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Dodgers’ Carl Crawford says he’s happy to have escaped Boston’s ‘toxic’ environment

02.14.13 at 1:36 pm ET

Outfielder Carl Crawford, traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers last summer after 1½ injury-plagued seasons in Boston, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he’s happy to have moved on from the “toxic” environment around his former team.

“I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me,” Crawford said. “I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in a kind of depression stage. You just don’t see a way out.”

Added Crawford: “Toughest two years of my career, by far. From the outside, you watch guys playing over there and you think you can go and play. But you realize, once you get there, it’s a little tougher than you expected.”

Crawford acknowledged his poor performance did not help the situation.

“It was just everything,” he said. “Me not playing well. Me being in an unfamiliar area in an environment that was toxic. Just all those things combined. You start to say, ‘Is this ever going to end?’ ”

Asked if he regretted signing with the Sox, Crawford said: “A lot of times I did. You hear a lot of talk about how I just wanted money. At some point, you just wondered if you made the right decision.”

Crawford, who worked out Wednesday with his new teammates at spring training in Glendale, Ariz., said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to turn things around when he eventually returns to action following last year’s elbow surgery.

“I’m in a place now where I feel a lot better about myself,” he said. “I just feel like the player I once was.”

After meeting many of his Dodgers teammates for the first time (he rehabbed last season at his Houston home), Crawford said he senses a better atmosphere.

“I’m still getting a feel for it, but just walking in it feels different,” he said.

Crawford could not say when he expects to make his Dodgers debut, although he was optimistic about his recovery.

“Physically, my body feels good,” he said. “I’m still doing therapy with the elbow. Now, it all depends on what they want to see out of me. I think I can hit the cutoff man by Opening Day. But I don’t know if that’s when they’ll want me to come back. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.”

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