(Jupiter, FL) A year ago at this time Allen Craig was playing ping pong before the game in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse and looking to deliver as a core part of the team. Today, he’s starting in left field for the Boston Red Sox against his former team.

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“Excited to be here–obviously a lot of good memories and friends over there,” said Craig, who caught the final out of the 2011 World Series. He also suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot which limited his finish in 2013 and seemed to carry over to the next.

“That was last year,” said Craig, who hit .215 combined last season. “Last year’s last year. I feel great and I’m healthy now.”

Never one to make excuses, Craig was polite and admits there was a “time-crunch” to get ready for 2014, but clearly did not want to elaborate too much on how much he was affected by the recovery from his injury.

“I feel good physically and just put some extra time in the offseason to work out and work on some things,” said Craig. “It was a big off-season for me and I feel like I accomplished a lot, so I feel like I’m in a good spot.”

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Besides working on his physical state during the off-season, Craig also took some time to re-evaluate a few things. But even with the frustrations of 2014, Craig was quick to answer that his love for the game hasn’t been affected.

3-9-15 Mujica“Absolutely not,” he stated. “This game’s been really good to me. I’ll always love the game, that’s never in question.”

Where Craig will fit with Boston this season remains to be seen and there are trade rumors.  “I think time will tell, things obviously need to play out a little bit,” said Craig. “I’m just kind of focused on taking it one day at a time, having good at-bats, just playing the game, being a good teammate, and things will take care of themselves.”

–Former Cards closer Edward Mujica also plays for the Red Sox and made his way over to the St. Louis side of the complex to say hello to friends before the game. “Chief” appeared in 64 games and recorded eight saves for the Red Sox last year.


photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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