Boston's Francona on Crawford: "A game changer"
Here's what Boston manager Terry Francona had to say about Rays free-agent OF Carl Crawford - a potential Red Sox target - during a Tuesday interview on WEEI radio's Dale & Holley show.
In general, what are your impressions of Crawford?
I think he’s a game changer. He’s that guy that can change a game defensively, offensively. When he gets on base, he gives you a headache. He has a little bit of that Johnny Damon in him where, he’s swinging and I’m not sure he knows where the ball is going, but he fouls off six or seven and then he’ll rifle one into right field or bounce one and beat it out. He has a way of changing the game. It frustrates the heck out of you. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if he gets on base you can’t throw him out.
Is it odd to you that the Rays didn’t use him as a leadoff guy?
They may feel like if they hit him second or third, maybe they can get him his 100 runs scored and get a little more production out of the 15, 18 home runs he hits.
Are you concerned that signing Carl Crawford might make you too left-handed among your outfielders? Can you have too many left-handed hitters in your lineup?
If they can’t hit left-handers. We had problems with that sometimes last year. When we faced a good lefty, if they had their way with J.D. (Drew) and David (Ortiz), more often than not we had a tough time. It’s not so much being left-handed than handling left-handers. Carl Crawford doesn’t hit worse against lefties than he does against righties. With his style of hitting, his splits are going to be real close to the same. It doesn’t matter. But if you have lefties that can’t hit lefties, then it makes it tough.