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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Crawford: Time with Sox toughest of career

By ESPNBoston.com

It turns out, Carl Crawford wasn't just physically hindered during his time with the Red Sox, he was deeply depressed, as well.

Facing a slow start and nagging injuries after joining the Red Sox in 2011, things went downhill fast, he said. He felt things would never improve for him in Boston and that he was trapped due to his seven-year, $142 million contract. He opened up about his experience recently to the Los Angeles Times.

"I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me. I just didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in kind of a depression stage. You just don't see a way out," he said.

Crawford called his time in Boston the "toughest two years of my career, by far."

"From the outside, you watch guys playing over there and you think you can go and play. But you realize, once you get there, it's a little tougher than you expected," he said.

Crawford said things only seemed to get worse for him last season. He even pulled out the T-word when describing the negative energy he was battling in Boston.

"It was just everything," he said. "Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, 'Is this ever going to end?' "

When asked if he regretted the decision to sign that mega-deal with the Red Sox, he said: "A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision."

Crawford says he's mentally and physically much healthier now as he prepares for his first full season with the L.A. Dodgers.

"I'm in a place now where I feel a lot better about myself," he said. "I just feel like the player I once was."