Waiting for Carl Crawford


Waiting for Carl Crawford

It's only Tuesday and I'm already Bobby Valenitine'd out for the week.

Honestly, I don't know what it is, but if I hear one more person write or talk about his criticism of players, his alleged beef with Ben Cherington or the fact that he invented the wrap, there's a good chance I lose my mind and start drop kicking strangers like I'm Izzy Alcantara.

It's a long season, guys. Everyone take a breath! And let's talk about something else: Carl Crawford.

From the moment we found out that Crawford had offseason wrist surgery, the expectation was that he'd start the season late. How late? We didn't know, but didn't expect it would be very long. Maybe a few weeks?

And while that wasn't ideal, we figured that would was still leave him enough time turn around his Red Sox career, before he's swallowed into the abyss with John Lackey, Dice-K and that mannequin in a baseball uniform standing awkwardly in the corner. (Oh wait, that's JD Drew.)

Anyway, these days there's still reason to believe that Crawford can find salvation. The Sox still expect him to be ready before the end of April, and that's more than enough time to have a season. Look at David Ortiz. He's taken April off for the last four years, and has still put up great numbers.

But while it might be too early to really worry about CC's season, let me just say that his recovery process have been exhausting. Check out this chronology of how Crawford's spent his spring, and try not to break a sweat. (Info from Rotoworld)

220: Carl Crawford is cleared to swing a bat.

221: Crawford takes 15 swings off a tee.

227: Crawford takes soft-toss swings.

33: Crawford concedes he may have pushed himself too soon.

34: Crawford has his sore left wrist examined by Sox doctors.

35: Crawford is shut down for 5-7 days.

39: Crawford makes 35 throws from a distance of 60 feet.

319: Crawford takes 20 swings off a tee.

321: Crawford doesn't swing, but runs the bases.

327: Crawford will do bunting drills.


Listen, I know that wrist injuries are delicate, and when you consider that Crawford thought taking 15 swings and some soft toss qualified as "pushing himself too soon," you can understand why the Red Sox have slow played his more recent work load.

So while I won't criticize the nature of his rehab (although when you read it all together, it's pretty funny), it goes without saying that we're still waiting for Carl Crawford to turn the corner on this injury.

That even though there's still hope that he can put this speed bump behind and have a respectable season, very little has happened to increase our optimism.

But hey, at least it took our minds off Bobby Valentine for almost 500 words.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida


Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

Get the latest on this story from golfchannel.com

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.