Sunday, May 8, 2011
Crawford's diary: Slump 'really hard to deal with'
By Carl Crawford
Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford is keeping a diary all season for ESPNBoston.com. In this installment, he talks about how hard April was on him, what the team hopes to do this month and the best way to pass time in a rain delay. (as told to Louise K. Cornetta)
I wanted to start out by thanking the fans for being very supportive. After my last diary, there were a lot of comments and they were very positive. Playing here has been a little bit of a different change for me. I want to let you know that I am trying everything in my power to turn things around.
On that Sunday game against the Mariners, I was able to do that. Coming up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, I was just trying to keep things as simple as possible. I was telling myself just to get a base hit, to find a way to get a base hit. Luckily for me, I found the hole up the middle and that hit won us the game. Up until then, I hadn't been able to find the hole in a while. I was so happy that I finally did something to help the team win. I think the biggest hugs came from [Dustin] Pedroia and Big Papi [David Ortiz]. They were really happy for me.
The same goes for all my teammates who have been really supportive of me, everybody has actually. With a game winner, you always get excited about that. I was just hoping that this was time to start turning things around. I want to play well on the field to show my teammates and everyone I appreciate it.
This past week, I feel like things are getting a little bit better. Things are opening up a little bit more for me. It seems like everything was so closed and tight at first. I'm starting to get a little more comfortable. Things are starting to feel a little better. Also this past week I got my 1,500th career hit. To me, that means I've had a nice career up to this point. I've been lucky enough to get a bunch of hits. It's nice to reach a nice milestone like that.
I'm not going to lie, April was one of the toughest things I've ever been through. I didn't see it coming. With the surprise of it, next thing you know, I'm really struggling like this. It was really hard to deal with. I've never been in a slump that bad before. In Boston, the media can be a little tough at times. But I understand, they have to ask the questions. It was a little tough, but you have to fight through it. You have to keep on trying to get better at what you do.
I'm usually a pretty happy guy, but April was really tough. I don't like to be a guy that is just griping all the time, which I really didn't do. I didn't really complain or whine too much, but on the inside I was really feeling it. It's just something I guess I have to go through.
Pedey told me in spring training that you learn a lot about yourself playing here. I guess I'm still learning right now. I'm learning that I can still take a blow and come back from it a little bit. What is going to happen is yet to be seen. I definitely am learning that you've got to be really tough mentally around here to play. Hopefully, I get better at just absorbing all the stuff that's going on.
Speaking of Pedroia, our lockers are next to each other. You may be surprised that he didn't really say too much to me about his 13-pitch at-bat against Jered Weaver when the Angels were here. After it happened, I told him though that was one of most impressive at-bats I've ever seen. I think after that, he pretty much left it alone.
I know people still like to talk about where I am hitting in the lineup. I was second for a game and I've been seventh and eighth. I don't care where I'm hitting right now. I just want to get going. Obviously, I like to be at the top of the order, that's where I've been my whole career. At this point, I just want to get going. I want to try and get into a groove. When that time comes, I'm pretty sure they'll know it and make the changes.
As far as the team, we've had our ups and downs. It seems like we get going and then we kind of lose a few games. It's just been back and forth. Hopefully, we can get on another hot streak and stay on it. I'll tell you what, we've had some losses recently that were a very lopsided score. I think it's harder when you lose by a little. Those games are harder because you know the game is in reach. You probably could have won, which is what makes it tougher to lose those kind.
May is here and I'm just hoping we get hot. I hope we start winning and go on one of those long winning streaks where everybody is hitting well and everybody is pitching well. The kind of streak where we are doing really well as a team.
Someone mentioned to me that May 3 was the two-year anniversary of the game I had six steals. I remember that it was a day game and my legs felt good that day. I remember thinking I'm going to go every time they give it to me. I just wanted to be extra aggressive on the basepaths that day. Tek [Jason Varitek] and I have never talked about that one. I don't want to go there with him. I think we'll just leave it alone. Let it be in the old days where it's at. No need to bring it up.
Now that we're teammates, I can see what a good leader he is. He's a nice captain. He's not afraid to say whatever he wants to say to anybody. He keeps everybody straight. They definitely have the right guy as the captain. He fits that profile. You listen when he says stuff whether you’re a pitcher or not. He still has that voice, which is something every clubhouse should have.
If you've been watching us lately, you'll notice we have had some pretty long rain delays. What I like to do to pass the time is go in the clubhouse and watch the highlights of the other games that are being played. I chilled upstairs in our player lounge. I ate some snacks. They have everything up there. My snack of choice was chips and cookies. For the one against the Angels that went late night, I didn't have any problem staying awake, that's what Red Bulls are for. You wake up real quick after one of those.
But most of the guys find the best way to pass the time is playing video games or just talk with everybody, kidding around, stuff like that. I don't really play video games. But if I was going to I'd play NBA 2K; that one seems like fun when I watch the guys play it upstairs.
The Bulls, which is the NBA team I root for, are looking like they have a pretty good chance. They're looking good. Did you see [Derrick] Rose's dunk in Game 3? That's what I'm saying, they're looking good. As for the Celtics, I still think they're in it. They're down but they're not out. They just have to take it one game at a time. They'll be fine. I haven't seen any of the Bruins games but I see they're doing well. I really don't watch hockey that much. I should probably check it out.
Sunday was Mother's Day. My mom has always been there for me whenever I needed her. She did all the things mothers are supposed to do. She wasn't the kind to be telling me lessons. I learned more from watching what she did, basically, that was just to take care of business all the time and get stuff done. She taught me to stay on top of whatever it is you're doing. My Mother's Day gift was sending her to a Smokey Robinson concert.