Where Are They Now: Coco Crisp

Coco Crisp was brought to the Royals to improve the outfield defensively, be a lead-off hitter and create runs. He did none of the above.

Crisp came to KC for Ramon Ramirez from Boston. While not a bad trade, I was quick to address Crisp’s health issues and I was concerned whether he’d make it a whole season. Crisp’s stay in KC was not one filled with highlights. In his first season here he batted a career low .228 and followed that with a season ending injury on June 23rd.

Crisp signed with Oakland on December 20th, 2009. As a surprise to everyone, Crisp started the 2010 season on the DL with a fractured left pinkie finger. Since this injury, Crisp has been healthy and has a much improved batting average of .279, which is 50 points higher than his KC Royals batting average.

Crisp arrived in camp for the 2011 Oakland As healthy but he found a little bit of trouble. According to TMZ, Crisp was arrested on suspicion of a DUI on March 2, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Crisp publicly apologized via his Twitter account, @Coco_Crisp:

Sorry to everyone! my family, friends, MLB and my fans. I know I let a lot of ppl down and again I am sorry. I'll talk more 2morrow, Gnite.
Covelli Crisp

He then followed that with a second message 13 hours later:

Philippians 4:11-13... Thank you all for your support and heart felt thoughts, moving forward from here and promise it won't happen again!
Covelli Crisp

While he is not a player I would want on the Royals with what is here and in the pipeline, Crisp is a very nice guy. He’s very open to the public. He responds to fans on Twitter, posting pictures, talking about root canals and doing push-ups in order to help turn doubles to homers. He made an honest apology in the San Francisco Chronicle, “I can say how I feel about the whole situation and I guess, obviously embarrassed is one of the main feelings. And sorry. … That’s genuine.” Crisp said, “A lot of people look up to me, and the decision was not the right decision.” He added he wants to apologize to all the fans, “The ones that come to razz…and ones who come to cheer me. “ He also apologized to the As and MLB as a whole, guaranteeing this will never happen again.

While DUIs are easily preventable and stupid, you have to applaud Crisp’s sincere remorse for making the mistake and can only hope he continues on straight and narrow in the future. Crisp seems like the kind of guy who learns from his mistakes and will only be judged by his play on the field, rather than his mistakes off the field.

According to a message and picture posted on his Twitter account, Crisp will play his 3rd spring game on, March 3, batting leadoff. He is expected to open the season as the As lead off man.

Troy “KCRoyalman” Olsen can be heard on 810 Radio Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11pm as part of 3 guys in a garage. Follow him at twitter.com/kcroyalman and facebook.com/kcroyalman.

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