Sunday Discussion: Of Elbows and White Flags

He's finally hitting! So is it time to end his season? Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

We mentioned yesterday a report that Carl Crawford wants to undergo Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow as soon as possible. While this would of course take him out of the lineup for the remainder of the year, it's likely that it would make next year (and the subsequent four remaining on his rather sizable contract) more productive. Boston's front office has to this point publicly advocated a program of rest and rehab for the arm, but apparently Crawford, whether due to Boston's current record or concerns for his own long-term health, disagrees. With the playoffs seemingly not an option this year, shutdown and surgery could certainly be the right move.

On the other hand, these last few weeks have seen the best production of Crawford's limited Boston career. It's entirely possible that a solid program of rest and rehab could keep Crawford on the field without requiring surgery. Albert Pujols, for example, never underwent Tommy John despite a similar injury to the UCL. It's certainly worked out for him, though of course there's a great deal more throwing involved in playing left field than first base.

I'm honestly torn on this one. Although the tiny, stubborn Red Sox fan in the back of my mind refuses to concede the season until the moment of mathematical elimination, thinking ahead toward next year is probably the right move. I am a bit worried about the apparent disconnect between Crawford and management here. Most reports right after the initial revelation that Crawford wants surgery implied that Boston's front office hadn't been informed of that. Whether this is simply a matter of someone close to Crawford deciding to talk near an open mic or a sign that Crawford doesn't trust his bosses to make the right call without public pressure is unclear, but either way it's a bit troubling.

Anyway, here's where I'll leave it to all of you. Should the Sox shut down Crawford for the year, get his arm fixed up, and hope he comes back strong next year? And if they do so, is it the official signal that the front office has run up the white flag on this season? For the three or four of you who think Boston still has a chance at sneaking into October, would the loss of Crawford end that hope? Should we be worried that we all found out what Carl was thinking before the front office did? Chat away.

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