Remember when the Boston Red Sox signed Carl Crawford ahead of the 2011 season? Sure, the $142 million contract over seven years seemed like a lot of money, a lot more than any other team was willing to pay, but the addition of Crawford made it indisputable: the Red Sox had the best lineup in baseball.
Then, last season was actually played out, and something wasn’t right. Crawford struggled. He struggled like he has never struggled before. This wasn’t the case of a player coming over to the American League East and discovering that he couldn’t keep up with a more competitive brand of baseball. Crawford had cut his teeth in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays. It wasn’t as though he was an aged veteran past his prime and entering into his years of steep decline. Crawford was 29 years old. No, the sudden inability of Carl Crawford to do what he had previously done at the game of baseball was inexplicable.
However, to a large extent, the entire team’s collapse in September caused many to forget about Crawford’s miserable year. During the off season, there were mentions that Red Sox ownership were maybe not as keen on signing the left fielder as the team’s management, but with all the other problems plaguing Red Sox Nation, and the subsequent changes, once again, focus shifted from Crawford.
Off season wrist surgery made it seem as though there might have been a physical ailment causing his lack of production the previous year … and maybe this could solve the problem. Sure, Boston would have to make due with Darnell McDonald for the first part of the season, but if it meant a fixed Crawford was coming back, it was a small price to pay. Then, the season began and there were losses and Bobby Valentine and bullpen meltdowns, and once again, Red Sox Nation kind of forgot about the recovering Carl Crawford.
And now, more than three weeks into the season, it’s been announced that while the fan base was pulling its hair out over who would fill what bullpen role, Crawford has been diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews with a UCL sprain in his left elbow. What this translates to is another three months on the Disabled List and a negative focus once again being put on Crawford.
Unfortunate doesn’t begin to describe it. The Red Sox, who were planning on having him back in the near future, now will have to get by with more of what they’ve been running out there so far. That means more Marlon Byrd, more Darnell McDonald, and more Ryan Sweeney.
The entire Carl Crawford endeavour reminds me of The Money Pit. What at first looks like a happy expenditure quickly devolves into a bad investment with so many bad turns that it almost becomes comical. Congruently enough, I believe I laughed just as much during The Money Pit as Red Sox fans are laughing now.
Odd Thing Of The Day
From ESPN Stats and Info: Edinson Volquez threw 20 curveballs against the Nats last night, and they didn’t swing at any of them.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 27, 2012
And The Rest
Delmon Young: arrested. [New York Post]
Bobby Valentine: A master of preparation. [Big League Stew]
The Washington Nationals continue to enjoy the benefit of an incredible starting rotation. [Baseball Musings]
Albert Pujols got a hit! [USA Today]
Despite the hit, the Los Angeles Angels still lost the ball game (thanks a lot, Jordan Walden). So, here are a few things they can do to curb the tide, as they say. [FOX Sports]
Maybe all it takes is for Mike Scioscia to lighten up. [Los Angeles Times]
The did you know of the day: Baseball’s brand of revenge models ancient blood feuds. [Huffington Post]
So, a couple did this at a baseball game. [Getting Blanked]
And now they want an apology from a Michael Kay, the YES commentator who mocked them gratuitously, because they were too self absorbed to realize a kid was crying next to them. Somehow, these people have become even more insufferable. [WFAA.com]
Here’s a good baseball/kid story to temper the obnoxiousness. [High Heat Stats]
Perfect Phillip Humber quickly went back to regular Phillip Humber last night in Chicago. [South Side Sox]
Bill Baer questions the value of a closer. [Crashburn Alley]
San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez had yet another injury setback. [Comcast Sportsnet]
What the Dodgers got; and what the Dodgers need. [Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness]
The Adam Dunn strike out streak counter is up to 22 games. [Baseball Nation]
Walk offs often mean two things: 1) Excitement; and 2) Disappointing relievers. We had both yesterday. [Baseball Nation]
New York and Detroit? Pfft. Please. All eyes will be on the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins series this weekend. [Puckett's Pond]
Today in eerie: Dan Johnson and Brandon Allen were both first basemen claimed off waivers from Oakland, both added to the 40-man roster on April 21 (four years apart) and both in their first official at-bat with the Rays hit ninth-inning pinch-hit homers. [Tampa Bay Times]
Finally, the latest edition of the Getting Blanked Show includes a ton of talk about Michael Pineda’s injury and we make our prop bet for the weekend with some serious consequences for the loser. [Getting Blanked]