Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Keep Crawford a part of the Rays future

How do you build a championship team? With all-stars like the ones the Rays have in left fielder Carl Crawford.

The team picked up his $8.25 option for 2009 on Tuesday.

In a statement released by the team Tuesday, Crawford said he wanted to stay in Tampa Bay for a long time.

During a conference call later that day, Rays vice president of baseball Andrew Friedman said the team wanted to keep Crawford around.

The team holds a $10 million option on C.C. for 2010 and here’s hoping they act on that, too.

Crawford spoke to reporters in Baltimore before Wednesday’s game and said what he’s been saying all along – that he sees the tide turning and he wants to be a Ray during the good times.

“I'd hate to leave right when the getting is good,” Crawford said. “You've been around for all the bad stuff you want to be around for the good part, too. And it looks like the good part is coming ahead, and you definitely want to be a part of that. So I hate to be out right when the team starts to win more games.''

That’s great to hear, because you know Crawford hears it when he plays at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.

“Hey, C.C. When are you going to come and play here?”

That would seem tempting to a guy tired of playing in front of empty seats and finishing last every year. But the perception is the Rays have assembled their best team ever this season and they are about to make a break from their dismal past.

Time will tell.

Keeping C.C. in Rays blue is a good start.

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