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Carl Crawford felt pressure to play hurt with Red Sox

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers OF Carl Crawford said he felt pressure to play hurt in Boston after signing a big contract and he regrets that he waited to have reconstructive elbow surgery, he said at his introductory news conference Friday.

Crawford, who left the Rays in 2010 and signed a seven-year, $142 million free agent deal with the Red Sox, had ligament-replacement surgery two days before the Aug. 25 trade that shook up clubhouses in two cities.

He never suited up for the Dodgers in the regular season and went home to Houston to rehabilitate.

He realized he was seriously injured in April when he could barely throw, he said.

"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," said Crawford, 31, who played in 31 games this season. "Maybe I shouldn't have done that. I should have taken care of myself when the doctor told me to."

Crawford is expected to join the Dodgers outfield in April or early May. He is not cleared for batting practice or throwing.

"You felt the pressure (in Boston) 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," he said.

"I wanted to prove that that wasn't the case."

Rays Roster: OF Rich Thompson, dropped from the 40-man roster last week, elected free agency rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. Thompson appeared in 23 games for the Rays, hitting .091, after being acquired from the Phillies organization, his first big-league action since 2004.

Rivera considers retiring: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera informed Brian Cashman this week he is not sure if will play again or retire, the GM told ESPN.com. "He wasn't certain on what he is going to do," Cashman said. Rivera tore a knee ligament shagging balls in batting practice in May and at the time said he would return in 2013. He turns 43 next month.

Marlins: Larry Bowa, the MLB Network analyst who last managed the Phillies in 2004, joined Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and Blue Jays Class A manager Mike Redmond as those who have been interviewed to replace fired manager Ozzie Guillen, the Associated Press reported.

White Sox: Longtime GM Ken Williams was promoted to executive vice president, and Rick Hahn, who has been with the team since 2000, was promoted to general manager.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Carl Crawford felt pressure to play hurt with Red Sox 10/26/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 26, 2012 11:17pm]
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