Boston and Bust!

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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Read an article about Carl Crawford commiserating with Sandoval... as if the problem is with Boston and the Boston media instead of players shitting the bed in their first free-agent year with the Red Sox.

http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2016/04/carl_crawford_feels_for_pablo.html

I'll never forgive Crawford for dropping Andino's walk-off "hit" in the last game of 2011 against the Orioles and then having the temerity to complain about Sox fans being mean to him. Whiner.


Crawford, Craig, Sandoval... seems like a lot of players tank in Boston. (Too soon for a verdict on Ramirez, Porcello and Castillo, IMO.) There's a long list of free-agent signings and trades-for-"stars" than have blown up or melted down in Boston: Matsuzaka, Lugo, Avery, Matt Young, Matt Clement... Is it a Red Sox thing? Or does it just seem that way?
 

TheoShmeo

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There isn't a player in baseball not employed by the Yankees who I dislike more than Crawford.

The strangest aspect in my view is that it sure seemed to me that he was not treated harshly by Sox fans. I don't remember him getting booed much, if at all, during his horrendous tenure as a Red Sox. I do remember Tito jerking him all over the line-up in an almost desperate attempt to milk some production out of him. The way he recounts it suggests he was treated like Clemens as an MFY.

Am I misremembering?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Is it a Red Sox thing? Or does it just seem that way?
I think it's a mid-to-high-level free-agent thing. It seems like a Red Sox thing because, as a high-payroll club, we get more than our share of those guys. But I bet that if you did a study of all free agents signed over the past 20-25 years to a substantial contract (say, 3+ years at an AAV of at least 2x the then-current $/WAR level), the ROI for the Sox would be very near the overall average. But the Sox would have more of those guys than the average team.

The strangest aspect in my view is that it sure seemed to me that he was not treated harshly by Sox fans. I don't remember him getting booed much, if at all, during his horrendous tenure as a Red Sox. I do remember Tito jerking him all over the line-up in an almost desperate attempt to milk some production out of him. The way he recounts it suggests he was treated like Clemens as an MFY.

Am I misremembering?
No, I think you're right as far as fans at the park are concerned. I think Crawford's reaction more reflects the CHB-level media and WEEI-level fan response.
 

EvilEmpire

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Didn't Crawford have an incident (or incidents) with racial slurs directed at him while in Boston?
 

Leather

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I think Savin has a point that the Sox are a frequent destination for high profile free agents so there's simply a larger sample size. But I also think there's a large self-fulfilling prophecy issue where players have a built-in excuse that they trot out when they underachieve.

I mean, it's just part of the playbook at this point. But if Crawford et al really believe in their heart of hearts that it was the FANS that caused them to play like shit, well, that's just indicative that they are idiots or cowards or both. It's, at best, a deliberate obfuscation of the cause and effect. And I reject the premise that Boston fans are abnormally critical.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There isn't a player in baseball not employed by the Yankees who I dislike more than Crawford.

The strangest aspect in my view is that it sure seemed to me that he was not treated harshly by Sox fans. I don't remember him getting booed much, if at all, during his horrendous tenure as a Red Sox. I do remember Tito jerking him all over the line-up in an almost desperate attempt to milk some production out of him. The way he recounts it suggests he was treated like Clemens as an MFY.

Am I misremembering?
Not at all, especially during the first season. The tide, both media and fan, didn't really turn on Crawford until he showed up to Spring Training 2012 in need of surgery on his wrist which put him out for the first three months. He was barely around that second year as a result. Came back in early July, DLed again for the elbow in August, then traded away. Aside from that incident during his rehab stint where someone yelled a racial slur at him, I don't recall any on the field stuff at all.

My recollection of his first year in town is that Crawford's struggles got an uncharacteristic pass from the media (and thus the fans too). It always struck me as odd that Crawford got a longer deal for twice the money that was committed to JD Drew a few years earlier, brought less to the table and had a worse first season with the Sox, yet never got even a fraction of the media/fan criticism Drew endured. He was treated almost with kid gloves compared to the heat Drew used to get or what Sandoval gets now.
 

barbed wire Bob

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Didn't Crawford have an incident (or incidents) with racial slurs directed at him while in Boston?
When Crawford was on rehab assignment in Portland he said a fan made a racist comment. The fan was a cop and was subsequently fired. There may have been other instances but that's the only one I remember.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/07/07/red-sox-outfielder-carl-crawford-alleges-fan-called-him-racial-slur-during-minor-league-rehab-game/dB770zPldw9wpyu0upERlN/story.html
 

Leather

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So it wasn't even in Boston. I mean, we all know it could have been (could have been anywhere) and it's awful, but come on.

