Considering how the media harped on the amount of his contract - just in the first month or so of the 2011 season - you'd have thought "$142 million" was actually part of his name. Crawford did himself no favors by not paying well, but the constant reference to his paycheck certainly threw a bunch of chum into the waters.
Peter Abraham led the pack. He must have had "$142 million left fielder" on AutoCorrect:
February 18, 2011: [Cameron] got on the telephone and tried to sell Crawford on Boston. ... Cameron's pitch, along with $142 million from the team, helped Crawford decide.
March 30, 2011: Carl Crawford seems to be pressing a bit. That he has hit .208 in spring training is no big deal. But he seems to be attacking every ball with the intent of proving he's worth $142 million instead of just playing.
April 4, 2011: Crawford seemed to be carrying the expectations of his $142 million contract with him to the plate.
April 6, 2011: Their frustration is personified by $142 million left fielder Carl Crawford, who has two hits in 15 at-bats and has yet to score a run as a member of the Red Sox.
April 16, 2011: Carl Crawford, their $142 million left fielder, was 0 for 5. He is down to .137 and looks desperately in need of a day off.
April 17, 2011: The $142 million left fielder watched the Sox’ 4-1 win over the Blue Jays from the bench.
April 17, 2011: [H]e looks lost at the plate right now, unable to get the ball out of the infield today and inexplicably bunting right at the pitcher. It's hard to feel sorry for a guy making that kind of money.
April 21, 2011: Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 2, Angels 0 -- ... The Red Sox then had $142 million left fielder Carl Crawford bunt ...
April 30, 2011: The $142 million left fielder was on the bench for the second time in 13 games last night ...
But Abraham was by no means alone:
Dan Shaughnessy, Globe, April 1, 2011: ... and woe is the $142 million free agent who is slow out of the gate.
Nick Cafardo, Globe, April 2, 2011: Carl Crawford, $142 million man, No. 3 hitter in the Boston lineup, left fielder extraordinaire, one of the fastest men in baseball — and, oh yeah, 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and five runners left on base yesterday in his Boston debut ...
Dan Shaughnessy, Globe, April 4, 2011: Carl Crawford, your new free agent left fielder ... We could make a point about the notion of paying a guy $142 million to bat seventh, but we don't want to make things awkward.
Bob Hohler, Globe, April 8, 2011: ... and the new $142 million left fielder, Carl Crawford, batting .174 and scoring one run in six games.
Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal, April 11, 2001: Carl Crawford wasn't so lucky. The $142 million left fielder went hitless in five at-bats, and his batting average sank to .132.
Michael Vega, Globe, April 13, 2011: "Yes, it's a little shocking," said Carl Crawford, the $142 million left fielder and leadoff hitter ...
Michael Vega, Globe, April 16, 2011: No one seemed more frustrated than Crawford, who has yet to live up to the billing when he was signed to a seven-year, $142 million contract in December.
Nick Cafardo, Globe, April 17, 2011: It's hard to evaluate the signings this early ... But was eight years, $142 million too much for Crawford?
Scott Lauber, Boston Herald, April 20, 2011: On Tuesday, Crawford's longtime hitting instructor in Houston told the Herald that the Red Sox' $142 million left fielder was rushing his stride and his swing ...
Dan Shaughnessy, Globe, April 24, 2011: He's certainly the first $142 million No. 8 hitter in baseball history ...
Nick Cafardo, Globe, April 24, 2011: Can you blame a guy for taking $142 million from the Red Sox?
Links to all stories (if they still work) are here: