Carl Crawford and Pablo Sandoval have a couple of things in common.
Both players signed big-money contracts with the Boston Red Sox as free agents, and both struggled to live up to the expectations that came with those deals.
For Crawford, he never turned things around, and ultimately the Red Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August 2012. Sandoval is still in Boston, and he can flip the script, but he’ll have to do so the hard way after being benched in favor of Travis Shaw ahead of Opening Day.
Crawford hasn’t shied away from talking about his time with the Red Sox since that 2012 trade. So when Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown asked Crawford about what Sandoval’s going through in Boston, the Dodgers outfielder offered his thoughts.
“It’s extremely hard,” Crawford told Brown. “Once you have failure, for some reason people like to see it. When you get that type of money, the expectations become so unrealistic. You don’t live up to the expectations, you’re doomed.”
Crawford signed a seven-year contract worth a reported $142 million in December 2010. In Boston, he never regained the form that made him a four-time All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays. Crawford hit just .260 with the Red Sox, striking out 126 times in 161 games with Boston before being shipped to Los Angeles.
“It definitely eats at you,” Crawford added. “But, as men, we can’t whine about stuff like that. We have to be professional. We can’t show somebody it bothers us. But, hey, you know, we bleed just like you.”
To Sandoval’s credit, he didn’t whine about manager John Farrell’s decision to bench him. Whether he’s able to turn things around and be the player he was in San Francisco remains to be seen. If not, it’s inevitable he’ll be viewed as Crawford 2.0.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images