Rays Friedman on Crawford deal: "Tough to see him in that uniform"
Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman admitted there was "a feeling of disappointment" with the reality of Carl Crawford officially leaving, and will be more with him going to one of their top rivals, as they play the Red Sox 18 times a season.
"We know him well, he knows us well - it will be interesting,'' Friedman said. "It will be tough to see him in that uniform, especially the first time. Obviously, it was a choice he made and felt like it was the best opportunity for him. So while I think the fans will be disappointed that it was that team specificially, they'll be appreciative of everything he did for us and be ready to root against him 18 times.''
Overall, Friedman said: "Carl's been the face of this franchise for a number of years, he's an extremely talented player, what you see is what you get - he's driven to be great and impacts the game in every facet. It's certainly a big loss for us. We knew it was coming, but obviously when it happens, there's a feeling of disappointment. It's the way the structure in this sport is set up - we get it, we recognize it, we operate within it. We relish in the fact that we have to swim against the tide - it's just that the current's getting stronger.
"We're going to continue to work hard, work smart and do the best we can to put the organization in position to win titles. That's what we're motivated by. We can't forget who we are and how we have to go about our business to have success. What's gone on this off-season - trades and signings - and what will go on over the next few weeks, adds to it. It's the structure that's in place, and we've demonstrated beofre that we can have success within it, and we have to do it again.''
Among other reactions:
Free-agent OF Gary Sheffield: "I think now you're going to see the Rickey Henderson type numbers. I've been saying it for years, he's the closest thing I've seen to Rickey Henderson. ''
Rays CF B.J. Upton: "It's going to be a little bit different. I don't think any of us expected that. It is what it is. He made the best decision for his career, and if it's in Boston that's where it had to be. ... I always wish the best for him. He's one of those guys that always took care of me so I'll always be rooting for him. ... I'm used to being with him trying to beat those guys, now he's one of them so it's going to be a little bit different. ... Sometimes thing don't turn out the way we thought. But like I always say it's a business and he made the best decision for him and his family.''
Former Rays GM Chuck LaMar, who drafted Crawford in 1999 when he had a football scholarship to Nebraska: "It's fabulous for Carl and what he's done with his career. ... It's a credit to him, he's done a great job. We took some heat way back when because we were signing dual-sport athletes, and it happens to be one where he chose the right profession. ... I think he brings something that every team needs, not just Boston. Everybody thinks of Boston as sort of this non-athletic team, but they're not. I've heard questions already about how in Fenway Park his defensive skills are not going to be used as much, but you play 81 games on the road as well. But you're buying not just a defender, you're buying a leader. He's become a leader. Not only is he a great athlete, a good offensive player and a good defensive player, I think he'll be a force in their clubhouse. I think they'll enjoy having his leadership in the clubhouse. So I think it's a great thing.''
Orioles GM Andy MacPhail: "We would have preferred him leaving the division, all things being equal but it wasn't up to us. That team, frankly in our view, was a powerhouse and a force going into 2010 and suffered injuries that were almost inconceivable and still had a pretty good year. Now when they get Pedroia healthy, they get Youkilis healthy, they add (Adrian) Gonzalez and they add Crawford, woo.''
Rays pitcher James Shields: "It's definitely sad to see him in the AL East. I wish he was in the National League so I wouldn't have to face him as much.''
Yankees GM Brian Cashman: "He's a great player, it's a great move. The sense was Boston or Anaheim was going to get him, so it was which one unless somebody jumped in and surprised everybody. ... They've got a great team. They've had two huge acquisitions. So they're loading up like they always do, but this is even more significant than a typical Red Sox reload. They've done a great job so far. .. It's a great team, they've got a great team, it's significantly been improved.'' Cashman also said the Yankees "never made an offer" for Crawford and "that's not a need for us.''
D'backs GM Kevin Towers: "I talked about Adrian knocking the paint off the (leftfield) wall, geez they may have to have some guy hanging from there constantly doing it during the game. That's a pretty impressive lineup.''
Angels GM Tony Reagins: "Disappointed, no? It's part of the process.''
ESPN analyst John Kruk: "He has an asset (speed) that few have, and he's going to saved at Fenway because he's not going to have to have a lot of running in leftfield. The only running he's going to do, is when he hits on in the gap in right-center - he's going to have a lot of triples. I see him having as good a year as he's ever had.''
Rangers GM Jon Daniels: "He's one of the impact players out there. It's an aggressive move, they're an aggressive club, they're pretty good.''