Saturday, February 19, 2011


Shank's Saturday column covers Carl Crawford and all that it means to the Red Sox. Shank is fairly praiseworthy of Crawford:

Now he comes to Boston trying to make some history in a Red Sox uniform. Crawford is a Gold Glove left fielder who hit .307 with 19 homers, 90 RBIs, and 47 steals last year. He joins Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew to give the Sox the best lineup in baseball.

You can make a case that Crawford was the big winner in NESN’s abysmal ratings last season. The Sox needed some splash and the acquisition of Crawford ($142 million), coming on the heels of the trade for Gonzalez, was done to bring the Sox back to relevance in a competitive sports market.
Be aware of what Shank said about Crawford shortly after the signing:

I worry about his legs. Crawford does a lot of his damage with his wheels and the horrid surface inside Tropicana Field no doubt took a toll. There is also his mediocre history at Fenway — a .275 career average and .301 on-base percentage with only four homers in 320 at-bats over 76 games. Fenway doesn’t seem to amplify his offensive skills.

On Tampa’s 100-loss teams, Crawford was the player who never mailed it in. With Evan Longoria and David Price still maturing, Crawford goes down as the most popular and best player in the history of the Rays franchise.
I included that second paragraph in the interest of fairness. I mentioned previously that Shank seems to write negative things in advance so he can say 'I told you so' in the event of a prolonged slump.

And what's with the similarity of columns the past few days? Do these guys hang around at lunch or dinner and share the same talking points they're going to mention in the next day's columns?

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