Crawford Celebrates his 1,000 Leftfield Start

 
 
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I popped up a tweet on Twitter the other day asking if I might be the only member of the Rays Republic to know that Tampa Bay Rays Leftfielder Carl Crawford celebrated his 1,000th start in Leftfield as a member of the Rays on Saturday night. Coming into the Rays 2010 season, Crawford has started 983 times in LF for the Rays, and with him sitting out only one Rays contest prior to their 18th game of the season on Saturday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, Crawford has now become a member of the 4-digit career starts longevity club in the MLB.

And I suspect in the last 10 years, that club has not inducted a lot of this generations MLB stars. But there was not a single Raysvision scoreboard moment before, during or after the game. No special mention of this awesome feat during the Rays Radio broadcast, or a spoken word over the Public Address system to give all of the Rays fans in attendance a chance to get on their feet and give Crawford the Standing Ovation he deserves for his long tenure service to the Rays. Here is a guy who has been a constant face of the Rays franchise since Crawford took his first steps upon the Field Turf II in 2001, and I am the only one outside, or in the Rays Press Box who saw this stat printed in the Rays 2010 Media Guide.


Not to push that I have any literary tendencies here, but I have been known to grace and glance at the pages of this 448 page colossal Rays Media Guide before and during Rays games as an instant resource for little tidbits and snippets just like this one concerning CC. Maybe what is troubling me deep down inside is that it would only take 30 seconds of airtime, a minute of scoreboard recognition, and might show Crawford that his sweat and grime over these years has been valued beyond just the “W’s” , the base stealing, and his multiple All-Star nods. That the Tampa Bay region has truly taken him in as a member of their own Rays family.

After Saturday nights game I spoke with a member of the Rays media cliché` (who wants to remain nameless) about this and he told me it was maybe just an oversight, but that these kind of career stats do not come up or matter as much as the offensive gems Crawford could still obtain here in 2010. Plus since CC already owns most of the Rays offensive numbers not related to power hitting already, it might seem as repetitious to those outside the stadium.

That even thought the event should have at least gotten a chance for the fans to give a roaring sign of support for Crawford, there might have been more pressing issues and events that determined it to be a fact that slips by without notice….or should have if I had not brought it up.

 
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And maybe this Rays Media member is right. Maybe it should not be something I am not so upset about, or frustrated about at all. Maybe I am turning into one of those emotional baseball historic factoid saps who actually think a moment of simple acknowledgment and crowd recognition can sometimes mend a fence better than a boatload of money. Maybe I have finally crossed that proverbial fence I have been riding for years and actually am outwardly giving a damn about these guys.

But, that is just the way I follow the game. I am the guy who envisions the little things snowballing into bigger situations. Maybe I finally grew up as a baseball fan and now see multiple sides of the game simultaneously instead of just the action on the field.

But it did bother me that a Rays player like Crawford, who takes up 9 pages in the Rays 2010 Media Guide did not get some sort of cap nod, or even vocal mention besides here in a Rays MLB-based blog that most member of the Rays Republic will never read on their way to the other Rays blogs. But then again, I am a fan-based blog and only get a mention if I show a photo or a snippet of information most people would not know unless I flushed it out of the system.

I am considered by some in the lefty Press Box as a bottom-feeder who finds the small morsels and turn them into a Goliath fish weighting 200 plus pounds (maybe like this post). There have been some recent other snippets or morsels just from the Rays career start page that within 2010 will see a total of four other Rays current players set their own career starts record for their respective positions. Some people might say that it just seemed like yesterday that B J Upton was beginning to learn the ropes at the team’s Centerfielder after his flurry of starts around the Rays infield.

But would it had made any difference to any of us that Upton also on Saturday night became the Rays career games leader in Centerfield passing Rays roving instructor Rocco Baldelli by staring his 375th career game in CF. Ironic that John Fogerty was here and started with “Centerfield” as his first song of the night.


And with the National Media attention on the Rays duo earlier in the season, don’t you think that Upton and Crawford both posting Rays career start marks on the same night might be a nice little factoid to toss to the Media fish? You would think at least the folks at Elias might catch onto this small morsel. But neither of them were mentioned at all, even in the Rays MLB Press Pass online publication for either Saturday or Sunday.

Or would it have mattered that with his 85th start of 2010 somewhere around the 2010 All Star break, Rays First Baseman Carlos Pena will pass former Rays First Baseman Fred McGriff and become the team’s career starts leader making his 483rd start at First Base for the Rays? Want to bet that makes the media handout!

