I was talking to a friend the other day who opined that “we live in a world that is terrified of getting to the point.”
I didn’t connect that statement back to the Rays at the time but, isn’t that exactly what is going on with Carl Crawford? For now, we are pretending like this isn’t a farewell tour for the greatest player in franchise history. It is.
If there was ever any doubt, two news stories this week confirmed the inevitable.
First, we learned that the Rays simply do not have enough operating income to pay Crawford the $100MM he is likely to earn over the next 6 or 7 seasons.
Then, yesterday, Marc Topkin had a nice piece on Torrii Hunter’s guidance for his friend.
I don’t know if Hunter is recruiting CC to the Angels clubhouse or not. (It would seem sort of self-defeating for Hunter to bring Crawford into Anaheim because they are similar players and CC might push Hunter out of a job.) But Hunter made a key point I think most Rays fans are taking for granted in this CC debacle: The turf is shortening Crawford’s career.
Here is what Hunter told Topkin:
“I’m pretty sure he would love to stay with the Rays,” Hunter said. “But I’m pretty sure he has to think about that turf and that dome, and you have to think about your future first. Baseball is No. 1, and if you can’t play it because you’re sore every day, you learn that.”
“If they really want him, I’m pretty sure they could do it, they could figure it out,” Hunter said. “But they’re going to have to pay for that turf. There’s no discount on turf.”
Hunter is absolutely right. Money aside, it would be tough for CC, who has an outside shot at some historic career numbers, to shorten his overall playing time by staying at the Trop.
Rays fans can only hope that CC’s friend is also telling him about the downside to leaving a small market that loved you for the big money in a big city. Hunter should know from his experience that it isn’t all rose petals and candy canes.