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Carl Crawford regrets signing in “toxic” Boston

Feb 14, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

carl crawford getty Getty Images

Dylan Hernandez sat down with Carl Crawford, who is looking to make a fresh start in Los Angeles. As for his feelings about Boston:

“It was just everything,” he said. “Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, ‘Is this ever going to end?'”

Asked if he regretted signing with the Red Sox, Crawford replied, “A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision.”

It certainly wasn’t a good place for him and his injuries gave him no ability to silence critics. It’s interesting now how when people talk about the high expectations of the Dodgers they rarely mention Crawford. It’s always Kemp, Greinke, Gonzalez, Beckett and then Mattingly and ownership. Crawford may be flying under the radar. Which may be a very good thing for Carl Crawford.

  1. number42is1 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Over/Under until craig writes the “Carl Crawford says that his statement was taken out of context” article.

    • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Were not in Florida anymore Todo. If you want the big money via the big market team you are gonna need to take care of business. Im not even a sox fan. This guy looked timid every time he stepped to the plate in Boston. As if he were carrying 100million dollars on his back. Literally and figuratively

      • Old Gator - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Toto. Or, if you insist on talking about Florida, Toado.

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Are there flying monkeys in Boston?

      • takavl - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        “We don’t know if it was really Toto or not…but we’ll check it out…”

        I think that very many Sox fans were excited he was a Red Sox and wanted Carl to do well — as they were tired of him making Varitek, et al look like morons — but not only did the size of the contract chafe most people but he also underperformed, and in some glaring examples, dreadfully so. Worse than JD Drew, ‘cuz at least he got on base and played the corner pretty well. Then came the injuries and (like JD) Carl’s semi-blase attitude didn’t play well to the fans as well as the press corps. The Trop wore him down, but he didn’t help himself with his “meh.”

    • andrewproughcfe - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      @number42is1 – Feb 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM
      “Over/Under until craig writes the “Carl Crawford says that his statement was taken out of context” article.”


      Yeah, because no one else has talked about the toxic Boston environment. Errr, wait….

  2. losangelesfan - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Especially with Red Sox management demanding that their players abuse PED’s.

  3. dcfan4life - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Is Crawford in the top 5 most overpaid baseball players? He makes a strong case for that. And of course Arod is by far number 1.

    • Kevin Gillman - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      I don’t know, Chone Figgins might be number one. At least A-Rod has produced with his pay, what did Chone do after he got paid? Nothing.

      • chacochicken - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        Vernon Wells

      • Kevin Gillman - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Vernon is another good choice, like I said at least A-Rod had a productive season, or two after his big contract. Figgins and Wells have not.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM


  4. Jack Marshall - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Yechhh. Crawford wasn’t injured in his first year, and played like slug. That “toxic” atmosphere had a lot to do with the team’s late collapse and failure to make the play-offs in 2011, a result that Crawford could have prevented right up to botching the catchable the hit that beat the Sox in the pivotal game, if he had performed anywhere close to expectations for even a three week span. Crawford’s contract then appeared to be a decade-long anchor, driving the decision to make the trade to the Dodgers and giving up on the 2012 season.

    No, it wasn’t all Crawford’s fault, but blaming Boston when the team was the victim of his poor play suggests what the Dodgers have to look forward to. Good luck to them, and good riddance to Carl.

    • genericcommenter - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      The contract was an obvious overpay at the start, as Crawford never got on base much, relies on a skillset that does not age well, and played much better in his contract year than he had over his career of basically average batting and over-rated defense.

  5. geoknows - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Crawford is trying to make that fresh start in LA, not Boston, right? Or am I misundertanding the point of that sentence?

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    If he didn’t like “toxic” Boston, he should have stayed in Tampa and played for half the money. But it wasn’t just about the money, right Carl? You should be thanking your lucky stars somebody(The Dodgers) wanted A-Gonz bad enough that they took on your horrendous contract to get him.

    • Jack Marshall - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Don’t forget A-Gon’s awful contract too. He wasn’t the Fenway monster he was supposed to be, stopped getting walks, and has the intensity of jello, with his idiotic, “Everything happens for a reason” nonsense.

  7. crispybasil - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    I have a hard time believing that Crawford regrets signing with Boston. He got a hell of a contract, and it essentially led to him being shipped across the country to a different, perhaps less toxic environment, and to potential powerhouse team.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Crawford used to absolutely kill the Red Sox when he played for Tampa. I just don’t understand how he aged so fast. One of my favorite players, except for his years in Boston. I wish him well, and I hope he turns it around in LA. He was once very exciting to watch.

      • badintent - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        He played great down south , near a certain clinic in Miami. No more clinic , he “ages”. hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.? Call Jose Canseco for his explanation

      • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        Charming. Yes, because there’s no drugs available near Boston. That’s why no one has ever accused a Red Sox of using steroids.

      • mazblast - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        “near” a certain clinic in Miami? Obviously, you’ve never driven from Tampa to Miami. They’re not exactly in adjacent counties. Florida isn’t Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

  8. thekingdave - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Either way he’ll retire an Astro

  9. cur68 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    There seems to be a commenter supposition that Carl Crawford is “in it for the money” and performance is well down the list of his priorities. More than one commenter has said what amounts to this.

    Just reading Crawford’s statement up there in the article, he cites his poor play first. He seems care that he wasn’t playing well. He seems to care that he wasn’t playing up to what he was earning.

    Now I don’t know Carl Crawford personally. Perhaps he was happy to take Boston’s money and dog it. Perhaps he’ll be happy to take LA’s dough and not play well, too. However, where people are getting that this is his attitude is beyond me. Everything this guys says indicates that he wants to play up to what he’s earning. He just couldn’t in Boston: between injuries and the melodrama, this seems understandable. No one trying to play through injuries on the BoSox did much better than Carl Crawford last season.

    I just don’t get all the Carl Crawford hate comes from. What sort of narrative goes through people’s heads that they can dog a guy for trying to play while his UCL was frayed and all around him was Valentinian chaos?

    Good luck to him on Dodgers. If he’s over the UCL perhaps he’ll make some people eat their words. I certainly hope so.

  10. 24missed - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I wish him the best. Carl Crawford is going to come back and really be on top of his game. He played with injuries that the Sox knew about, prior, and gave him injections. It sucks, ’cause it took a player that was really fun to watch and just screwed with his confidence.

    And did he regret signing for the RS? In retrospect, could anyone have seen the sewage of the clubhouse climbing any higher? At least he was gracious enough to reply that he didn’t completey regret it.

    Carl is the man. He owned his mistakes in Boston and apologized to the fans over and over. I didn’t feel he had to. I have a lot of praise for him, always have, always will.

    • Jack Marshall - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      How do you call that statement “owning it”? He stunk, and was a major reason the team stunk. When the Red Sox stink, the environment gets toxic and has since at least 1968.

  11. kjericho43 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Dude got paid. Dude couldn’t stay on the field. Why is he even complaining about anything? Whole time in Boston. His elbow, his impending surgery, his swing, his wheels, etc. Shut up.

  12. pellypell - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    The feeling is mutual you dirty dish rag.

  13. jibzek - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    You have to produce more than a wet blanket to be able to trash ‘toxic’ Boston. I don’t blame him for chasing the money but he’s a slap hitting $20 million dollars singles hitter that’s worn out from the turf in Tampa.

    His game is similar to Adrian Gonzalez? The sexiest singles hitter in the league?

    • 18thstreet - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      DID YOU EVER WATCH HIM PLAY FOR TAMPA? That ‘singles hitter’ you’re referring to led MLB in triples four times and stolen bases four times.

      Crawford was a terrific, terrific player. And he was especially terrific against Boston.

  14. pisano - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Crawfords got a lot of nerve, part of accepting that kind of money is performing, and God knows a .255 batting average and all the injuries is not performing, granted you can’t help the injuries, but as an earlier poster stated he looked timid at the plate, and never got on base enough to use his speed. I’m by no means of a Red Sox fan, but the Red Sox deserved better than that. God help him if he would have signed with the Yankees for that kind of money and laid that kind of an egg.

  15. jason9696 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I’m sure Boston fans regret him signing there as well. That had to have been one of the all-time worst baseball contracts in the history of the game.

  16. losanginsight - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Welcome to beautiful sunny Southern California Carl!
    It’s not his fault that smelly Boston offered him the money. Sox are in rebuild mode for the foreseeable future. Keep looking up at the AL East. Don’t worry about the Dodgers or their players.

  17. ejannetta - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Not a Crawford fan….But…calling Boston toxic is being kind…Besides,I don’t care how many millions they spend trying to fix up tht shit-hole park…it’s like trying to gve a crack-whore a makeover.

    • amartland - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      how DARE you say that about crack-whores?

    • sabatimus - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      The park has little to do with Boston being toxic, though I do think they should tear it down and put up a modernized version with many more seats and modern clubhouses and amenities. But since the sellout streak will likely come to an end the second game of the season, I’m not counting on any changes.

  18. sabatimus - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    As a Sox fan (a rather apprehensive one, for obvious reasons), I think the team’s toxicity level will be high as long as Henry keeps employing jackasses to help pick his team. Larry Lucchino, I’m looking at you. But this also seems to be a cyclical thing regardless of ownership: the team over many years has actively alienated its players (Carlton Fisk, for one high-profile example), and it disgusts me.

    To add further insult, calling the media in Boston a circus is being very very kind…

  19. giselleisasucubus - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Are you kidding me, Carl? Red Sox fans didn’t boo him, they backed him. People were excited he was in Boston. Screw him. I was rooting for him to get it together. Now I hope he continues to rob another organization for that contract he stole. The guy chokes and blames it on the city he is playing in. Moron. Wasn’t toxic when they were averaging 95 wins a year for a decade before he showed up.

    • forsch31 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Funny how Carl didn’t say Red Sox fans booed him. He didn’t even mention the fans at all. All he said that “the environment was toxic,” which I think any Red Sox fan not taking a homer view of the last couple of seasons for their team can agree with.

  20. elmo - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    He mentioned his disappointing performance, so he’s not deflecting responsibility. He’s got every right to call the environment there toxic, because it obviously is. So, there’s no controversy here – unless you’re a bitter Sox fan, I guess.

    Of course the best way to silence his critics will be to play well for the Dodgers. Good luck, Carl!

    • elmo - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      On second thought, if he does well for the Dodgers, Sox fans will become even more enraged that he didn’t do better in Boston. So, never mind the penultimate sentence above.

  21. dwdive - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    He didn’t regret going to the bank and cashing those fat a$$ checks every week…

  22. psousa1 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    The most glaring part of this was I didn’t realize what a mediocre to bad outfielder he was. The only outfield position easier other than RF in Yankee stadium is LF in Fenway. Half the time he looked like he was trying to catch a falling leaf or chasing marbles in a bathtub. He should have a shrine built dedicated to Theo Epstein. Oh wait, Theo was the victim of ownership and they tied him up and beat him senseless until he went out and bid against himself for Crawford. But that’s another story.

    • dwdive - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      So he pretty much sucked at everything while in Boston then? Because he couldn’t stay healthy, he couldn’t hit, and he was a terrible fielder? Good luck LA..

    • badintent - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Love the Theo reference. Nice touch.All GMs get tied up from time to time.

  23. redsghost - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Trust me Carl, Boston regrets signing a Toxic contract like yours as well. You didn’t earn 1/20th of your contract. Wasn’t about the money? I don’t see you handing any of it back to the club that you didn’t earn.

  24. drewsylvania - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Red Sox fan here. He’s not wrong. Probably shouldn’t have signed in Boston and/or done his homework on this town, first.

  25. drewsylvania - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    I’d like to hold you all to the standard you’re trying to set for Crawford. I guarantee you all ***** and moan.

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