There has been a lot of emotion recently surrounding Carl Crawford’s move to the Red Sox. During his introductory press conference with the Red Sox (and apparently Dunkin Donuts) he told the world that his heart was in Boston and he never mentioned the team that helped make him a hundred kazillionaire.

And then after being called out by one local beat writer, Crawford finally took out a half-page ad in a local paper that some fans felt didn’t come with much sincerity.

It is as if Crawford has moved on and wants to put his Tampa Bay Rays days behind him. And as much as that stings, we understand it.

Crawford was born to be a superstar in this sport. And that is something the Tampa Bay Rays could never give to Crawford.

Tampa and St. Pete are like the comedy clubs that Jerry Seinfeld performed at when he was younger. Sure they gave him his shot and made him quasi-famous with his appearances on the Tonight Show, but they had to know that Seinfeld was destined for greater things.

Sure Crawford appeared in three All-Star games, was voted the starter once and even won an All-Star MVP award. And despite being maybe the most exciting player in baseball, Crawford still didn’t have the national appeal of players like Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols.

It sucks that Crawford is gone. It sucks that he has taken his talents to the hated Red Sox. And it sucks even more that he is quick to forget his days in a Rays uniform. And when the Hall of Fame comes calling 15 years from now, it sucks that Crawford will be wearing a Red Sox cap, and his days in St. Pete will be nothing more than a footnote.

But CC deserves his shot at super-duper-stardom, and now he has it. And as much as the entire situation hurts Rays fans, Crawford is in a place that is better for him.

 
 

20 Comments

  1. I once had a dog that got sick and died. My mom said that dog went to a better place. I still miss that dog.

  2. nate says:

    Seriously…these things happen when your mid to lower market. I think we all need to collectively move on. The last thing the Rays fan base needs to become is the Marlins reincarnate. Those guys rattle off the names of every good player who passed through their halls as if any other franchise would have retained all of them.

    Its part of the game in the year 2011.

  3. John says:

    I’m gonna disagree, Cork. One of the players you mention, Alex Rodriguez, became an uber-star playing for … um … Seattle. And then Texas. He didn’t need the Yankees to validate his stardom. He was already bigger than Jesus.

    Carl is not the monster star he should be is because 1) he just isn’t that kind of guy, doesn’t have that kind of personality and 2) he doesn’t hit a ton of homers.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I don’t mean to equate Crawford with Rodriguez talent-wise. ARod clearly is the rare bread that would be a superstar anywhere. But he is part if that group that most casual fans would accept as the best in baseball, and Crawford isn’t recognized as part of that group. Yes, his quiet demeanor hurt him playing in a smaller market. But that won’t matter in Boston.

      • Derek says:

        I beg to differ. Id argue that most fans accept him as one of the best OFs in the game, but, when youre the best at one of the easiest positions to play. Youre not going to get a lot of respect. Plus, playing for a team that never got any TV play for years doesnt help…….

        How do we know he will go in the hall of fame as a Sox?

        How do we know he placed the ad because of some beat writer? If he doesnt care about the area. Why would he care about what the writers think?

        I think we are the fans who dont get it… Why do I read hate for this guy everywhere I go? Did he do something wrong? Did he not play his ass off here for years, without ever saying much of anything? Did he demand a trade like Greinke?

        I see no issue with him signing with the Sox, and I plan to watch him play, as well as Carlos. I wish them both the best. I hope the both have great years next year.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          He barely beat out Nelson Cruz in the All Star voting and most fans couldn’t pick Cruz out of a lineup before the playoffs.

          • Derek says:

            didnt cruz have an all star type season?

          • John says:

            But Evan Longoria was the leading vote getter in baseball in 2009. I think he was still a Ray then, wasn’t he? How did that happen? Well, he was on Sports Center a lot for making some freaking incredible plays, and he hits homers. And he’s personable. And (I’m told) he’s cute. CC get 1 out of 4 of those? Maybe 2 out of 4?

            I’m sure he’ll be more popular in Boston. He still will not be a mega-star. Meanwhile, guys like Longo will, regardless of the market they play in.

            Oh, and I don’t have a problem with anything CC has done since he left. He played his ass off, and he has earned the right to do this. I do think after a few years in Boston, he will remember his time here a little differently. More positively.

          • Cork Gaines says:

            Yes, it is possible in a small market if you are cute and have a personality and hit home runs. You don’t have to do those things in a big baseball market. CC will be better recognized and revered in Boston and he knows it.

