The verdict is in. Carl Crawford can’t handle Boston.
Statistically, this season has been his worse. His average and OBP are easily career lows. His .402 slugging percentage is almost 100 points off from what it was last year in his contract year in Tampa. Crawford was never great against lefties, but this year went into the awful category. So bad at times that the Red Sox would bench him in favor of Hall of Famer Darnell McDonald. He has had his second worst fielding season on record while trying to cover an area of about 5 feet by 3 feet in left field at Fenway. Of course he isn’t going to have the run and RBI production we’re used to seeing or expected to see. People assumed that the best was yet to come. After all, he had never played with a combination like Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Adrian Gonzalez in Tampa. The aforementioned on base and slugging percentages didn’t help matters and didn’t give Terry Francona an excuse to hit him higher in the order. And then there’s his 18 steals. Even when he played in just 109 games back in 2008 he still swiped 25 bases. In more games this year he has 7 less steals.
And then there’s the recent issue of Crawford playing in games. Yesterday against a tough lefty, Crawford did not start. It would have been nice to get your $20 million man in for the biggest game of the Red Sox season, but he sat. He eventually came into the game to pinch hit and smoked a double the other way off of another lefty. Whatever. It was done. The Red Sox lost the game and had their Wild Card lead – which was all but handed to them (if not the division) back in early June – reduced to two games. Today was different though. Crawford was in the lineup as of this morning. The Red Sox were facing a righty in Jeremy Guthrie. And then later on in the day, Crawford was scratched with a stiff neck. This story will naturally have Red Sox fans thinking back on another $20 million per season left fielder who used to be scratched with some weird injuries from time to time. Crawford’s reputation going into this year would lead you to believe that at least the Red Sox weren’t getting a player that wouldn’t give 100%. Then again, a stiff neck in the heat of a playoff race? What would Willis Reed, Jack Youngblood, or a 1999 ALDS version of Pedro Martinez say to that?
- So Money Ball will come out soon. It’s on the cover of SI. Those Oakland A’s, run by the same GM, are currently 20th in MLB in on base percentage.
- Jose Bautista argues that Miguel Cabrera should have won the MVP last year when he was playing for a team that did not make the playoffs. The same argument should be made for Bautista this year who will have to compete with several players in the AL East for votes.
- By the time this season is over, Albert Pujols will have 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and a .300 average for the 11th straight season.
- Stopped me if you’ve heard this before, but Kerry Wood is done for the season.
- James Loney has been the 8th best player in fantasy baseball over the last thirty days. Sigh.
- The Orioles appear to be the early front runners for Prince Fielder according to Jon Heyman. That would be a nice park for Fielder.
- Domonic Brown has been recalled by Philadelphia and will likely go to instructional league following the season.
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