Time for Change at the Top
By Editorial Staff
Remember almost a year ago the excitment in the air when the Sox landed Carl Crawford? That didn’t work out quite as planned, did it? This past year was a disaster to say the least and his off season didn’t start off any better either after owner, John Henry, proclaimed publically that he was never on board with his signing in the first place. With six years remaining on his contract, the Sox need to figure out how to best utilize his skills. Yes, this past year was a nightmare, but do you really think Crawford is this bad? I don’t. I think what we had was a player who signed a big contract with a high profile team and basically he choked. There is no way that this is what we are going to get out of this player the next six years. He has been too good for too long to just lose all his skills in one year. Is it crazy to think after this past year to slide Crawford up to the lead off spot next year?
Ben Cherington told us that one of his priorities this off season was to go have a sit down with Crawford. Let him know that the Sox value him and determine what is the best course of action to make him feel more comfortable with playing under the microscope of Fenway Park. I know you’re probably thinking I must be out of my mind; the Sox already have the best lead off hitter in Jacoby Ellsbury. But, hear me out. With Jacoby Ellsbury’s new found power stroke this year, would he be better suited for the #3 hitter next year? He did have more home runs than Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz. He trailed only Gonzalez for the most team RBI’s. We still don’t know if Ortiz is coming back or not. I happen to think he is but that shouldn’t matter. Crawford holds almost every offensive record for the Tampa Bay Rays. It is not hard to imagine the damage Crawford can inflict on an opposing team. What better way to show Crawford that the team still believes in him. Crawford’s confidence was shot after the terrible April he had last year, then when he was dropped to 8th in the lineup, his head was gone. We only saw glimpses of the real Crawford last year, but nothing consistent. He did manage to get his batting avg up to .255 by years end. But, this is a .290-.300 hitter. I find it hard to believe that we have seen the best of him at the ripe old age of 30.
Crawford still has the speed and is a threat to steal every time he gets on. As bad as Crawford was, he still lead the team in triples last year with seven. A top of the lineup consisting of Crawford, Pedroia and Ellsbury sounds intimidating to me. Follow that with Gonzalez, Ortiz and Youkillis and this offense will be one to reckon with and with this pitching staff we need all the runs we can muster.
Since this off season has been about change, let’s start with change at the top of the lineup.
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