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Crawford seems like a new person


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#1 SoxScout


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:10 PM

When Crawford signed he seemed overly introverted. He got off to a worse than miserable, almost unfathomable start. He had some ok months, but we never saw the electric game-changing guy.

Since the end of the season we have learned even though he wasn’t doing what we know he is capable of on the field, he at least stood up in the locker room in September and gave an impassioned speech. We have also learned that he was receiving injections in his wrist, which ended up turning into minor surgery this winter.

He shows up to camp today and he seemed happy-go-lucky and like he didn’t give a shit about telling the truth or walking on eggshells.

Between his afternoon and tonight on CSNNE with Merloni he said that John Henry’s comments were the cherry on top of a shit sundae. He said if he wants to talk fine, but it doesn’t need to happen. He said backing off those comments would seem disingenuous.

He also said that he doesn’t blame Francona for batting him low in the order because he wasn’t hitting well, but he said other players were telling him that he better hit home runs batting 6th because he ain’t stealing or hitting a triple with Gonzalez or Ortiz on base. Carl said he would handle it better if he is put lower in the order again, just being himself.

I know he is a popular punching bag, some people hated the signing from day 1, some people will never let him live down last year. But given his past, his hopeful health, and general understanding of all things playing in Boston, I can't be the only one expecting a good six years going forward... can I?

#2 Rasputin


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

I know he is a popular punching bag, some people hated the signing from day 1, some people will never let him live down last year. But given his past, his hopeful health, and general understanding of all things playing in Boston, I can't be the only one expecting a good six years going forward... can I?


Of course not. He's a bit overpaid but the man is a hell of a player and while it doesn't necessarily equate with winning games, his skills are fun to watch.

I can't be the only one who hopes we have a game or two against the Yankees where Crawford and Ellsbury each get four singles and go crazy on the bases.

Ten steals in a game would be fun huh?

You know, EACH.

#3 CoRP

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

I'm amused by the posts that don't have Crawford on the 25-man roster.

The only way he doesn't break camp on the 25-man is if he's dead.

#4 ookami7m

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:16 PM

I'm amused by the posts that don't have Crawford on the 25-man roster.

The only way he doesn't break camp on the 25-man is if he's dead.


Likely the expectation that he's on the DL to start the season with wrist recovery

#5 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

I watched that interview on CSN and thought the exact same thing. I have no idea how he plays this year but he sounds a hell of a lot better.

#6 mr_smith02

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

I am done with 2011 and am ready to give any and everyone on the team a chance to show me 2012 holds better days. Play ball!

#7 biollante


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:55 PM

He may have needed a warm up year. At least that is what I would like to think. 2011 is long dead. Spring training always brings hope back even if the fall was very dark and unhappy.

#8 CoRP

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

Likely the expectation that he's on the DL to start the season with wrist recovery

...or recovering from wrist surgery...

#9 BucketOBalls


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:01 PM

I watched that interview on CSN and thought the exact same thing. I have no idea how he plays this year but he sounds a hell of a lot better.


The offseason is a time of hope and armchair psychology. I'd say he can hardly get worse...but we said that about Lackey....so lets not do that.


I'm just gonna be hopefull for now.

#10 Max Power


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:18 PM

I just hope he doesn't push himself too hard this spring and ends up reinjuring the wrist. I'm sure he wants to get back on the field as soon as he can to wash the taste of last year out of his mouth.

#11 reggiecleveland


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:23 PM

Likely the expectation that he's on the DL to start the season with wrist recovery


I hope his swing recovery is successful.

#12 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:41 PM

I'd say he can hardly get worse...but we said that about Lackey....so lets not do that.


Great point.

#13 24JoshuaPoint


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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:00 PM

From what I remember reading he seems like a pretty motivated athlete. He does make some bonehead mistakes though that could have been the size of contract and the pressure talking. Hopefully he's trying to find his happy zone and let the natural instinct take back over. He's in a tough spot. I still don't understand why Henry would make such a comment about a guy on his payroll for the next half decade and think that would be a good thing. If it was just to throw someone else under the bus that's stupid.

