Here im going to explore whether or not Carl Crawford can get back to being the Game Changer he was in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox know all too well what kind of player he was while in Tampa. He stole six bases in a game against them a couple years ago..
I think its very possible that Crawford will rebound but i remain a bit skeptical. Not to knock him as a player, I think that its his personality that may end up being the largest factor here. He just seems like a guy more suited for the few thousand fans attending out in Tampa then the sold out crowds of Fenway Park.
In Tampa the spotlight resembles more of a flashlight. The Rays never get the kind of National audience that the Sox get year in and year out. Although this trend seems like it could change over the coming years, as Tampa Bay contends on a regular basis. As a player that spent his whole career in this atmosphere coming over to a fan crazed, media rich, highly scrutinized team, it has to be a little uncomfortable. Especially if you are the laid back type of guy that CC is.
With all of this being said, I dont think that Crawfords deal can be considered a bust just yet. Another season like 2011 and I could change my tune, but i have some degree of confidence that Carl can adapt to the pressure cooker that we call home. If he cant then this could go down as one of the worst deals of the modern era. Keep an eye on 2012 to see what happens with this. I will be watching closely, hopefully you will too.