The "Boston treated me horribly!" story is not supported by the facts.
 

InsideTheParker

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Didn't Crawford have an incident (or incidents) with racial slurs directed at him while in Boston?
I thought it took place during a time that he was in AAA rehabbing. OK, I just Googled it. It was while he was with the Fisher Cats and involved a strange racial slur by a cop: "Monday," which I had never heard of. There are lots of different writeups. Google Crawford and racial slurs and you'll find them. Anyway, the cop was disciplined and one of the write-ups says that Crawford said that most fans had been great to him:

 

Buzzkill Pauley

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The biggest question is, why can't fans let this paricular bad signing go?

Crawford was good in TB, and he looked even better running against Wakefield and Varitak's corpse. But he wasn't a superstar, even if he was paid like one. And I, like many here, thought the Sox would do better going with Reddick. But it was up to Theo and the ownership to pay him that bloated contract.

And that was five years ago, now. Seriously why is this even an issue, other than the media here deciding to stir the pot? The Sox won the World Series with the same core they had in 2011. That should be enough.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Offerman, Lugo, Crawford, Renteria, Mendoza...

Sandoval, Hanley

I don't get to read Boston papers or listen to idiot radio - but were these guys treated any differently by local media (or Shank) than, say, Jack Clark, Smoltz or Drew? Honest question.
 

TheoShmeo

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The biggest question is, why can't fans let this paricular bad signing go?

Crawford was good in TB, and he looked even better running against Wakefield and Varitak's corpse. But he wasn't a superstar, even if he was paid like one. And I, like many here, thought the Sox would do better going with Reddick. But it was up to Theo and the ownership to pay him that bloated contract.

And that was five years ago, now. Seriously why is this even an issue, other than the media here deciding to stir the pot? The Sox won the World Series with the same core they had in 2011. That should be enough.
You have this completely backwards.

It's Carl Crawford who keeps this alive. If not for his constant chatter about Boston, he would be just another name on a list of bad signings, albeit Exhibit A for some.

“It’s extremely hard,” he said. “Once you have failure, for some reason people like to see it. When you get that type of money, the expectations become so unrealistic. You don’t live up to the expectations, you’re doomed.”

.....

“It definitely eats at you,” he said. “But, as men, we can’t whine about stuff like that. We have to be professional. We can’t show somebody it bothers us. But, hey, you know, we bleed just like you.”
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-life-of-pablo--carl-crawford-can-relate-to-pablo-sandoval-s-woes-041714296-mlb.html

Now you might answer that Crawford is just replying to a question and that's true. But still, this seems to come out of his mouth frequently and if he downplayed it or stopped whining about how bad he had it in Boston, I think fans would be more than willing to let it go. After all, the Sox recovered nicely from that signing with the Punto trade and 2013 title.

Bottom line, you answered your own question -- it is the media stirring the pot -- but it's natural for fans to react to Carl's drivel. A synonym for that drivel would be: frequent attempts to deflect blame for his on field failures in Boston.

PS:

Here are some other Crawford offerings about his difficult times in Boston:

August, 2014: http://nesn.com/2014/08/carl-crawford-playing-in-boston-is-scar-that-i-think-will-never-go-away/

March, 2013: http://larrybrownsports.com/baseball/carl-crawford-boston-media-worst-thing-experienced/178082

August, 2013: http://www.overthemonster.com/2013/8/23/4650674/carl-crawford-is-still-complaining-about-the-red-sox-and-boston
 
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mauidano

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Aug 21, 2006
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Read an article about Carl Crawford commiserating with Sandoval... as if the problem is with Boston and the Boston media instead of players shitting the bed in their first free-agent year with the Red Sox.

http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2016/04/carl_crawford_feels_for_pablo.html

I'll never forgive Crawford for dropping Andino's walk-off "hit" in the last game of 2011 against the Orioles and then having the temerity to complain about Sox fans being mean to him. Whiner.


