Superman would step into a phone booth as Clark Kent and emerge as Superman. Carl Crawford was a reverse Superman. After 10 seasons as a true All Star with a high batting average, Runs batter in and record setting stolen bases, he signed a huge contract with the Boston Red Sox. If that was a phone booth, he entered as a future Hall of Fame and left “the booth” as a financial and performance burden to his team for the rest of his career.
The only phrase to describe Carl Crawford on Tampa Bay for ten years was “SUPERSTAR”. He usually hit around 15 home runs and batted over .296 six times. His final season at the young age of 28, he batted .307 drove in 90 runs and stole 47 bases.
The Boston Red Sox gave him a 7 year $142 million dollar contract. The change was immediate. In 2011, he batted .255 with 11 home runs and 18 stolen bases. The second year, he played in only 31 games. After those two years, the Red Sox were successful in trading Crawford and his whole contract to the Dodgers.
In his first year with the Dodgers he played 116 games, batted .283 and stole 15 bases. The second year he dropped to 105 games batting .300 and stealing 23 bases. However that was his last year that even approached average performance. Over the next two years he only played in a total of 99 games batting .265 and .185 with a two year total of 10 stolen bases.
Watching Crawford deteriorate, the Dodgers released him ending his career but paying him $35 million to go away and not play again.
Known for stolen bases in Tampa (average of 54 a year), Crawford only stole 71 bases over the course of his 7 year contract. In those years, he batted .300 once and every other year was lower. He had averaged 17 home runs a year in Tampa, but only hit a it total of 32 in his 6 playing years under the new contract. It appears that once he signed this contract, he became a totally different player. Signing Clark Kent would have been a lot better.