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Joe Maddon Thought Carl Crawford Would Perform Well With Red Sox (Surprise!)

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays opened a four-game series at Tropicana Field Monday, and before the Rays' earned a Game 1 victory, 5-2, manager Joe Maddon spoke to WEEI about a former player of both clubs -- Carl Crawford.

In the interview, Maddon said he was surprised that the relationship between the Red Sox and Crawford did not work out.

"I know it's was to say CC was unable to handle that, but I thought he would because Carl just loves to play and he plays hard and he works hard," Maddon said. "He keeps the blinders on and just stays focused. I didn't think the off the field stuff would bother him that much, because I thought he would be playing well. I thought the fans would embrace his hard-playing style."

In late August, Crawford was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after spending less than two season in a Red Sox uniform. Crawford, 31, inked a seven-year, $142 million deal with Boston in the 2010 offseason after being with the Rays for nine seasons.

In the end, the trade with the Dodgers was probably the best for both parties, thinks Maddon.

"I would say after the experience he just had it is going to be better for him, although I still think he could have thrived in Boston," Maddon said. "I'm sure maybe his overall confidence took a hit. Sometimes when your confidence takes a hit, your focus can wane also. I'm talking about anybody. … I have nothing but great times and a great relationship with him. He would still look great in a Rays uniform.

For more on the Red Sox, visit the SB Nation blog Over The Monster.