#14 nvalvo


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:43 AM

I read a blog post (here) that suggested that a hamstring sprain (uh, strain) may have undone Crawford's swing mechanics, a theory I had not previously encountered. I'm not sure how plausible it is, but an issue like that, which would presumably heal over the offseason, could be a reason for optimism.

Edited by nvalvo, 21 February 2012 - 11:26 AM.


#15 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:58 AM

I think health is the biggest threat keeping Crawford from having a huge year this season. i think Valentine will be good for him and low expectations will also help. If he could put up the caliber year he had in 2010 in this line-up, he'd score a ton of runs and be pretty valuable (although not 20+ million valuable)....

Hopefully the wrist isn't one of those two year deals.

#16 PBDWake

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:31 AM

To be honest, I'd rather Carl Crawford seem like his old self. Specifically, the Tampa Bay incarnation.

That said, I think last year will prove to be the aberration in his career, not a sign of forthcoming doom.

#17 BTwnDreamin

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:40 PM

From what I remember reading he seems like a pretty motivated athlete. He does make some bonehead mistakes though that could have been the size of contract and the pressure talking. Hopefully he's trying to find his happy zone and let the natural instinct take back over. He's in a tough spot. I still don't understand why Henry would make such a comment about a guy on his payroll for the next half decade and think that would be a good thing. If it was just to throw someone else under the bus that's stupid.


Its what paranoid, but extremely proud (arrogant?) and wealthy people do...it was unfortunate to say the least.

#18 Carmine Hose

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:28 PM

I read a blog post (here) that suggested that a hamstring sprain (uh, strain) may have undone Crawford's swing mechanics, a theory I had not previously encountered. I'm not sure how plausible it is, but an issue like that, which would presumably heal over the offseason, could be a reason for optimism.


He sat out with the hamstring for a month (June 18th to July 18th). His slash line before he sat out was .243/.275/.384/.659. He ended the season at .255/.289.405/.694.

I guess I could see the point if he was suffering from a strain for 2 1/2 months before he pulled it running out a ball to first against the Brewers. But if his numbers improved after the hamstring issue (albeit mildly), I'm not getting the point.

The blog post points to 2008, where he missed 3 games in August due to a hamstring issue, but then played 3 games and hurt his hand, missing nearly the final two monhts.

#19 lexrageorge

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

From what I remember reading he seems like a pretty motivated athlete. He does make some bonehead mistakes though that could have been the size of contract and the pressure talking. Hopefully he's trying to find his happy zone and let the natural instinct take back over. He's in a tough spot. I still don't understand why Henry would make such a comment about a guy on his payroll for the next half decade and think that would be a good thing. If it was just to throw someone else under the bus that's stupid.


As Henry correctly noted, his comment was made in response to the accusation by Felger/Mazz that signing Crawford was a PR move, which was a ridiculous assertion from day one. Henry would have been better served by just calling the accusation ridiculous and saying nothing else on the matter. Unfortunately, emotions were running very high at the time, and Henry got caught in the trap of disclosing too much information in order to protect his brand.

Henry should take lessons from Belichick and just let the mediots stew over "We always act in the best interests of our ballclub" type statements.

#20 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

Agreed that it would have been much better if Henry could have kept that particular thought to himself, but I'm also a little worried about how personally Crawford seems to have taken it. It seems pretty clear that Henry wasn't dissing Crawford as a player or saying he wasn't worth the money, just expressing some doubt that he was a good fit for the Sox' needs at that moment (a reasonable doubt that many people shared). A person with a healthy ego shouldn't have a serious problem with that. I am starting to worry that Crawford is thin-skinned, which is not a good personality type for this town.

#21 lexrageorge

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

Agreed that it would have been much better if Henry could have kept that particular thought to himself, but I'm also a little worried about how personally Crawford seems to have taken it. It seems pretty clear that Henry wasn't dissing Crawford as a player or saying he wasn't worth the money, just expressing some doubt that he was a good fit for the Sox' needs at that moment (a reasonable doubt that many people shared). A person with a healthy ego shouldn't have a serious problem with that. I am starting to worry that Crawford is thin-skinned, which is not a good personality type for this town.


