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Coco excited for new role

11.19.08 at 2:05 pm ET
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Coco Crisp just concluded a conference call, and declared himself excited for the opportunity to return to the American League Central and resume his career as an everyday player with the Kansas City Royals.

“My agent told me that there was a possible trade in the works within this week. All that waiting and anticipating to see where you go or even whether it happens kind of keeps you on edge. When I finally got the news that I was going to Kansas City, I was excited,” said Crisp. “It kind of woke me up. It was kind of early around here, about 7 in the morning. I wasn’t fully awake yet.”

Crisp described his experience in Boston as “bittersweet.” The opportunity to play for a World Series winner and in a baseball-crazed market were unquestionable positive experiences.

Still, there was a sense of some disappointment with how the tenure had gone. When he arrived, he was coming into his own as a member of the Indians, but things got off to an ominous start when he broke his left index finger in his first week with the Red Sox. From there, he dealt with a variety of injuries that limited his performance, as Crisp hit .271 with a .330 OBP and .390 slugging mark with the Sox.

“It was a learning experience, definitely. That’s first and foremost how I’d classify it,” said Crisp. “On the field and off the field, it helped me grow.The one negative thing aspect that came out of the whole thing was that I was plagued by nagging injuries pretty much the whole time I was there, except a month here and a month there and towards the end of (the 2008) season…It’s been an up and down ride. Most of the time, I’ve enjoyed myself over there, even though it was difficult.”

Crisp believes that both he and Jacoby Ellsbury stand to benefit from the increase in playing time, and the fact that they both will assume everyday roles as centerfielders.

“Ellsbury is a young guy who is coming to that day and age where he needs the opportunity to play everyday for everybody to know exactly what he can bring to the table,” said Crisp. “We didn’t get a full idea of what he was capable of. You can kind of tell, but I think this year coming up, with him playing everyday, hopefully he’ll have a great season and be able to show everybody that he’s going to be in the big leagues for a very long as a premier player in the big leagues.

“It’s nice for me to move aside and get out of the way, and for the Red Sox to allow this to happen by trading me and allowing me the opportunity to come to a team where I now have the opportunity to play everyday instead of being a filler guy—even though I got a lot of playing time last year due to other guys going down and being injured,” said Crisp. “I’m getting an opportunity to show everybody exactly what I’m capable of. I’m happy for that opportunity.”

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