Crawford 'looking forward' to seeing the Rays

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Crawford 'looking forward' to seeing the Rays

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Carl Crawford was asked if he was looking forward to traveling to Port Charlotte on Thursday to face the Tampa Bay Rays, his former team, and . . .

Crawford laughed at his questioner's pause and filled in the blank.

Getting it out of the way? he asked with a laugh. Yeah, you know, I want to go over there. I know Im going to get asked a bunch of questions. So might as well get it out of the way in spring training and get it over with.

It will be the first time hell have seen most of his teammates since signing a seven-year, 142 million contract with the Red Sox in December. There will be some emotions involved. The Rays are the team with which he grew up. Selected as a 17-year-old in the second round of the 1999 draft out of Jefferson Davis High in Houston, Crawford spent his entire career with Tampa Bay including nine big-league seasons until this year.

Im looking forward to seeing the guys, he said. I havent seen them since last year. So its going to be fun to go over there and see everybody again.

Told that Rays manager Joe Maddon has said he is looking forward to seeing Crawford and thanking the outfielder for what he did for the Rays, Crawford said:

Thats cool. I had a lot of fun with those guys, a lot of memories. Joe, he was really a big part of turning that organization around. He deserves a lot of credit for that.

Asked to compare Maddon he of the nearly 20,000 Twitter followers -- with his current manager Terry Francona, Crawford smiled and said:

Well Tito seems like hes a little more laid back, not really into the whole TV thing. Joe, he likes to be on TV. Hes like a little celebrity over there.

The Rays are expected to start right-hander Andy Sonnanstine Thursday.

Its going to be weird just being on the other side, period, facing one of the guys you got ready to play games with all the time, and just being in a Red Sox uniform, Crawford said. So, just got to get used to it. Im glad Im getting used to it in spring training.

I will be nice to see everybody. But, after that, we just have to play the game and its going to be business as usual.

Crawford thinks his former team will still be a factor in the American League East this season.

Oh yeah, he said. Whenever you got pitching like that, you're never out of it. Everyone knows pitching wins games. When you got pitchers like they have youre always in it.

But, after watching the Red Sox from across the field for nearly a decade, he knew hed fit in well with his new team.

I wanted to play with these guys, he said. This is a special group right here. I could see myself in this lineup. I could envision myself in this lineup before it actually happened. It was more so, besides the money, of being on a team where I can fit in and play my game and know were going to be winning.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

As part of a charity promotion with Omaze, David Ortiz has made a video re-enacting scenes from Boston-set movies. 

The movies range from a classic -- "Good Will Hunting" -- to very good crime movies -- "The Departed, The Town" — to the just plain bad "Fever Pitch," but all of the scenes are entertaining. Ortiz plays every part in each scene, often playing to characters interacting with one another. 

At the end of the video, a link is given to Omaze.com/papi, which gives fans the opportunity to enter a drawing to attend his jersey retirement ceremony by donating. Proceeds go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation. 

The David Ortiz Children Fund aims to help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are born with congenital heart failure. 
 

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

BOSTON -- Whether John Farrell is managing the Red Sox next week or next month, keep an eye on player accountability.

Five years ago, Bobby Valentine was supposed to be the disciplinarian that stopped babying the clubhouse. Disaster followed, largely because Valentine was a terrible fit for this group, his approach extreme and dated.

But this year’s team makes you wonder whether a distilled sense of Red Sox entitlement lingers.

At Fenway Park, is the message from the veteran voices one that includes a sense of public accountability for not just the manager, but the players as well?

In FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Farrell, Rosenthal noted “some players, but not all, believe that [Farrell] does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media.”

Those unnamed players Rosenthal cites need a mirror, badly. Or at least a glance around the room.

Where’s the guy in the clubhouse standing up to the media with any consistency? There’s no voice that regularly shields the younger, less experienced guys from tough but expected questions after losses.

Dustin Pedroia gets dressed and leaves the clubhouse faster than Chris Sale will get the ball back and throw it Wednesday. 

Pedroia mentioned something about whale poop in Oakland over the weekend. He can be very funny, but he’s not exactly keen to deliver calming, state-of-the-union addresses — not with frequency, anyway.

Farrell, of course, has been criticized for doing the opposite of what the FOX Sports story noted. The manager was mobbed on social media last year for saying David Price had good stuff on a day Price himself said the opposite.

The premise here is amusing, if you think about it.

Follow: Players are upset that the manager does not do a better job lying about their performance. And this, in turn, affects how players play?

Get a grip.

The public isn’t dumb. If you’re bad, you’re bad, and you’re going to hear about it in Boston. No manager changes that.

Whichever Sox player seeks more protection from Farrell really needs a reminder from a teammate to play better.

Too often, some of the most famous, prominent athletes can be sensitive, and over-sensitive. Look at how LeBron James handled a question about what led to his poor performance in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is true that some players question Farrell’s leadership, as Rosenthal reported. But it can also be difficult to separate questions of leadership from whining and grumbling that a manager isn’t providing said player more chances, more opportunities, even if undeserved.

How can Drew Pomeranz's unfounded dugout complaints be Farrell's fault?

The situation and player that make Farrell look the worst this year is Hanley Ramirez. The idea of him playing first base is gone, his shoulders apparently too screwed up to make that viable. 

Somehow, Ramirez made 133 starts at first base last year. One has to wonder how all of a sudden Ramirez can barely play a single game. 

If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. But the Sox didn’t come out of the gate in spring training and say, first base is out of the picture because of his health. They kept saying there was hope he'd be able to play in the field.

If Ramirez is being obstinate, he’s in turn making Farrell look weak. And, more importantly, hurting his team.

What would Ramirez be doing if David Ortiz hadn't retired? Spending the year on the disabled list?

Farrell can pack up his bags today, tomorrow or after the next full moon. The players would still need to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their team: to focus on what matters.

If they’ve forgotten, that’s about performing up to their abilities and being accountable for themselves -- publicly and privately -- when they don’t.

A manager’s quote in the media doesn’t change whether you’re playing bad baseball.