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Rays fans give outfielder Carl Crawford a proper send-off

Oct 7, 2010, 8:08 PM EDT

The Rays lost Game 2 of their ALDS matchup with the Rangers this afternoon in Tampa and face elimination Saturday in Texas. But it wasn't all fire and brimstone at Tropicana Field. In the eighth inning, as impending free agent Carl Crawford stepped to the plate, a large section of Rays fans...

The Rays lost Game 2 of their ALDS matchup with the Rangers this afternoon in Tampa and face elimination Saturday in Texas.  But it wasn’t all fire and brimstone at Tropicana Field.

In the eighth inning, as impending free agent Carl Crawford stepped to the plate, a large section of Rays fans began chanting “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.”

Crawford grounded out on the first pitch of his at-bat.  But, as he took his place in left field for the top of the ninth inning, the chants started again.  “CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD … CAR-L CRAW-FORD.”  It filled the stadium and could be heard clearly through the TBS telecast.

Rays fans get a lot of guff because of their early-exits from important games and the perennially low attendance numbers at The Trop, but Thursday’s chant showed a great deal of intelligence and consciousness on the part of the fanbase.

Unless the Rays squeak out two wins in Texas, Thursday’s game was probably the last Crawford will ever play as a member of the home team in Tampa.  The 29-year-old batted .307/.356/.495 with 19 homers and 47 stolen bases in 600 at-bats during the regular season while showing excellent range in the outfield.  He will be courted this offseason by baseball’s biggest spenders.

  1. scottp - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Left field, actually.

  2. Ick McWang - Oct 7, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Carl Crawford is a real professional, and I as a Rays fan am going to be sad to see him go. I think we take his defense for granted around here, his ability to reach foul pop ups and gap hits is a big help to the team and especially the pitchers and their ERA.
    I’m glad to see the fans who were able to attend made sure to give him a proper sendoff. Before 2008, Crawford was about the only reason to watch a Rays game, and was the face of the franchise for years.
    The lousy thing is it seems like Crawford has finally turned into a full fledged professional ballplayer. For amny years, he was an athlete playing baseball, swinging wildly, never drawing walks. Now he works the count and it has helped his batting average swinging on 3-0 and 3-1, 3-2 then in the past, where in the past it seemed it was always 0-2 or 1-2.

  3. NYCBaseball - Oct 8, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    The Yankees clubhouse guy is already trying to guess what number Crawford will want.

  4. BC - Oct 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    You mean the Angels clubhouse guy.

  5. dumpsterbaby - Oct 8, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Crawford is unquestionably the franchise’s greatest player of all time. To say that being acknowledged by the fans in likely his last home game ever shows their “intelligence and consciousness” is simply absurd. While the author is trying to give credit to this maligned fan base, he actually accomplishes quite the opposite. If it takes intelligence and consciousness to recognize the best career anyone has ever amassed in a Rays’ uniform, this clearly shows just how low the bar is set in Tampa. The fact that someone actually decided to write an article about what should have been a given, non-issue, shows just how sorry the state of affairs really is for baseball in South Florida. And, Mr. Silva, I humbly suggest raising your standards.

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