Crawford, Craig, Sandoval... seems like a lot of players tank in Boston. (Too soon for a verdict on Ramirez, Porcello and Castillo, IMO.) There's a long list of free-agent signings and trades-for-"stars" than have blown up or melted down in Boston: Matsuzaka, Lugo, Avery, Matt Young, Matt Clement... Is it a Red Sox thing? Or does it just seem that way?
Sandoval would do well to distance himself as far as possible from Crawford. As FAR as possible and not even comment on this shit. At least Panda is not blaming anyone and is saying the right things about doing the right things.
 

baruch20

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Jul 31, 2006
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Red Sox fans nationwide on Carl Crawford constantly deriding them after many years have past; 'It definitely eats at you,' 'When you pay that type of money for tickets, the expectations are that you get a ball past the infield. You don't live up to the expectations, you're still rich, so zip it'
 
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Buzzkill Pauley

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You have this completely backwards.

It's Carl Crawford who keeps this alive. If not for his constant chatter about Boston, he would be just another name on a list of bad signings, albeit Exhibit A for some.



http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-life-of-pablo--carl-crawford-can-relate-to-pablo-sandoval-s-woes-041714296-mlb.html

Now you might answer that Crawford is just replying to a question and that's true. But still, this seems to come out of his mouth frequently and if he downplayed it or stopped whining about how bad he had it in Boston, I think fans would be more than willing to let it go. After all, the Sox recovered nicely from that signing with the Punto trade and 2013 title.

Bottom line, you answered your own question -- it is the media stirring the pot -- but it's natural for fans to react to Carl's drivel. A synonym for that drivel would be: frequent attempts to deflect blame for his on field failures in Boston.
I refer you to the OP, where it is explicitly stated that, after 5 years and a World Series championship, Crawford is still being blamed by that fan for the team's failure to make the playoffs in 2011.

Not Jenks, not Papelbon, not Weiland, not Miller.

Even though every rational Red Sox fan should want Miller on this year's team instead of Ross, although his crap starts in 2011 helped sink the team's playoff chances as much as any other player's underperformance.

Just Crawford is getting blamed in this thread. And not because he's actually trying to dodge the fact of his underperformance. He's simply making a comment -- having been asked by the Boston media to make a comment -- that Boston fans are cruel to players who take the bloated contracts offered by the Boston FO, and who then don't live up to the number of dollars offered by Boston's execs.

The media is stirring the pot, but it takes the fans to keep holding out the bowl for another serving. Fans who IMO would do better to let it go, and move on.

The Sox won the World Series since Crawford was signed. Move on. How many fans still blame Matt Clement for 2005's ALDS sweep by the White Sox and waste of Manny Ortiz's historic season?
 

TheoShmeo

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I refer you to the OP, where it is explicitly stated that, after 5 years and a World Series championship, Crawford is still being blamed by that fan for the team's failure to make the playoffs in 2011.

Not Jenks, not Papelbon, not Weiland, not Miller.

Even though every rational Red Sox fan should want Miller on this year's team instead of Ross, although his crap starts in 2011 helped sink the team's playoff chances as much as any other player's underperformance.

Just Crawford is getting blamed in this thread. And not because he's actually trying to dodge the fact of his underperformance. He's simply making a comment -- having been asked by the Boston media to make a comment -- that Boston fans are cruel to players who take the bloated contracts offered by the Boston FO, and who then don't live up to the number of dollars offered by Boston's execs.

The media is stirring the pot, but it takes the fans to keep holding out the bowl for another serving. Fans who IMO would do better to let it go, and move on.

The Sox won the World Series since Crawford was signed. Move on. How many fans still blame Matt Clement for 2005's ALDS sweep by the White Sox and waste of Manny Ortiz's historic season?
If you read his quotes over time, Crawford says two things.

One is that Boston fans are still tough on him. OK, I have no way to gauge that. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. I can believe he gets cat calls from fans and Sox fans are indeed everywhere. I also think he should lose the rabbit ears.

But the other thing he says is that his time in Boston was terrible. He implies or says that he was mistreated while in Boston. And to that I call BS and think he should stop inventing a reality that was simply not there. I hate invoking the CHB but he said it well in a column about this after one of Crawford's typical rants.

