December 7, 2019

Spring Training Wrap-up, 2/18/11… Crawford: “I figure as each and every day goes on, I’m going to get more comfortable.”

February 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

OF Carl Crawford met the media today in Fort Myers

Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford spoke with the media today at the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers. He was glib and very animated. He laughed a lot, especially when asked if his stolen base totals would go down because he wouldn’t be playing against the Red Sox any longer (Crawford stole 62 of 66 bases in his career against the Sox, including the last 35 in a row).

He was asked for his thoughts on being with a new ballclub, among other things:

On his contract with the Red Sox:  “I never imagined that I would command this kind of contract… I never hit 20 home runs. I always looked at it as speed guys weren’t looked on as highly as the home runs hitters, so I figured if I had speed and could do everything else right and at a high level, then I would have a chance to be just as valuable… I tried to be the best at every other little thing, and it worked out for me.”

On being with a new team:  “Yesterday, it was new for me. I thought I was ready for it, but I still really wasn’t… Today I felt more comfortable. I figure as each and every day goes on, I’m going to get more comfortable.”

On the hardest part of the transition to a new team: “It’s a new group of people. I’ve seen those guys play on the other side a lot, but it’s different when you’re actually in the clubhouse with them. I’ve got to meet new staff, new workers, everybody. That’s the main thing, the people.”

On playing in front of large crowds in Boston as opposed to sparce crowds in Tampa: “I better get ready pretty soon. I’m not worried about fans being at the game, that is one of my least worries. I’m excited to have a chance to play in front of all those people… the opportunity to do that is exciting enough.”

On his running game:  “I do everything I can to keep my speed because that’s what I’m known for… My goal is to come out and try to put pressure on the other team, steal as many bags (as I can) and try and get in scoring position.”

On playing with Jacoby Ellsbury: “He’s a guy I think of as kind of like myself. If I can, I would like to help him and try to encourage him and help get him as many stolen bases as possible. We can run together. I want him to do as good as he can… There’s no rivalry there, I want to see Ellsbury do as well as his talents will let him.”

On batting leadoff: “Whatever is best for the team. You know, that’s my thing, to do whatever I can to help the team win… (But that said,) Lou (Piniella) said, ‘(Being a leadoff hitter is) not what you are.’ I put a lot of faith in his judgment. I thought he knew what he was talking about.”

On the legacy of playing left field for the Red Sox: “Mr. Rice was telling me a few things. I know it’s going to be hard to fill those shoes, but I’m going to my my best.”

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Jason Varitek was knocked down in a collision with Carl Crawford during Game 3 of the 2008 ALCS.. and then, last year, Crawford is the guy who hit the foul ball that broke Varitek’s right foot.

He was asked what he said to Crawford when his new left fielder arrived in Red Sox camp:

“I said, ‘You run me over at the plate. You jacked up my neck. You’re the one that caused all my neck problems and last year you fouled a ball off my foot, You’re single-handedly trying to ruin my career. Thank God you’re here. You just extended my career four years’.”

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Speaking of Jason Varitek, here is an interesting tidbit from Peter Abraham in today’s Boston Globe:

(In the clubhouse) the pitchers are on one side, the position guys on the other.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia crossed the great divide this morning, moving into the vacant locker near Beckett and Wakefield. When Wakefield asked him why he moved, Salty said he was looking for some more space.

“And I want to be near my pitchers,” he said.

My pitchers. That’s the kind of thing you want to hear from a young catcher in the position Saltalamacchia has been put in. He’s taking ownership of the situation and showing those veteran pitchers that he’s there for them.

It’s worth noting that the only other position player on that side of the room is Jason Varitek and you can bet Saltalamacchia noticed that.

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Two weeks ago, I wrote that I believe the signing of Alfredo Aceves may have been a stroke of genius on the part of Theo Epstein.

Abraham wrote that he watched Aceves throw today and thinks the Sox made “a smart pickup.”

Yup! Mark my words, by the end of the season we will all be talking about how smart Theo was to grab this guy.

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In his appearance on WEEI this morning, GM Theo Epstein discussed the team’s philosophy on signing younger, arbitration-eligible players to long-term contracts:

“Our philosophy, which is actually a policy in writing, is that if we’re going to sign arbitration-eligible players long term, we have to get one free agent year and we have to get an option for the club. Because we’re giving the player certainty, we need to be able get some of those prime years back in exchange. That makes it a fair bargain. We got that with (Kevin) Youkilis. We got that with (Dustin) Pedroia. We got that with (Jon) Lester. Those players decided to give us that flexibility in exchange for security. If players don’t want to do that, that’s fine with us. We’ll just treat them accordingly, year to year.”

While he mentioned Youk, Pedroia and Lester in the interview, you can bet he was really sending a message to Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury looking ahead to negotiations with them.

Earlier this week, Buchholz told ‘EEI listeners that he would be open to doing a deal that would provide him the kind of security that Jon Lester received. The question seems to be whether he is prepared to offer up a year of free agency in exchange for the security he says he would like. In life, you have to give something to get something…

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