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Slumping Carl Crawford benched for today’s game

Apr 16, 2011, 10:41 AM EST

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Carl Crawford is on the bench for today’s game against the Blue Jays, one day after going 0-for-5 and seeing his batting average dip to .137 (7-for-51) to begin the season.

Crawford heard plenty of boos from the Fenway Park crowd after striking out on three pitches against Jon Rauch in the ninth inning last night, but tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he understands their frustration.

“They have to boo. I’m playing real bad — and we’re playing real bad as a team,” said Crawford. “You definitely understand. You can’t be upset about that. You feel their frustration a little bit. We’re frustrated, too.”

As Speier notes, among the 207 hitters who currently qualify for the batting title, Crawford ranks 202nd in batting average, 205th in OBP (.185) and 206th in OPS. Granted, we’re talking about a really small sample size here, but yikes. The Red Sox are batting just .224 as a team and have scored only 46 runs, so it’s pretty easy to see why they’re 2-10 right now.

Crawford is obviously better than what he’s shown until now, but it’s not uncommon for a player to struggle after signing a big money contract. To name two recent notable examples, Mark Teixeira batted .200 in April after signing with the Yankees while Carlos Beltran‘s offensive numbers were merely pedestrian in his first season with the Mets in 2005. Of course, they both eventually turned things around in their new digs, so there’s plenty of reason to believe this is just an ill-timed speed bump for Crawford.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    The whole team should be benched. Why don’t the Red Sox just concede the game and take the day off?

    • JBerardi - Apr 17, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      I think their best bet would be to have Jed Lowrie should play all nine positions, Bugs Bunny style. That’s more or less how they beat the Blue Jays yesterday.

  2. oldpaddy - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    It’s 1996 all over again…

  3. SmackSaw - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    7 years to go

  4. scatterbrian - Apr 16, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    When I played baseball, a dude was “benched” for things like not running out a groundball, or missing a sign, or calling out another player, or for general disciplinary reasons. And Coach would say “you’re benched” like a parent would say you’re grounded.

  5. pisano - Apr 16, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    It appears the honeymoons over for Crawford in Boston. When a team over pays for a player, which Boston certainly did the fans get restless and they expect results, but on the bright side for Crawford if the Yankees were dumb enough to pay him 20 mil+ per year and he performed as he has they would not only be booing him it would probably be worse.

    • marinersnate - Apr 17, 2011 at 1:22 AM

      Funny to hear Yanks fans’ talk about someone being ‘overpaid’. (Just the concept is laughable). Let’s see? Only 7! more years of A-Roid? At $M27.5 per year? Until he is 43 years old?? Ok. Only 4 more years of ‘Jeets’. A SS who, can not play shortstop. Only $M17 per year. Until he is 39 (with a ‘player option’ until he is 40). Who exactly were the Yanks’ bidding against for this gentleman’s service?? Only 3 more years of A.J. at $M16.5 per year. Ok. Seems a good signing. Not an ‘overpay’ like Crawford. Only’ $M13 for ‘hip hip Jorge’ this season? Seems a real steal. Only $M12 a year for a an 8th inning set -up guy? (Who can opt-out at anytime?) Great deal! Probably ‘only’ 10 more years CC after he opts out. At what? $M25 per year?

      Yep. Them ‘Dummies’ up north. If they just had the ‘common sense’ that the Yankees’ do.

      • pisano - Apr 17, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        marinersnate… all valid points, but the two that I totally agree with you are Jeter and Posada. I still can’t understand the Jeter deal. The guy has the worst season of his career at 36 yrs. old and you reward him with a 4 yr. deal? The Posada deal wasn’t smart either, but that was four years ago and he looked like he would hold up as a DH. All GM’s have skeletons in their closet,but it’s a crap shoot with all players,

  6. JBerardi - Apr 17, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    SMALL SAMPLE SIZE. RELAX.

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