In his latest sob story, the former Sox outfielder revealed to WEEI.com that his time with the Red Sox is a “scar” he’ll always have.
The thing about Crawford’s latest remarks is that some of them just aren’t true. Sure, everyone understands that playing in Boston is a pain in the butt — especially when you’re putting up small numbers for big money, which is exactly what Crawford did. The horror.
But Crawford really missed the mark in trying to explain why Boston is such a miserable place to play.
Here’s what he told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford:
“I think it’s easier for guys who are homegrown. When you’re homegrown, it’s good. But when you come in from the outside and you don’t produce as soon as you get there, that’s when you have problems. Adrian (Gonzalez) hit 27 home runs his first year and they were wondering why he wasn’t hitting home runs. If they weren’t happy with Adrian hitting 27 home runs I knew I was never going to be liked. I knew I was in a bunch of trouble. I just knew I was never going to be able to please the people up there. Once you have that in your head, it’s hard to cope with the day to day stuff.”
Did folks in Boston expect more than 27 home runs out of Adrian Gonzalez? Probably. After all, he was a guy who averaged 34 homers per season in four years prior while playing at spacious Petco Park. But you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who were legitimately upset with Gonzalez, who still led the league in hits while posting a .338 batting average and .957 OPS in his first season with the Sox.
The production — or perceived lack thereof — wasn’t why fans turned on Gonzalez. Fans got on him when instead of taking accountability for the 2011 collapse, Gonzalez simply said the playoffs weren’t in God’s plans. He also ruffled feathers by complaining about the schedule, which, fair or not, doesn’t sit well here.
Crawford’s theory that it’s easier for “homegrown” players to succeed in Boston is flawed. While there aren’t financial-based expectations on young players who come up through the system, homegrown Sox players face their share of pressure to succeed. Just ask current Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. And, when Dustin Pedroia hit .191 after being called up in 2006, the “homegrown” thing didn’t shield him at all.
It’s also not unprecedented for players to come in with big contracts and even bigger expectations and deliver in Boston. Curt Schilling handled it just fine. So did Keith Foulke. Manny Ramirez, despite all of his issues, lived up to expectations. Even Beckett came in and pitched the Sox to a World Series in 2007.
To succeed in Boston, you need to be strong-minded and have the ability to persevere. Had Crawford done his research — something he admits in the WEEI.com piece he didn’t do — he would have figured that out pretty quickly. That’s on him, though, not on Boston.
But then again, excuse-making is what will define Crawford’s time in and after Boston. That’s why it’s probably in his best interest to mix in a “no comment” and just stop talking about it sooner rather than later.
Photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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