Crawford to Delmon: Shut up and play
UPDATE (2:16 p.m.):
The volleying between Carl Crawford and Delmon Young appears to be over, or at least on hold, as Young declined to respond much to Crawford's Friday morning comments.
Asked about Crawford's comments after Friday's workout in Minnesota, Young told reporters: "I don't need to say anything. I responded back to his first thing. .. I'm not worried about anything."
Young said there was no need for him to talk with Crawford: "Not at all. I'm down in Fort Myers playing with the Twins. I'm not part of the (Rays) organization anymore.''
As for making the trip to St. Petersburg on March 4 for the first of three Rays-Twins games of the spring: "I ain't going to worry about any of that stuff. Why should I be scared to go.''
Crawford after the Rays workout said he, too, was done with the exchange, and had no interest in clearing things up with Young. "I don't want to talk to him at all.''
Carl Crawford has a message for former teammate Delmon Young: Shut up.
Irritated at Young's reaction to his comments about the Rays having a calmer clubhouse without Young and Elijah Dukes, Crawford spoke out early Friday morning.
"These are exactly the the kind of distractions we were talking about with the Rays, a young guy popping off at the mouth, talking too much,'' Crawford said. "He needs to just shut up and play baseball.''
Crawford said that if Young didn't fully understand his comments about the Rays benefiting from having fewer distractions, Crawford said he will be more than willing to explain it. After reading Young's comments in the Times early Friday morning, Crawford was animated in his response:
"Nobody even mentioned the word losing, losing games. We know we've been a losing franchise. He just wanted to say something back like he's always running his mouth. That's what he does. He runs his mouth all the time. Nobody was blaming him for anything. For him to come back at me was a personal attack. I feel that if there is anything that he is unsure about, tell him I would be more than happy to say it in his face, or any kind of other way, that would make him understand."
After reporting to camp Tuesday, Crawford said he looked forward to the calmer environment the Rays would have without Dukes and Young and said that if the two young outfielders hadn't been traded he thought they would have contined to cause problems. He also said they lacked maturity and didn't act the way rookies are supposed to act.
Young volleyed back Thursday when he reported to Twins camp in Fort Myers, saying he discounted the comments because he's seen other players say things like that then turn around and trash the Rays when they leave, invoking the name of former Rays catcher Toby Hall. Young also said he and Dukes shouldn't be blamed for the Rays' poor record since they were a losing franchise before the two arrived.
Crawford's return volley:
"Nobody ever said he was the reason why we lost games. We know that. We said it was a more at-ease enviroment, which is true. And second of all, I have no problem with coming directly to his face and telling him whatever it is he needs to know. Nobody's waiting till he leaves. Nobody cares about him leaving. For him to say we want to act like Toby Hall and leave, nobody's doing that. Trust me. Me personally? Tell him this is a direct statement from me; I will come say it directly to his face. If he wants to know, if he is not sure about anything, I'll say it directly to his face. I'd be more than happy to say it to his face. Make sure he gets that.''
Crawford also questioned why Young aligned himself with Dukes: "He always wants to feel like if he can say him and Dukes, he feels protected that Dukes has his back or something like that.''
Crawford also offered what sounded like a message to the Twins:
"Tell them, this is exactly the kind of thing Crawford and the Rays were talking about. It hasn't happened much (in Minnesota yet), but at some point it will and they will see what we were talking about over here.''