Crawford says playing hurt in Boston worsened his elbow injury

Published On October 27, 2012 | By Annie Maroon

Carl Crawford said on Friday that part of the reason he waited too long to have the elbow surgery he needed this summer was that he felt pressure from fans to play hurt in Boston.

“I tried to push it a little bit. With the Boston fans, you’ve got to try. A big deal was made about my money and stuff, so I tried to prove it and play for the team,” Crawford, now of the Dodgers, said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. I should have taken care of myself when the doctor told me to.”

Crawford was part of the Red Sox fire sale trade in August, going to Los Angeles with Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto. He never dressed as a Dodger, though, because he had Tommy John surgery on his elbow two days before the trade went through.

Crawford now says he knew he was badly injured when he had trouble throwing the ball as early as April, but that he wanted to justify his seven-year, $142-million contract to increasingly unimpressed Red Sox fans.

“You felt the pressure from the outside to have to play in that atmosphere. If you don’t play, it’s like you’re soft or somebody who’s just trying to take money from them or something like that,” Crawford said. “I wanted to prove that that wasn’t the case. Me being stubborn like that probably cost me a little time the next year.”

It’s certainly admirable that Crawford wanted to earn his pay, but it’s equally upsetting that, if he was hurting that much that early, no Red Sox coach noticed it and Crawford didn’t volunteer the information. The outfielder expressed relief to be out of Boston after a trying year.

“It’s no secret it was a tough year in Boston,” Crawford said. “It’s one of those things I wouldn’t want any player to go through, so for me to be able to get out of that situation is definitely a relief. I won’t have to go through all the stress and stuff every day that they were putting us through.”

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