It turns out that the Red Sox's medical staff has Crawford on a "four-day program", meaning he cannot play more than four consecutive days, to protect his left elbow from overuse. But what makes this so strange is that the Red Sox had an off day on Thursday.
Crawford looked good on Friday night, hitting a few line drives and slugging his first home run of the year. So Saturday was actually only his second consecutive game, not fifth. (Maybe his elbow not understand the concept of off days.)
Incredibly, the existence of this plan was news to Crawford:
I'm not really sure what's the program. ... I just found out about that today. Like I said, [Valentine] texted me this morning and told me that.Manager Bobby Valentine was told about the plan awhile ago, but he immediately went against it and played Crawford for six consecutive games before giving him last Sunday off. Valentine admitted that was a "no-no".
They told me before that game that he wasn't playing, and I kind of did the old veto power, "Who says he's not playing?" and I played him. Never to be done again. ...Valentine said he is getting these orders directly from the medical staff, not from GM Ben Cherington.
I don't think it's going to be four days and a day off all year. I hope not.
What a mess. The lack of communication between the training staff, the front office, Valentine, and Crawford is shocking.
I don't want to run from guys. It feels more like I'm hiding from somebody. Not playing against someone is more embarrassing than anything. My body is fine right now.Crawford also said that he was told in April that he would need Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, and the sooner he gets it done, the better.
I try not to even think about it, to be honest with you. ... I figure one day it will blow out and when that happens, time to go, you know?The front office has said repeatedly that surgery is not inevitable.
And before the game, there was a bizarre scene in the Red Sox clubhouse when former manager and current ESPN analyst Terry Francona chatted for about thirty minutes with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Cody Ross, and others. One report said that Pedroia offered Francona a chair and the two started talking. The Herald's Michael Silverman wrote that Tito was soon "surrounded by an adoring, giggling and ever-growing circle" of players. According to all reports, Valentine remained in his office across the hall.