          • Frank says:

            Carl showed us his true colors… He is an ass and thats that..I have said.. we all would take the money, but he does not like this area .. so gd riddance and hope you hit .240 and lead the sucks to missing the playoffs.. GO RAYS..

  4. Don says:

    Oh Derek, One of the most rational, intelligent posts I have seen on this site…
    One mistake, “How do we know CC will be in Hall of fame as a Sox” …we don’t….. as a Sox (could be traded tomorrow)
    BUT i’ll bet you anything….your lunch money…
    CARL Carwford will be a Hall of Fame player…who briefly played for the Tampabay Rays….what a shame…

    • Frank says:

      Hall of Fame?? honestly he is not even close to on track for that!! stolen bases do not get you in unless yr name is Brock.. great defensive plays do not get you in(is Edmonds a hof’er) … Hrs and rbi’s get outfielders in.. and btw.. Carl (your heart was in Boston while you were here) .. yr kid loved Boston .. BYE BYE.. no chance he becomes more relevant leaning against a big wall than here.. Oh and I do not think he should’nt have taken the check! ENEMY PEOPLE!! GO RAYS.. NOT SOX!!

      • Derek says:

        And wins used to get pitchers the cy young. How many did felix have again
        ? We will see what stats matter when its time to vote for him. Who cares about his heart? He played baseball here, and did a good job. I dont watch baseball to see hearts. Or hear about attendance. So till Evan, or Price, or Carl stop doing what they get paid to do, im going to enjoy watching them play baseball. Anything else doesnt matter to me.

        Really don, I dont care. If thats how it ends up. Ill still be watching rays baseball.

      • Charles says:

        Actually, he kinda is on that track if you put any weight into comparable players at a similar age. His top 5 comparables on Baseball Reference include 2 current Hall of Famers and another who will (or should, at least) be elected in Tim Raines. If he ever figures out a little more plate discipline and his power continues to increase as he ages, he’ll be a monster. As it stands now, his numbers are eerily similar to some guy named Roberto Clemente when he was 28. Obviously there’s no guarantee that CC will finish with Clemente’s career, but it’s also not at all inconceivable that he will. I don’t think he’s a lock Hall of Famer, but I do think that for now at least he is on that path.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          Also consider that even though he was only 28 this past season, There is only one active player with more career steals (Juan Pierre). So if you consider this the “dead ball” era of stolen bases, he is the greatest base thief of this generation.

          And despite never getting 200 hits in a season, CC has an excellent shot at 3,000. He might have to play until he is 40, but he will definitely be close.

  5. Rob says:

    Define Superstar from a production standpoint please. For the record. And if you refer to WAR, you automatically discredit the assertion that things will be different in Boston. To be a superstar, a lot of people have to think you’re awesome and most people don’t know what WAR or isoOBP or whatever means.

    I also don’t think the masses are mad at Crawford. Nothing personal, just business. Hopefully Jennings stays healthy and Crawford will be totally forgotten. Big hope, I know.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I wouldn’t define superstar from a production point of
      view, although production is certainly a factor. Superstardom is
      rarely that cut and dry. But Carl Crawford is one of the most
      exciting players in baseball. He is a guy that can single-handedly
      alter the outcome of a game in a number of different ways. the
      casual fan could care less about his WAR, but they do love watching
      him play.

    • Derek says:

      “nothing personal” then you say you hope he is forgotten. Come on, who are we to judge a man for trying to get paid market value for his talents. War is just a tool to show production. The casual fan doesnt have to know what it means. That doesnt mean you cant use it as a quick way to show someones overall value. His other stats still speak for themselves. Batting average, stolen bases, plus watching him play defense.

  6. We’re never gonna have a guy in the HOF with a Rays cap unless we start spending more money…… :(

  7. Beth says:

    I will never begrudge CC for going after a big contract. But there’s really no need for statements like this one (cut and pasted from Big League Stew — see link below) (and should someone tell Carl that he never actually played in Tampa?)

    For one, Crawford says he’s excited about playing in front of full houses at Fenway Park after struggling through some less-than-capacity crowds down in Tampa Bay:

    “That was really a big deal for me because I went through the situation in Tampa and didn’t want to go through that again. It was definitely a big deal for me to know that I want to go to a team where they understand the game. It’s on you if you get booed or not. People are like into it. Just that whole environment, the tradition, that played a part in it.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Carl-Crawford-shouldn-t-drive-while-receiving-bi?urn=mlb-304266#remaining-content

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