“Once you get there [Boston], it’s a little different than you expect,’’ said Crawford. “You start to say, ‘Is it ever going to end?’ ’’

Seriously? Are we really supposed to believe Crawford was beaten up here? Fans wanted the guy to succeed. He failed. Miserably. He was never the same player who terrorized the Sox when he played in Tampa.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/02/16/carl-crawford-adrian-gonzalez-still-complaining-about-boston/xFuFQGrlGdHLEXynRMRk7K/story.html

(Apologies in advance for linking to a CHB column. You've been warned and there is no reason to click on it given that I gave you the money quote.)

Parenthetically, based on my limited personal experience, Crawford has had rabbit ears for years. Early in his career I went to the last game at Fenway of a series in which the Sox swept the Rays. I was sitting with a group of fans in close proximity to him in left and we spent the last few innings riding him hard and saying, among other things, that he should have stuck to football. Unlike most players, he made it very clear that he heard what we were saying and was rather annoyed by it. Crawford is right about one thing: He was never going to be a good fit in Boston. It's almost classic that he's invented mistreatment by the fans during his short stint as a Red Sox but the signing seems like it was doomed from the start given all that Theo should have known about Crawford and his suitability for that market.
 
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PC Drunken Friar

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There isn't a player in baseball not employed by the Yankees who I dislike more than Crawford.

The strangest aspect in my view is that it sure seemed to me that he was not treated harshly by Sox fans. I don't remember him getting booed much, if at all, during his horrendous tenure as a Red Sox. I do remember Tito jerking him all over the line-up in an almost desperate attempt to milk some production out of him. The way he recounts it suggests he was treated like Clemens as an MFY.

Am I misremembering?
Have you written him a letter expressing your feelings yet?
 

Oppo

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I don't hate Crawford anymore. He could have gone down in history in the hall of very good and a franchise great in TB. Instead he'll be remembered as one of the biggest free agents flubs of all time.
 

JohntheBaptist

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I refer you to the OP, where it is explicitly stated that, after 5 years and a World Series championship, Crawford is still being blamed by that fan for the team's failure to make the playoffs in 2011.

Not Jenks, not Papelbon, not Weiland, not Miller.

Even though every rational Red Sox fan should want Miller on this year's team instead of Ross, although his crap starts in 2011 helped sink the team's playoff chances as much as any other player's underperformance.

Just Crawford is getting blamed in this thread. And not because he's actually trying to dodge the fact of his underperformance. He's simply making a comment -- having been asked by the Boston media to make a comment -- that Boston fans are cruel to players who take the bloated contracts offered by the Boston FO, and who then don't live up to the number of dollars offered by Boston's execs.

The media is stirring the pot, but it takes the fans to keep holding out the bowl for another serving. Fans who IMO would do better to let it go, and move on.

The Sox won the World Series since Crawford was signed. Move on. How many fans still blame Matt Clement for 2005's ALDS sweep by the White Sox and waste of Manny Ortiz's historic season?
This bears zero resemblance to reality. It tells me more about your abilities of perception for a given situation than any point youre trying to make. Theres so much bad argument here I'm not even going to touch it.

He's a signpost for bad big money deals, and outside that it isnt remotely accurate to state that the fanbase "cant let it go." He does enjoy giving insecure, woe-was-me quotes every few months or so, and we go through the same "werent we pretty easy on him?" thing every time. He feels silly for how epic a bellyflop he did so hes pushed a narrative since being discarded. Fine, whatever works for him.

Red Sox fans not being able to "let go" of the Carl Crawford experience is actually laughable.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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This bears zero resemblance to reality. It tells me more about your abilities of perception for a given situation than any point youre trying to make. Theres so much bad argument here I'm not even going to touch it.

He's a signpost for bad big money deals, and outside that it isnt remotely accurate to state that the fanbase "cant let it go." He does enjoy giving insecure, woe-was-me quotes every few months or so, and we go through the same "werent we pretty easy on him?" thing every time. He feels silly for how epic a bellyflop he did so hes pushed a narrative since being discarded. Fine, whatever works for him.

