Monday, March 11, 2013

Who Is He Kidding?

For the second time in two weeks, former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford complained about his treatment by our wonderfully kind and compassionate local sports media while a member of the Sox. Shank ridiculously takes exception to Crawford's comments.
Last week Carl told Danny Knobler of, “I took so much of a beating in Boston, I don’t think anything could bother me anymore . . . They love it when you’re miserable. Burying people in the media, they think that makes a person play better. That media was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.’’

Any of you scratching your head over this one?

Let’s start with the fact that Carl gladly signed a seven-year, $142 million contract and delivered nothing. He was never the player that he had been when he played against the Sox. He was soft and often injured. He didn’t hit, didn’t get on base, didn’t steal bases, and became a subpar defender. It was all bad.

And despite all that, we cut him slack. Fans and media. We pumped his tires. We noted how much he cared, how hard he tried. We discouraged booing the guy. Poor Carl. Don’t blame him.
Dan Shaughnessy, cutting Crawford some slack, April 21, 2011:
Who’s at shortstop today? Who’s behind the plate? Where’s Waldo Crawford hitting? Who is leadoff man du jour? It’s a New England parlor game, from Eastport to Block Island.
Yesterday, Marco “Wally Pipp’’ Scutaro was back at short and banged out a couple of hits. Jed Lowrie played third base and hit his third homer in five games. No. 7 hitter Crawford actually knocked in a run. Leadoff man of the hour J.D. Drew homered. Jason Varitek caught Clay Buchholz while Jarrod Saltalamacchia sat.
Dan Shaughnessy, cutting Crawford some slack, April 24, 2011:
It was embarrassing seeing Crawford batting eighth last night. We are 20 games into the season and poor Carl has already batted first, second, third, seventh, and eighth. He’s certainly the first $142 million No. 8 hitter in baseball history (not counting Alex Rodriguez in the 2006 playoffs). Crawford has left an astounding number of runners on third base, but got a break Friday night when the Angels’ flossy center fielder, Peter Bourjos, dropped a sky-high shot with runners on second and third and two out in the fourth.
Dan Shaughnessy, cutting Crawford some slack, August 18, 2011:
Four losses in five games. Nine hits and three runs in 27 innings over two days at home against the Rays. David Ortiz is wearing a ski boot on his right foot and Carl Crawford is harder to find than Albert Haynesworth.
Dan Shaughnessy, cutting Crawford some slack and reminding readers of Crawford's contract, July 29, 2012:
Carl Crawford, the man with the $142 million contract, was not in Boston’s lineup against CC Sabathia.
Dan Shaughnessy, cutting Crawford some slack again on July 29, 2012:
No. Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, and Johnny Damon are not walking through that door. You now have tin soldiers Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Maybe Shank means 'cutting him some slack' in a relative sense:
I know this will be hard for some of you to believe, but I, myself, have at times been harsh. When Robert Parish struggled through a brief playoff slump, I called him, “Basketball’s Mr. October.’’ Sox reliever Steve Crawford was “as effective as a sack of doorknobs.’’ For refusing to acknowledge a bunt sign, Jose Offerman was characterized as a “piece of junk’’ (OK, over the line on that one).
How about calling David Ortiz "a sad sack of you know what"? Was that over the line? But it's all good - because all Boston sportswriters do it!
It happens. We are tough on professional athletes in this town. Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and Wade Boggs all were ripped here and all are enshrined in Cooperstown. Nomar Garciaparra was ripped (only at the end). Manny Ramirez was ripped (only when he quit). Pedro Martinez was rightfully colored as a “diva,” and Roger Clemens was regularly insulted. Comparing the amazing skill sets of Messrs. Clemens and Martinez, I wrote, “On top of everything else, Pedro Martinez even speaks better English than Roger Clemens.’’


But absolutely none of this poison was spilled on Carl Crawford. Zero.
I guess Shank has a point. It could have been worse, Carl - you could have been the next sack of you know what!

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