Crawford frustrated by stolen-base calls
Speedster feels he's been called out when he's been safe
ST. PETERSBURG -- Carl Crawford is getting tired of having to give umpires looks lately.
With another stolen-base attempt thwarted in the seventh inning against the Blue Jays on Sunday, Crawford rose up, brushed himself off, glanced at third-base umpire Damien Beal and ran into the dugout frustrated.
"I don't say anything because I'm already out," Crawford said. "I just give them a look, like in disbelief. Like I don't understand why half of these calls get made against me."
Recently, though, the looks have been coming more frequently and with more venom. Crawford has been caught stealing four times in the past 13 games entering Tuesday, giving him 15 unsuccessful attempts for the season, tying his career high.
But Crawford, who appeared safe on a slow-motion replay of the attempt on Sunday, believes umpires have been missing calls more than usual.
"I've been looking safe a lot lately," Crawford said. "For some reason, I've just been getting called out. I don't know what it is. I'm a speedy guy. Common sense will tell you to watch the play closely because it's going to be a close play."
Crawford entered Tuesday with 59 steals on the season (also tied for his career high), one shy of breaking his own club record, and has been exceedingly aggressive on the basepaths this year. He slides feet-first, an atypical approach for most notable baserunners, and admits this may contribute to some of the close plays.
"They're just not getting in the proper position to see that I'm safe most of the time," Crawford said. "Half of the times I've been thrown out this year, if you go back and look at the replay, I was safe."
On Sunday, Crawford said he felt the glove of Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion smack his hip. His feet were already touching the base.
"If I'm getting tagged on my waist, that's got to tell you something," Crawford said. "I'm 6-foot-2."
Though it has been frustrating for him, it won't slow him down. Crawford has said that his production on the bases this year can be attributed to his health, and he's still feeling spry enough to stay aggressive. He's seeking his fifth career American League stolen-base crown.
"I'm just getting a little tired of it," Crawford said. "It's starting to wear on me and frustrate me a little bit. That's the only reason why I'm extending the conversation to you guys about it. But it's definitely starting to get frustrating. I just wish they could pay more attention to me sliding, because half of the time I'm safe."
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.