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Friday, August 26, 2011
Crawford's diary: Yes, I'm having a bad year

By Carl Crawford

After a long road trip, Red Sox left-fielder Carl Crawford is back with his diary. This time, he wants to set the record straight about the speculation on why this hasn't been his best season. He also gives some hurricane advice. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

Carl CrawfordWe're home again after a long road trip. It's always nice to get back home and get back to your own bed and surroundings you're familiar with. We took three out of four against the Royals and Rangers on the trip. With Texas, I guess we finally got the best of them. They're a good team with good pitching who can hit really well. I guess we figured it out the last series we were there.

I felt I was hitting the ball well on the road. What I have tried to do is keep things simple and just look for good pitches. You try not to make things so complicated. Just keep things as simple as possible, seeing the ball and then hitting it.

There's been a lot of speculation about why I have been hitting better. It's been said I've been putting my foot down when I'm hitting. I don't know anything about that because I haven't told the media anything about what I've been doing besides just getting ready early and trying to hit the ball.

I don't watch, read or listen to what is said about me. I don't really talk to a lot of the media. Like the thing about getting my foot down, that's not something I've said to anybody. Most of the stuff I see about me is mostly bad. So I don't read the papers anymore. I don't watch SportsCenter that much. I really don't know what's being said about me. I think that's the way I like to keep it. So this one time, I am going to look at what's being said and address each one so you can know the truth.

First, am I healthy? Yes, I am healthy. I wasn't in Friday's lineup and there really is no reason. It was just a day off.

Is there anything going on in my personal life that's been weighing on my mind this season? No, I don't have personal issues.

Have I felt like I have been pressing? Probably early on, I was a little bit.

Dobbs The way I've been handling all the speculation is knowing that this is not me. I don't believe that this is the person that I really am. ... I tell myself to keep grinding and finish the rest of the season strong.

-- Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford, on having an off year
How do I answer the question of what has been going on with me this year? I'm still trying to figure that out. I went through a lot. There was a lot of change, but I don't like to make excuses. Only thing I can really say is I'm having a bad year for whatever reason that might be. I really can't just put my finger on one thing and say that's the reason why. All I can say is for some reason, I'm having a bad year.

The way I've been handling all the speculation is knowing that this is not me. I don't believe that this is the person that I really am. I know I'll figure it out at some point to get better. I tell myself to keep grinding and finish the rest of the season strong. I mentioned recently how I can accept having a bad season if it means we end up winning the World Series. That's all I can do, really. I mean, I can't say I'd rather for me to have a good season and us not win. I've just got to find the positives in everything. I figure if we win the World Series that will be some sort of consolation prize for the bad season I've had.

Moving on, we have the Yankees coming up this week. Whenever we play the Yankees it's always exciting, whether it's April or August. I guess it will be a little more exciting towards the end here because you know how important they are. It will be nice to see how the rivalry feels at this time of the year. Last time, I had a good game against CC Sabathia, getting three hits. You always take pride whenever you have a good game. But it's definitely a good feeling when you can play well against a pitcher like CC, someone that throws hard from the left side. He's probably the best pitcher in the league. So it definitely feels good.

Did you know the whole rest of the way, we only play the AL East on the road? That will be fun because the games all feel like they count a little more because we're playing our division. We are all trying to fight for that top spot. We'll be trying to knock each other out.

What can I say about Wake [Tim Wakefield] going for that 200th career win? We want him to get it pretty bad. He's been trying the last bunch of starts and coming up short. It would be really nice for him to get it, especially at home.

Since our last diary, we've added a few new faces to the team. We traded for Erik Bedard. He's a good pitcher. He's still trying to get that first win. He's a grinder and a hard worker. At some point, it's going to click for him. I also have a new lockermate, Mike Aviles. Me and Mike are real cool. We are always having a lot of fun and joking around, stuff like that.

Another thing that has happened over the past month is we had a triple-play against my old team the Rays. I saw it developing. I'm trying to see if they can actually turn it and they did. It happened so quick. You don't normally see it. A triple-play is one of the most exciting things to see in baseball.