Or maybe the fact that recently, Rays Third Baseman Evan Longoria, who is entering his third season with the Rays, in only his sixth start of the 2010 season at home set the Rays Third Base career starts record with his 273rd start passing former Ray Aubrey Huff for that honor.

And I have gazed twice and did not see that on Sunday’s MLB Press Pass either…Hmmm? But maybe it is just me that thinks it is impressive and show the solidarity of this Rays player foundation and the longevity of the strength of this team that these four will all have set career start records during this season.

 
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And this is only talking about career starts, this is not digging into the team’s record books like a member of SABR even trying to find diamond hidden in the miles of words and facts. But the pure fact that these four instances just jumped out at me during this weekend truly speaks volumes to how if the general Rays media members do not have the space or the time to add such small bits of recognition, maybe that is a niche I should consider soon as my blog format.

Maybe there is a need to find the “small things” dangling off the line and take it like a Blue Marlin and run with it.


Maybe it is time to reconfigure and rethink. There is such a plethora of information out there in the Internet stratosphere just aching for some sunlight. Maybe I should take a few fellow Rays friends advice and seek one of those names upon the black tags around the Rays dugout and reestablish the Rays Renegade website. Maybe there is a place for both my long-winded blog posts, and smaller multiple paragraphs of photos or even great Rays information that could be beneficial to other Rays Republic followers.

But it does still bother me that Crawford, who started his 1,000th career game in LF for the Rays did not get an ounce of mention. Especially since the Rays player who holds second place in that LF category is former Ray Greg Vaughn who started only 159 Rays games, and who last manned that spot before Crawford became the heir apparent.

P.S. I know my photos are coming out a bit blurry, but I have an inferior camera. I at first thought it was my eyes going bad on me, but I had someone else also take a few and they came out the same way. As soon as I get some chicken feed, I will upgrade my camera and also get a wide angle/ telephoto lens that suits game day shots….Might take a while.

8 Comments

Jane,
I knew you would get it.
And I take it as an ultimate compliment that a author of your stature even takes the time to read my stuff some days. I am not the prettiest, glamorous or even most intelligent baseball writer, but I do have my thoughts and heart in the right place.
But I really hate how some of the media gets to filet or butcher their particular points of view and some of the truth and logic is left on the floor to rot after the craving is done.
I am thinking of redefining myself in that direction…but I might take a few days to consider the hazards of alienating some who have power over even a small blogger who sit in the stands every night.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I think you’re right and there IS a niche for you in your coverage of the Rays. Acknowledging and spreading the word about Crawford’s impressive milestone is a perfect example. It should not go unnoticed. So yeah, maybe you’re the guy who uncovers this kind of info and disseminates it. Why not?

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Double R ~ You’re in a unique situation…The Ground Floor.
Yours could be and should be, one day, the Unltimate Rays Compendium of and for the Fan! Maybe you can bless the 25th anniversary of the team with your Best Seller! Food for thought? Get busy friend. I’m not sure anyone can do it better for the Rays fan than you.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Mike,
There is a small plethora of Rays blogs out there that each have their little pocket of the marketplace.
DRaysBay is more statistic-driven and a more authority into the dynamics or scientific jorgon of the game.
RaysIndex throws out paragraphs stating multiples of Internet offerings and their basic opinion and reaction to Rays news.
Then there are the other fighting for that third spot.
I have my small niche right now on here staying within eyesight of the Top 10, and trying to gain a voice before branching out into my own web-based spot again.
I will have to think, but I can definitely see that some of you beleive in this process a bit more than me right now….Which will help push me off the cliff and into the air to fly.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I hope you used the Barry Zito Drinking Game model over the weekend. The game always gets the job done.

I pray Mr. Crawford makes his way to the better Bay Area next year to start on a 1000 game run in a Gigantes uniform.

Shaun

The Three Bs

“Offensive Offense”

http://syaple.mlblogs.com

Shaun,
Not sure if it is a better Bay area, but it does have some great food.
Seriously, Crawford might not be headed to that region, but they can make a play for him…..Anything to keep him out of the East Coast scramble.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cool info on Crawford there. I sure will hate to see him in another uni next year. I would be so much more confident in the world if remained a Ray for life…. but dude wants to get paid, so I understand.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
It is the reality of being in a small market.
Guys like Crawford do not grow on trees, but we have been lucky as a franchise to be able to have viable options within the system that can be utilized, but it might not be an upgrade.
Some people think after the first $ 20 million why do you need more? But then we also do not know all the expenses and the dues, tips and percentage points people involved around Crawford take from him yearly.
Not that he is going to shout poverty, but he feeds more than himself.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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