Allen Craig hoping to turn page, start new chapter with Red Sox

August 01, 2014 - 5:06 pm
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The 2014 has certainly not gone the way that Allen Craig wanted it to go. After having his offseason cut short due to the World Series and rehabbing an ankle injury, Craig has struggled at the plate to the tune of a .236 batting average, .291 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 44 RBIs. After finishing 21st in the National League Most Valuable Player balloting in 2013, Craig has certainly fallen back in terms of offensive production. The trade to the Red Sox, in a way, represents a clean slate for the outfielder to start fresh. Red Sox manager John Farrell says that right now, the focus for the team is to get Craig firmly supplanted in Boston and comfortable in his new surroundings. "I've had a chance to talk to Allen a little bit today and we haven't really started to dig in to get his feedback," Farrell said. "Today has been about... just getting him settled in a little bit. We'll get to know what he's been dealing with a little bit more specifically as his at-bats are witnesses here. We're clearly excited to have him." Craig said he was surprised to hear that he had been treaded because he hadn't heard very many rumors. "I was surprised. As the day went on, I started to get really excited about where I was going to go," Craig said. "I think it's still sinking in, being in the clubhouse and seeing a lot of faces and putting names to faces and that type of stuff. I'm looking forward to getting down there and playing ball." The struggles that Craig has endured this season have been part of a big learning process for the 30-year-old. "Making adjustments and figuring out pitchers are going to do to you. I feel like I learned a lot from the first half of my season and I'm ready to look forward," Craig said. "The first half of was frustrating. Ups and downs, but this is part of the learning curve of this game. It'd be nice to go out there and be great every single night, but sometimes you need to learn and I definitely learned." Craig does not consider his shortened offseason as an excuse for his struggles. "I never like to use anything as an excuse," Craig said. "My offseason was cut short because we played in the World Series and it was long. In that regard, my offseason was a little bit shorter, but I was healthy going into this year and I'm healthy now and that's something that I've put in the past and I feel good and ready to go." For Craig, coming back to Fenway Park brings back memories of playing in the World Series for the Cardinals. The outfielder says playing at Fenway for the first time during the World Series was an incredibly positive experience. "I loved the atmosphere. It was a great experience for me and I'm happy to be back," Craig said. "It's cool to be on this side of the clubhouse and get to know the guys on this side." Craig, who says he will contribute offense to the Red Sox lineup, has not thought through about how hitting in Fenway Park will benefit him. "I'm just excited to be a part of this organization and get to know these guys," Craig said. "Obviously, the tradition here is rich and winning the World Series last year and I'm just here to do my part and contribute to a good team."  

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