Stealing bases can also be an exciting play to watch. I've been able to swipe some bags lately. It's always fun to do, especially when you get more than one in a game. Going back to anyone wondering if I am healthy, hopefully seeing me steal bases lets you know my legs are good and nothing is wrong with me. My legs feel strong. I hope you see me steal more bases.

But health-wise, I get that this is the time of year you feel it the most. We had some guys like Papi and [Jacoby] Ellsbury who had to miss a few games. August is always a grind. It's the time when you really start to feel the aches and pains. But when September rolls around, you start to feel a little better. Since I brought up Ellsbury, let's talk about the year he's been having. It's been really nice to watch him go from the guy who hit singles and stole bases to pretty much develop his all-around game. He probably should win a Gold Glove. He's hitting home runs and pretty much carrying the team. He's developed into a really good player.

I remember for me when it all started to click like it is for Ellsbury. It was about the same time, a few years into my career. It was about the third or fourth year that you start to notice you can hit for power and run and see how you can manipulate a game, take over a game.

Hey, don't go out and buy any Muddy Chicken T-shirts or anything. In case you hadn't heard that was Pedy's [Dustin Pedroia] nickname for a while. He said on Thursday that he doesn't want to be called that anymore. I think he is in the market for a new one. Let me tell you about Pedroia. He's a good teammate, a good player, everything. You can't find anything bad to say about him. He keeps you laughing all the time. He's got a lot of heart. A little man that plays a big man's game. He's definitely one of my favorite players. Even before we were teammates this year, I knew what he was like because I used to train with him at API [Athlete's Performance Institute] in the off-season. So, I had a chance to meet him early on. I knew he was a high-character guy with a motor that just runs all day. He's a real cool guy to be around.

Another thing about Pedy is he is a big WWE fan. He has this Ric Flair red cape hanging above his locker. I think that's his favorite guy. He's even got a championship belt above his locker. We have a lot of fun with that. I used to be really into wrestling when it was WWF back in the day. When I found out it was fake, it crushed my spirits a little bit. I was so mad. I haven't really been watching it since then. The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite wrestler of all time.

Talking about my favorite wrestler reminded me that one of the reasons I wanted to do this diary is for Red Sox fans to get to know me a little better. In that spirit, here are some of my favorite things:

My favorite Fenway memory before I came to Boston: It was when I saw Nomar [Garciaparra] hit three home runs in one game on his birthday. I was playing in that game. I was on the other team, obviously, and we took a bad loss, but that's one of the memories I have. I just thought he was an awesome player at the time. I had just got called up to the big leagues. So it was one of those first memories.

My favorite music: It's what I use when I am batting. So at Fenway listen for the at-bat music I picked: Young Jeezy's song called Ballin'. I like the beats on that. They have the good speakers out here, especially in center field. So I like hearing those beats.

My favorite state: Don’t be mad at my answer, but it's Texas because I'm from there. So is Josh Beckett, Clay [Buchholz] and [Jon] Lackey. We don't talk a lot about all being from there. But when a conversation comes up when other guys are talking about another state then we'd probably all gang up on him or something to defend our state.

My favorite number: I guess I'll go with my uniform number, thirteen. It was the number that was given to me my first year in the big leagues. Some might say thirteen is a bad-luck number. But for me, I believe it’s been good luck.

My favorite tattoo: It's the one I have of my son's name, Justin, on my chest.

My favorite movie: "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," with Martin Lawrence. I am a big fan of Martin Lawrence. "Martin" was also my favorite TV show.

My favorite teammate of all time: It would have to be Carlos Pena. We had a lot of fun in Tampa together.

For my favorite steal: I would have to say my very first steal. Even though I barely remember it anymore, but the first should always be the favorite.

My favorite baseball memory: It has to be going to the World Series for the first time in 2008. You dream of going to championships and stuff when you are younger in Pony Ball and all that, but to actually go to the World Series in the big leagues is different.

Be safe with this hurricane coming. I've had a little experience with them, especially when I was in Tampa. Just get out of the way, that's the best advice I can give.