Except he's right to be a bit torqued by Henry's comments. His statements seem to me to indicate (a) he's rightfully not happy those things were said; (b) he's ready to move on and play baseball, regardless of what Henry does going forward. It does seem the comments were made in response to a specific question raised by the media; can't really blame Crawford for not saying "no comment". At some point, he's gotta protect his brand as well.

Plus the comments happened after last season's fiasco. So it's a bit too early to say they affected him or will affect him. A bad wrist is a much more worrisome problem, IMO.

#22 reggiecleveland


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:06 PM

I think health is the biggest threat keeping Crawford from having a huge year this season. i think Valentine will be good for him and low expectations will also help. If he could put up the caliber year he had in 2010 in this line-up, he'd score a ton of runs and be pretty valuable (although not 20+ million valuable)....

Hopefully the wrist isn't one of those two year deals.


That's a lot of ifs. He is speed only guy with hamstring problems and a bad wrist. I hope he can turn it around but he was healthy enough to play and he was terrible. I hope Bobby can trick him intt believing he can play again.

#23 SoxScout


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:10 PM

I hope Bobby can trick him intt believing he can play again.


What does this mean? In the five previous years he hit .303/.350/.462 with 270 SB and gold glove defense.

On another note, CSNNE is showing video of two handed swings from Carl today while playing audio of Valentine's press conference saying he won't be swinging with two hands this week.

Edited by SoxScout, 21 February 2012 - 07:11 PM.


#24 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:44 PM

Ignoring your hitting coach isn't the best way to be productive

Boston Red Sox batting coach Dave Magadan noticed a problem with Carl Crawford's batting stroke almost from the beginning of the 2011 season.


...

During the offseason, Crawford studied films of himself and he saw that Magadan had been correct and his stance was too wide open



#25 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

Ignoring your hitting coach isn't the best way to be productive


This stuff always drives me crazy.

If you are horrifically slumping - and if an injury or personal matter wasn't the primary issue - wouldn't you try anything, absolutely anything, to pull yourself out of your watery grave? Including rally caps, beards, Cerrano medicine like sacrificing bats or buckets of chicken, or LaLoosh cures like wearing lingerie under your uni?

Edited by Trlicek's Whip, 22 February 2012 - 01:51 PM.


#26 reggiecleveland


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:16 PM

Carl does not come across as the brightest light.

#27 curly2

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

On another note, CSNNE is showing video of two handed swings from Carl today while playing audio of Valentine's press conference saying he won't be swinging with two hands this week.

I wish while Carl is recuperating they would go to the most basic drill with him: Having him stand in the cage against live pitching, not swing but announce each pitch as a ball or strike when it comes in (and have Valentine or Magadan as "umpire" to tell him if he's right). Two years ago he drew 51 walks. That's hardly Rickey Henderson territory, but if he could get back to that, he'd got on base a lot more, plus presumably hit better since he'd be swinging at better pitches.

#28 Al Zarilla


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:28 PM

A lot of us right here were yelling about Crawford's stance and approach all year. Some people said he's been hitting fine like that all his career. Christ, if Yaz changed drastically twice...

#29 24JoshuaPoint


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:47 PM

Carl does not come across as the brightest light.


I'm pretty sure I read something somewhere documenting this but I could have made it up. He really doesn't.

#30 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Carl does not come across as the brightest light.

But he seems like a new person. And I bet he's a very nice guy.

#31 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

Crawford should have been more open to suggestions last season but he was dealing with an organization who he never worked with before. Sure part of being a professional is taking advice and instruction but I'm sure he didn't trust a bunch a guys to change his mechanics who didn't know him or his swing. Doesn't make it right but that had to be a factor and hopefully he's more comfortable now.

#32 PedroSpecialK


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:47 PM

Carl does not come across as the brightest light.

I'm having trouble recalling any Nobel laureates with neck tattoos

#33 smastroyin


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

I'm having trouble recalling any that could hit a baseball either.

#34 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

You don't give a guy $140M and then expect him to change the way he plays the game.

#35 Rasputin


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:32 PM

I'm having trouble recalling any that could hit a baseball either.