Red Sox fans not being able to "let go" of the Carl Crawford experience is actually laughable.
Does Crawford continue to give "woe-was-me" quotes to the LA or national media bemoaning his experience in Boston?

No. He does not. At least, to the best of my knowledge he hasn't done so since right after he was traded in 2012. He talks about being a Dodger.

He only gives those quotes to the Boston media, who solicit said quotes because elements of the Boston fan base still hold it against him that someone else paid him to "earn" an amount of money few among the Red Sox fan base can even begin to imagine having, and he never came close to actually being worth his paycheck on the field. I can only imagine you're one of those still angry, based on your baseless psychoanalysis of the man.

The OP also shows inability to move on from what was identified here pretty roundly as a waste of not-my-money, but which signing was hoped to be a luxury on the MFY scale of embarrassment-of-riches. Best-Team-Ever, right?

You say he's a signpost, but how is he any worse than Barry Zito, or Vernon Wells, or any other player's who got way overpaid by some other team...but who is not regularly now trotted out by that team's media in order to get a rise from the fans.

Crawford was a bad signing from the beginning. His skill set exactly duplicated Ellsbury's, and there was never a clear slot for him in a lineup that also was designed to feature both Pedroia and Gonzalez at the top of the order. At least, he never should have been batted higher than 6th, but JD Drew also caught hell from the press and Boston fans for batting that far down in the order in 2007, after he signed for only half as much money.

Crawford killed the Sox when he was on the Devil Rays, and he killed the Sox when he was on the Red Sox. It was unfortunate, but whatever. He failed. It happens.

He's gone now. He's a Dodger.

And since he was a Dodger the Sox won a World Series without him. So now, it's only because some minority of bitter Boston fans won't let bygones be bygones that his regrettable experience in Boston keeps getting quoted in the Boston press.

Feel free to keep picking that scab, though.
 

JohntheBaptist

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To answer your first question--yes, he does. I've read them. As for the rest, I have no idea what you're on about. The Boston media asking the guy who's champing at the bit to provide a quote about how awful he played because the fans were mean to him--which he never fails to do--proves that Boston fans "won't let it go"? The OP is one person who's been posting here for like a month.

Man that's a lot of blah blah blah just to show everyone your finger isn't as close to the pulse as you think it is. Barry Zito? Vernon Wells? The fuck are you talking about?

He's a reliable quote. Some of you are like 15 year olds with the boogey-manning the "media."

It's simple--he was bad, and he wants to blame someone else, as many as three and a half years later. That's embarrassing and deserves some sparse mocking when it happens, which it does. But there's no reality in which Boston fans haven't been able to let go of the Carl Crawford experience. It doesn't make sense, and it isn't accurate. Won't let bygones be bygones? He won't stop talking about it! What planet are you on?

You go ahead and grasp at projecting a dislike of the guy on me if you want--if being critical of someone's words can only equal "bitter" and "still hates," then I guess I'm not surprised you've arrived at this mess of a conclusion. Sorry but your argument sucks.
 
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canderson

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Carl Crawford told a bunch of Sox fans to fuck off midgame in Baltimore in the second-to-last game of the season. I was there, 2 rows up midway between 3rd and LF, and wanted to jumping the wall to punch him (knowing full well if he swung at me he'd miss).

He can talk all he wants, he's the one who has to own being a failure on the field and as a person while in Boston IMO. He let his performance get to him and it dictated his entire experience in Boston and to an extent his baseball existence.

I despise him but don't think about him until he again is talking. Just shut up dude, it'll make everything better.
 

Leather

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I'm with canderson and JtB. I sincerely do not think about Crawford, generally, except when I see his name in a highlight or box score and briefly think "Wow, what a bummer it was that he didn't pan out for the Sox."

But then he talks shit; not just about the Red Sox, not just about the media, but the fans. That's low. By any objective measure, any statement on his experience in Boston should begin: "Well, I signed a huge contract there and I struggled, so I understand the frustration the fans must have felt..." And then he should stop and ask himself if how he was treated was: A) unusually harsh given that set of circumstances, and if so, than B) was that treatment specifically related to Boston, or would it have been similar in one or more other cities.

