Carl Crawford felt trapped by his contract with the Red Sox, a seven-year, $142 million deal he signed prior to the 2011 season, when he realized that playing in Boston was too tough on him and was a "toxic" environment.
Crawford reflected on his two seasons in Boston, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, calling it the hardest period of his career.
"It was just everything," he said. "Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, 'Is this ever going to end?'"
Asked if he regretted signing with the Red Sox, Crawford replied, "A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision."
Crawford was traded to the Dodgers in August 2012 along with Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto in a salary dump by the Red Sox.
"From the outside, you watch guys playing over there and you think you can go and play," Crawford told the Times. "But you realize, once you get there, it's a little tougher than you expected."
It's unclear from the story which element Crawford was calling toxic: the clubhouse, Red Sox fans, perhaps both. But it is clear that in addition to having two disappointing, injury-plagued season, his mental state also was affected. He told the Times he was in a depressed state of mind.
"I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me," Crawford said. "I just didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in kind of a depression stage. You just don't see a way out."
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer