Carl Crawford‘s rehab on his surgically repaired wrist took a step back yesterday when he aggravated his wrist. How did he hurt it? Not by diving for a ball or taking a mighty swing at a pitch. Crawford injured his wrist during bunting drills!
Last year was the year of the oblique injuries, when it seemed everyday a player in the Majors was straining an oblique. Is this year the year of the bunting injury? First A.J. Burnett fouled a bunt off his own face and fractured an eye socket, now Crawford. Burnett is expected to miss at least two months, while Crawford will refrain from swinging a bat for at least a week.
Does this say more about the dangers of bunting, or the lack of fundamentals in today’s big leaguers? I choose fundamentals. No longer do we have the likes of a Pete Rose, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson who made bunting an art.
Pete Rose would never slump as bad as Crawford did last year. When Rose went hit less for 9-10 at bats, rest assured he was going to lay one down or slap a ball onto the artificial turf and beat it out. With Crawford’s speed why shouldn’t he master the skill? But he hasn’t. How many times does Crawford bunt in a season? You would think that his unorthodox batting stance would give him advantage in this category. Hell, he is already two steps down the line before he even swings.
Crawford said that the pressure of living up to his contract last year and playing with a new club were the primary reasons for his miserable year. Hate to break it to you Carl, the pressure is going to be more intense this year than last. As you heard from Tim Wakefield‘s and Jason Varitek‘s retirement speeches this spring, Red Sox fans are the best in all of baseball. They are also the least forgiving.
I applaud Crawford for his attempts to comeback so soon after surgery. His goal was to be in the starting lineup opening day. A goal no one within the organization felt was possible.
I want Crawford to succeed as much as the next person. I still think he has the talent to be one of the best in baseball. But, don’t you have that sick feeling in your stomach that this year is going to make or break Crawford’s career in a Red Sox uniform? Thus far, it looks like it just might get worse before it gets better.
I hope I am wrong and so do the other 24 of his teammates.