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Rays Fans, Don't Boo Carl Crawford Tonight

You won't hear me say this often, but I agree with Gary Shelton here:

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First, you cheer. Don't you?

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You cheer for the man, and you cheer for the memories, and you cheer for the sweat and effort and years.

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You cheer for the hits and all of the catches. You cheer because he became something special, and he allowed the franchise to do the same. You cheer because it is the classy thing to do, and he always was a classy player.

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Tonight, you should cheer for Carl Crawford.

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Once.

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After that, you are on your own.

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I'm not a fan of booing players unless they've actually done something bad -- you know, like beat their wife or made intolerant remarks. These players are people too, only their job performance is on display daily to millions of people. How would we like it if someone booed us for writing a poor report at work? Can we really blame Crawford for taking the highest-paying job offered to him? Which one of us wouldn't do the same thing in his position?

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It's so easy to hate on Crawford, especially after some of the bone-headed things he said this offseason. But he legitimately seems like a nice guy, he gave nine years of his career to the Tampa Bay area, and he's the best player in our franchise's history.

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Stay classy, Rays fans. Give Crawford a cheer tonight, just this one time.

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.