Seven months after the end of his Red Sox tenure, Carl Crawford still harbors hard feelings from his time in Boston, especially when it comes to the media.
Speaking from Los Angeles Dodgers camp in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday, Crawford told CBSSports.com, “That [Boston] media was the worst thing I've ever experienced in my life.”
Crawford spent only a season and a half in a Sox uniform, but that time was marked by injuries and ineffectiveness, with the shy outfielder overwhelmed by the pressure of a $142 million contract. The more the team struggled, the more Crawford said he felt like a media scapegoat.
“I took so much of a beating in Boston, I don’t think anything could bother me anymore,” he said. “They can say what they want — that I’m the worst free agent ever — and it won’t get to me. But it bothered me the whole time there.”
Crawford also said of the Boston media: “They love it when you’re miserable . . . Burying people in the media, they think that makes a person play better.”
Crawford got his ticket out of town when the Sox got the Dodgers to take on his contract in last summer’s blockbuster deal. It was a fresh start Crawford desperately wanted. Feeling scorned, Crawford said he had to fake his enthusiasm in Boston.
“You have to tell everybody how much you like it, when you really don’t like it,” he said.
Since the trade, Crawford has acknowledged he made the wrong decision in free agency, which he reiterated Thursday. “I didn’t do my homework. Maybe [the Sox] didn’t, either,” he said.
Crawford has spent this spring rehabbing his surgically repaired left elbow with the hope of being ready for Opening Day. He’s also been feeling the sting of regret.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of baseball left,” he said. “But over there, I felt like my career was almost over.”