Because his entire argument basically boils down to: "Boston sucks because Boston treated me badly, which they do to everyone because that's what Boston does." It's like he's begging the question.
 

lexrageorge

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Crawford, Craig, Sandoval... seems like a lot of players tank in Boston. (Too soon for a verdict on Ramirez, Porcello and Castillo, IMO.) There's a long list of free-agent signings and trades-for-"stars" than have blown up or melted down in Boston: Matsuzaka, Lugo, Avery, Matt Young, Matt Clement... Is it a Red Sox thing? Or does it just seem that way?
Just wanted to take a break from the "Crawford sucks" discussion for a minute and address this last sentence.

Lots of free agents melt down. That's why John Henry made a statement a couple of years ago about investing tons of money into players in their 30's, especially pitchers. The Red Sox sign a lot of free agents. And the busts tend to get much more notice than the ones that actually play out their contracts. I dispute that there's anything that makes this a "Red Sox" thing. Free agents bust out with the Yankees as well (Ellsbury could be one such example).

But I need to quibble with a couple of the players the OP mentions:

Craig: Not sure I put him as a high profile player. He was acquired as an "injured lottery ticket", and also was part of the price to get Joe Kelly, whom the Sox really wanted in the Lackey trade.

Matsuzaka: Did not live up to the hype, but he put up 2 decent seasons (maybe 2.5 if you count 2010) before injury derailed his career. How big of a bust he was depends upon how you count the posting fee.

Lugo: He was just a bad signing. A player who was never that great got a big contract just as he was starting his decline.

Steve Avery: There had been an obvious decline in his last couple of seasons with the Braves that just accelerated once he switched leagues.

Matt Young: Was a terrible pitcher before he joined the team.

Matt Clement: Everyone seems to forget that he was actually pretty decent through August of 2005. Whether his terrible September/October that season was due to after effects of being hit by the line drive, or by his fraying shoulder/elbow that eventually ended his career after 2006, is debatable. But what's not debatable is that unexpected injuries played a big part in his melt down.

Some of these players were also unfairly hailed as replacements for departed or injured superheroes. Avery was supposedly the replacement for Clemens. Clement was signed after Pedro left and Schilling was recovering from the Bloody Sock surgery.

Predicting the decline years is not an exact science. Keith Foulke was a great free agent signing for the 2004 season and post-season. Then he was never the same. Such is life with older players.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I've felt for some time now that one of the biggest problems (post 2008) was letting Adrian Beltre walk. That offseason, IIRC, they could have kept Youk at first especially with Rizzo in waiting (Theo still incomprehensibly to me at the time was betting the house on Lars Anderson over Rizzo- which always felt like draft favoritism over production and evaluation), signed Beltre and signed Holliday for left field, whose shitty defense would have been fine in Fenway.
I always felt like Theo started trying to out-think overyone and juggle the options around.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Crawford played well in TB and was loved (by all 16 Rays fans). He has played like crap in LA but isn't hated. He played like crap in Boston and was hated. Therefore, Boston fans are bad and mean.

That's his logic. It doesn't have to make sense or represent any objective reality.
 

Adrian's Dome

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How did Eric Gagne feel about his treatment in Boston?
All things considered, Gagne got off easy. There was a lot of vitriol that season, but he pretty much goes unmentioned now thanks to the result.

Guy owes Okajima and Papelbon their body weight in beers.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Crawford played well in TB and was loved (by all 16 Rays fans). He has played like crap in LA but isn't hated. He played like crap in Boston and was hated. Therefore, Boston fans are bad and mean.
Of course, LA fans knew from day one that they were getting a player whose best days were probably behind him, where Boston fans thought they were getting an All-Star still at or near his peak. That makes a big difference. But I suppose we can't expect him to do that math.
 

trotsplits

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Edgar Renteria seemed anxious in 2005. After his trade to ATL his OPS+ moved north of 100 for a couple seasons.
 

shaggydog2000

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Edgar Renteria seemed anxious in 2005. After his trade to ATL his OPS+ moved north of 100 for a couple seasons.
His hitting seemed to be pretty BABIP driven, and his BABIP seems to have been all over the place. So maybe there was a lot of luck involved in him stinking for one year in Boston (although he was just about as bad the year before in St. Louis). I think it was him suddenly looking bad defensively that really spooked people and made them think he was just falling apart. Of course he bounced back with a good defensive season the next year.
 