Are you saying that Marie Curie couldn't hit a curveball?

He doesn't have to be a genius he just has to be a ballplayer.

#36 PedroSpecialK


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

I'm having trouble recalling any that could hit a baseball either.

:lol:

Thankfully, stupidity never stopped anyone from being a great ballplayer. I'm not too worried about Carl, and frankly he can only get better.

Edited by PedroSpecialK, 22 February 2012 - 06:34 PM.


#37 Dogman2


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:36 PM

Are you saying that Marie Curie couldn't hit a curveball?

He doesn't have to be a genius he just has to be a ballplayer.


Is that Alex Cora's hand up in the back of the classroom?

#38 alannathan

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:09 AM

Are you saying that Marie Curie couldn't hit a curveball?


And Einstein couldn't handle those tricky grounders at 3B.
http://www.google.co...ved=0CHcQrQMwDA

#39 Dick Pole Upside

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:35 AM

Crawford was a known and established leader in TB. Very well respected. Leaders aren't generally considered 'dim bulbs'.

Trying to be a bull in the china shop during last year's frat party would not have been a smart move, imo, so his renewed confidence this year has me hopeful.

I think he's been pretty straight up, accountable, and optimistic as well. None of this screams "nitwit" to me. I find this characterization pretty curious. You may not have run into him at your local Mensa meeting or Toastmasters practice, but to conclude he is a dummy is pretty farfetched.

#40 Corsi


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:26 AM

Carl does not come across as the brightest light.

Based on what, exactly?

#41 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

the worst for me was his comments they played on WEEI. Basically he sadi that opposing players told him he had to swing for the fences hitting out of the six hole, etc. Magadan was played the comments and could tell he was a big annoyed. Crawford came across as a guy with little to no self-confidence

#42 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:45 AM

You don't give a guy $140M and then expect him to change the way he plays the game.


So Crawford is dumb for saying his stance was too wide now? This is the Rudyest of comments of the whole offseason.

#43 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:58 AM

I'm saying he is what he is. The folks who are complaining about Carl not listening to instruction last year have misplaced their anger. When you give a guy a fuckload of money, good luck getting him to change the techniques that got him that money.


although, it's nice that Carl is now acknowledging that Magadan is right, about a year later.

#44 Corsi


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

Crawford's new "closed" stance

Posted Image


Last year:

Posted Image

#45 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

We need a frontal shot of that to see the real difference. His front foot still looks out of line with his back foot.

#46 Al Zarilla


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:27 PM

Could use a from the mound view, but it still looks like an open stance although not an extreme one. I think the difference is significant.

#47 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

It is still out of line. He's never going to have a stance where he starts off with both feet parallel to the plate. Judging by the shadow in that picture it looks like his front foot is around a foot or so closer to the plate and the toe is almost lined up with the heel of his back foot. That should make a pretty big difference by shortening the step to get his foot closed when he starts his swing. That should make it easier to get his hips and hands synced up on the swing and allow him to judge the strike zone better.

#48 SoxScout


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:41 PM

Last year I looked at 2011 Crawford stance at Fenway vs. 2010 Crawford at Fenway with Tampa..... exactly the same thing.

edit:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by SoxScout, 27 February 2012 - 12:48 PM.


#49 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:06 PM

Exactly the same --

Except his front foot looks to be splayed toward 3B in the lower shot, while he's parallel to the plate in the top pic. I have no idea how much difference, if any, that would make.

It's something minor, but possibly something significant enough to change how he's getting that front foot down correctly with the pitch.

[edit]: And that splayed front foot is apparently something he's ditched, per Corsi's ST pic, above.

Edited by Buzzkill Pauley, 27 February 2012 - 01:08 PM.


#50 DanoooME


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

We need a frontal shot of that to see the real difference. His front foot still looks out of line with his back foot.


When I played youth baseball, I had a coach who had me open up my stance because I wasn't seeing the ball well because I was right eye dominant batting right-handed. As soon as that happened, I went from rarely getting a hit to spraying the ball all over the field. But opening too wide made me off balance and flailing at pitches away, so it was a fine line to get it right. I'm no expert on the subject, but it's a possibility.