The Curious Twist About Crawford’s Wrist


On Tuesday WEEI Boston’s Rob Bradford broke a story about Carl Crawford’s wrist that I hadn’t heard before. Bradford reported that Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had confirmed, after a Crawford radio interview with WEEI, that he knew about Crawford’s ailing wrist before Boston paid him a pant load – I believe $142 million over seven years with a $6 million signing bonus constitutes a Depends load – of cash to play for the Sox.

Still personally smarting from an abysmal 2011 in which Crawford missed nearly 40 games to injury and who’s performance when healthy left me wishing he’s missed another 40, the news had me frothing in the time that it takes Justin Verlander to strike out the side.

Like any good Red Sox fan I searched high and low to cast blame. Theo! That damn traitor hoodwinked us as he eyed the exit door. No wait, it was the Red Sox medical staff – the same crew that screwed up Jacoby Ellsbury so badly in 2010. Surely they must be at fault. And that dirty dog Maddon who hid it from Boston and moved a damaged piece of goods to his rival after he’d used up all his good years. Yeah, that’s it. Maddon, that bastard.

"Brimming with righteous indignation, I waited for more crap to emerge from this steaming dung heap of a story. I only had to wait until Thursday. Aha! Bradbury got Sox GM Ben Cherington in the crosshairs and asked him point bank what he knew about Crawford’s injury. I leaned forward, my trademark Sox conspiracy theorist nervous twitch in full, well, twitchiness. This would be delicious.  And then it happened. In one word Cherington said it all: “Everything.”"

Who, wait, what? Boston management knew everything about Crawford’s injury and still signed him long-term to big money? “A lot of players have pathology in different joints,” Cherington told Bradford. “Pitchers, position players … you do a lot of things in baseball the body is not designed to do. For a pitcher that usually involves a shoulder or elbow. A lot of guys are pitching very well with shoulders or elbows that aren’t perfect. It’s the same thing for position players. The hitting causes a lot of strain on the wrist and the hands. There are a lot of major league hitters whose wrists and hands don’t look perfect. It’s just a matter of managing it, and at some point sometimes you have to treat it a little more aggressively, and that was the case this winter with Carl…We knew there were going to be things that had to be managed over time, as with any player that has had some symptoms, we were not ruling out at some point in the terms of the contract he would have to have something done. We factored all that in and made the decision to go forward.”

Well didn’t that well-reasoned insight into the business and risk management strategies that go on behind the scenes in Major League Baseball let all the air out of my hissy fit balloon. Damn you Cherington and your logic. And I’ll be damned for being so naive. I guess you can teach and old dog new tricks.

OK, so I learned a little something and can admit I jumped the gun. Still, Crawford is out of the lineup. Not counting Spring Training or playoff games (of which he has yet to play one in a Boston uniform), he’s raking in and will continue to rake in $125,220 per game until his contract expires in 2017. Now there’s something to get frothy about with which no one can argue.

The full text of Cherington’s comments can be found by clicking here.

When the anger comes in and there’s no place for a man to hide
When the anger comes in and there’s no place for a man to hide
Would he do anything in the world to make him feel better inside
When the anger comes in and there’s no place for a man to hide
– Angry Blues, James Taylor 

For all the latest news and analysis from BoSox Injection, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or with our RSS feed.