YTF

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Read an article about Carl Crawford commiserating with Sandoval... as if the problem is with Boston and the Boston media instead of players shitting the bed in their first free-agent year with the Red Sox.

http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2016/04/carl_crawford_feels_for_pablo.html

I'll never forgive Crawford for dropping Andino's walk-off "hit" in the last game of 2011 against the Orioles and then having the temerity to complain about Sox fans being mean to him. Whiner.


Crawford, Craig, Sandoval... seems like a lot of players tank in Boston. (Too soon for a verdict on Ramirez, Porcello and Castillo, IMO.) There's a long list of free-agent signings and trades-for-"stars" than have blown up or melted down in Boston: Matsuzaka, Lugo, Avery, Matt Young, Matt Clement... Is it a Red Sox thing? Or does it just seem that way?
Perhaps splitting hairs here and it depends on your definition of the word tank. Crawford, Sandoval...yep. Matsuzaka, perhaps, but to be fair there are a couple guys listed here who didn't exactly "tank" in Boston. Craig was cooked when he got here. Avery was pretty much done as well. Clement was a reclamation project after (I believe) getting hit in the head with a comebacker and was never again the same. Theo always had wood for Lugo and as bad as we remember him, he did put up some near career highs in a couple of offensive categories his first year with the Sox.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Perhaps splitting hairs here and it depends on your definition of the word tank. Crawford, Sandoval...yep. Matsuzaka, perhaps, but to be fair there are a couple guys listed here who didn't exactly "tank" in Boston. Craig was cooked when he got here. Avery was pretty much done as well. Clement was a reclamation project after (I believe) getting hit in the head with a comebacker and was never again the same. Theo always had wood for Lugo and as bad as we remember him, he did put up some near career highs in a couple of offensive categories his first year with the Sox.
The comebacker to the head happened to Clement with the Sox. He wasn't a reclamation project, he was a "value" signing...a durable innings guy who had 6 straight seasons of 30+ starts who ended up signing for about half the cost of Derek Lowe. Unfortunately, the price of his past durability was a shredded shoulder that ended his career.
 

geoduck no quahog

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I think people are giving the "fans" too much credit here. Fans can be assholes everywhere and I imagine professional athletes are totally immune to them. Their only professional interface being "I did it for the best fans in the..."

I'd guess it's 80% local media and 20% public privacy. Some of these guys must really hate the Boston media pool - and many with good reason. Part of it is Boston's a smallish city with a big sports base and a market that sometimes viciously competes for views/listens. I'd be interested in comparing it to other SoSH cities.

The second thing is privacy. All I know is in places like LA and NY, a sports star can melt in a little better than in smaller or less fanatic cities. Boston must be the perfect laboratory for a place big enough to have an intense sports base but small enough that a star can't escape notice. I doubt very much though, that fans were walking up to Crawford on Beacon Street and calling him an asshole. I'm guessing it's more just the annoyance of fans walking up to you anywhere...period. There are bigots everywhere, and athletes must be used to them by now, albeit Boston comes with some unique baggage.

I'm speculating that Boston has one of the more negative media markets in the business of sports - and that's what leads to guys like Crawford saying what they say.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
11,668
His hitting seemed to be pretty BABIP driven, and his BABIP seems to have been all over the place. So maybe there was a lot of luck involved in him stinking for one year in Boston (although he was just about as bad the year before in St. Louis). I think it was him suddenly looking bad defensively that really spooked people and made them think he was just falling apart. Of course he bounced back with a good defensive season the next year.
There were rumors that Renteria had suffered a back injury early in the 2005 season which hampered him all year. That would explain his fielding difficulties. His OPS was only 7 points lower in 2005 than in 2004, and his OPS+ of 89 is not that far off his career average of 94.

But saying that Renteria was a "bad fit for Boston" and "Theo was stupid" sells a lot more newspapers, so these details tend to get glossed over. Anyway, the Sox, via Andy Marte, eventually turned him into Coco Crisp, another player that never quite lived up to incoming expectations. But he never duplicated his 2004-05 Cleveland seasons even after he left Boston, aside from a brief resurgence in 2013. Sometimes stuff happens; projecting players is never going to be an exact science, and GM's will continue to get blamed for guessing wrong on similar players.
 

PapaSox

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Dec 26, 2015
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I’ve been to a great many baseball places (NYC, ST.LO, Wash., Texas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland – AA, KC …) and I find the Boston fans to be the most knowledgeable. We are down to pitches and AB in a game. This I think is something players are just not use to. We can tell them exactly what they are doing. We can tell them about their mistakes as well as their great plays. I think it unnerves many players who are not use to it.

Add a very loud and critical media (possible it’s perceived as such) and players find their daily play is under detail scrutiny, most unnerving. It seems a lot of players are use to a more “body of work” review of their play and not what they did last night.

That being said I feel there are players who have a tough time dealing with that level of scrutiny. They collapse under the perceived pressure (possibly real or just in their heads) place upon them by the fans and media. They are not use to it and would be better off elsewhere. Guys like Crawford was a big fish in a little pond and then he came to Boston and found that he was just another player.

However, I’ll go on record that some players use it as an excuse. Craig and Panda just plain failed to get the job done. Renteria just threw the ball all over the place, he was suppose to be a gold glover. To use the fans and media as an excuse seems to me to be a cop-out.
 
Add a very loud and critical media (possible it’s perceived as such) and players find their daily play is under detail scrutiny, most unnerving. It seems a lot of players are use to a more “body of work” review of their play and not what they did last night.
I think for some "perception has become reality" and Boston's fans and media, to them, are perceived as hypercritical. I also think there are some players who just cannot perform under a microscope. ??Melancon perhaps. It seems like the MFYs made that statement about him (it may have been post failure spin however) when they sent him to Houston. Looking at his numbers though he is one that seems to wilt under pressure despite being a "closer".
Chronologically:
NYY 20.1 innings, ERA 4.87, ERA+ 96, WHIP 1.475
HOU 91.2 innings, ERA 2.85, ERA+ 135, WHIP 1.21 20 saves
BOS 45 innings, ERA 6.20, ERA+ 68, WHIP 1.27
PIT 224 innings, ERA 1.88, ERA+ 197, WHIP 0.924
PostSeason 5.2 innings, ERA 6.35, WHIP 1.23

I'm sure there are a number of guys who are very talented but tend to hear the crowd and listen to the press more than others.
 

lexrageorge

Member
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Jul 31, 2007
11,668
I’ve been to a great many baseball places (NYC, ST.LO, Wash., Texas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland – AA, KC …) and I find the Boston fans to be the most knowledgeable. We are down to pitches and AB in a game. This I think is something players are just not use to. We can tell them exactly what they are doing. We can tell them about their mistakes as well as their great plays. I think it unnerves many players who are not use to it.

Add a very loud and critical media (possible it’s perceived as such) and players find their daily play is under detail scrutiny, most unnerving. It seems a lot of players are use to a more “body of work” review of their play and not what they did last night.

That being said I feel there are players who have a tough time dealing with that level of scrutiny. They collapse under the perceived pressure (possibly real or just in their heads) place upon them by the fans and media. They are not use to it and would be better off elsewhere. Guys like Crawford was a big fish in a little pond and then he came to Boston and found that he was just another player.

However, I’ll go on record that some players use it as an excuse. Craig and Panda just plain failed to get the job done. Renteria just threw the ball all over the place, he was suppose to be a gold glover. To use the fans and media as an excuse seems to me to be a cop-out.
It's also true that Carl Crawford simply peaked at an early age and started his decline earlier than the stats say he would. That happens; after all, stats are averages, and some players perform outside a single standard deviation from the mean. Crawford's best years were 2005-2010, when he was age 23-28. Then he fell off the cliff at age 29. He's played 31, 116, 105, and 69 games the last 4 seasons, and has not cracked 0.800 OPS since he left Tampa.

Finally, a quibble: I'm not sure why Allen Craig keeps getting thrown into the mix with Panda and Crawford. Craig suffered what appears to be a career ending injury. Everyone knew that when the Sox acquired him. Unlike Crawford or Sandoval, there were few illusions about the possibility that he may not ever be the player he once was. I never once heard anyone make the excuse that Craig is struggling because of the Boston media market. But I keep seeing his name come up in this thread, so I'm really confused.