Carl Crawford was a guest of Chris Meyers on Fox Sports Radio just before the All-Star break. The interview was discussed today on 620 WDAE and all through the media here in Tampa. For those of you who have not heard the interview, here is a link to a podcast from 620 WDAE here in Tampa: http://www.620wdae.com/cc-common/podcast.html.
Meyers talked with Crawford about the Rays situation and basically asked how it felt to be on the laughing stock of the MLB. Meyers later asked him when he could get out of Tampa and after Crawford gave him the details of his contract, Meyers said he was sorry and would pray for him. Meyers later asked where he would like to go if he was a free agent and Crawford said he would want to go somewhere with a better hitters park like Philly, Cincy, or Houston. When asked about how he stays prepared because the Rays are so bad, Carl commented that he is used to it because of being here for five years and that he was trying to help the young players. Finally, Meyers asked what the Rays needed to do to contend and Crawford said that he didn't know and it was the "million dollar question" for the team.
The release of the interview sparked all sorts of talk around the Bay area and many fans were upset with Crawford. My question to them is why? Did Crawford say something that was wrong or offend someone? No. Crawford answered the questions he was answered honestly and I cannot blame him for being disappointed in how the season is going, honestly if he was not disappointed he wouldn't be a leader. Crawford made some valid points and at times he was set up by the media and sounded like he really did not know what to say.
Crawford was on a National radio show and the host basically said that the Rays were garbage and when could Crawford finally get out of there. What should Crawford have done, tell Chris Meyers to go screw himself? He gave him his contract and told him the years and when Chris said he was sorry for him he laughed, but it seemed to be a nervous laugh. Can you blame Crawford for being a little nervous maybe? I mean look what happened to Elijah Dukes when he went on a local radio station, everything he did was scrutinized. Crawford gave a nervous laugh and the truth.
As far as the free agency thing is concerned, he gave a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. The fact is the Rays have three years to show him that they are moving towards winning. If the Rays are winning that Crawford won't want to go anywhere, and in three years this team better be headed in that direction or else they will have lost more than Crawford. The fact is that Crawford has been told the same line of crap that we have for the past 5 years and he has had to be on the field while it happens. As bad as fans feel when the team is losing like this, imagine a great athlete playing his butt off and watching it go for nothing. Crawford is a talented and competitive guy who is watching others less talented get rings and accolades because their team decided to try and win. You cannot blame Crawford for wanting to win and show that he is one of the best in the league.
Its true that he is used to losing, he has lost her for 5 years. He even said that he is trying to help the young guys deal with it and be a leader. We have wanted someone to step up and be a leader and that is what Crawford has done. Some of these young guys like Upton and Young have never lost like this before and I bet they are pretty upset. Crawford is there to try and keep them focused like a true leader should be doing. Crawford knows what is wrong with this team just like the rest of us do, but he did not call out his teammates because that is something you don't do.
When it comes down to it Crawford was on a national radio show and is only 25 years old and not used to the spotlight. He answered questions honestly and when loaded questions were asked he laughed them off. If you sit back and listen to the interview you can tell that Crawford was nervously laughing at certain things because he didn't know what to do. The fact is that he was right about certain things and he will be with the Rays for the next three years. If the management is serious about contending like they say they are he will be happy when his contract is up and want to re-sign here again like he did before. Crawford is the face of this franchise and he is developing into the leader we need, and leaders don't stay quiet, they voice their opinion good or bad. To everyone that is mad at CC, go calm down and watch one of the best outfielders in a long time play ball.