Coco Crisp Has Arrived In Camp, But He Is Not A Happy Camper...Yet
The remaining three players-Manny, Julio and Coco have arrived in camp, on time and in good shape, Sir Manny especially. But Coco Crisp has again reiterated his demand, yes, DEMAND, that he be the Boston Red Sox starting centerfielder. He put it in no uncertain terms. This is from the Hartford Courant, and then I'll be back with a few choice comments of my own. Here you go...
"I want to play every day," Crisp said before the morning workout. "I think everybody wants to play every day. If you don't, I think there's something wrong with you. I don't want to sit on the bench. I would honestly rather be somewhere else and play than be on the bench. "I'll take whatever comes and deal with it. It's no knock against Boston. The fans have treated me well. It's ultimately for myself. I think I can speak for anybody, you want to play. So whatever the best situation is for yourself to play is where you want to be."
Peter here, and yes, Coco has spoken, and what he said was not at all a surprise. Deep down, I really can't blame him. He has been a major league ballplayer for many years, and is known by most fans to be a WAY above average outfielder, maybe one of the best in either league. My mind just flashed to a few of his Superman-like snares last year, catches when he was literally flying through the air with the greatest of ease, seemingly able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And most of the time, yes, the ball ended up in his glove. OUT, and the baserunner looks up, unbelievingly aghast! Terry Francona, our skipper, had this to say, also from the Courant...
"We have two pretty good players," Francona said. "It'll play itself out. They're going to play. They're too good not to play. They're too valuable. We talked about Wily Mo Pena last year and how you're going to get him at-bats, and I couldn't figure out how to do that. This will be different."
Peter here with something to say about the aforementioned Wily Mo Pena. Tito, Wily Mo couldn't catch the ball with an 8 foot wide glove made of super glue and epoxy, with a Spiderman type of web-emitting device deeply embedded in the glove's palm. Anotherwords, there was no way in the world he would stay a member of the World Champions, not while striking out repeatedly and looking like a fool in the outfield, ANY outfield, ANYWHERE.. No way, no how, not in my life. PERIOD. Jacoby, the rookie, diplomatic as always, also had something to say. This blurb is from the Boston Globe, one of our Red Sox "bibles." Here you go, and I'll be back one last time to sum up...
"When I was in high school, as a freshman, I was fighting for that center field spot and didn't let it get to me," he said. "When I was in college, I was a freshman trying to fight for that center field spot. In pro ball, and now, same thing.
"I went into the offseason and worked hard to be the center fielder. But it's their decision and I respect it either way."
Peter here, and he DID work hard, adding 20 pounds of muscle to his slim frame. He's always been a line drive hitter, with many of those line drives scooting through the gap to the wall. Hit hard, but without any lift, but always a base hit, usually a double with his blinding speed. Now if his bat gets under the ball, just a scinch, it will travel to some lucky fan in some fortunate seat. Remember, he batted .438 in our victorious 2007 World Series. We expect more of the same for 2008, so Mr. Crisp has his work cut out for him. He knows he was a complete bust at the plate last year, and he knows he'll have to do something about it. It's as simple as that, or he'll be wearing a different uniform when the '08 campaign begins. Or soon thereafter. This club cannot afford any clubhouse "negative waves," one of the many classic lines uttered by Donald Southerland in the WWII movie "Kelly's Heroes." I, for one, would consider him to be the best number four outfielder in the major leagues, whether he plays center, left or right. So I hope he stays with the club. But right now he has stood by these words... "START ME OR TRADE ME." We'll see, won't we? Hey Coco, start with a winner (the Boston Red Sox), and then outhustle, outdefense and outhit your lone competition. Then we'll talk! OK?
My thanks go out to those of you who left Kaylee words of love, words of hope, words of LIFE itself. That means so much to me. And click on this post's title for yet another Boston newpaper's take on Coco. This time, it's the Boston Herald. I thank you yet again for being here. Be safe, be healthy and be well. You're so important to me. Now click on that title for more Coco-ness! You're the best!!!!