07/15/2008 10:40 AM ET
Carl Crawford: Enjoy the All-Star Game
Rays outfielder happy for teammates headed to the Bronx
I didn't make the All-Star team this year, but the Rays are well represented in New York by Scott Kazmir, Dioner Navarro and Evan Longoria.
It is a great feeling to be named an All-Star and to take part in an All-Star Game. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity two times.
This year's game at Yankee Stadium should be very special. Not only do you have the All-Star Game and all that comes with that, but the fact that it's in Yankee Stadium in the final year of play there will only add to the emotion. For those taking part, it's a good time to be an All-Star, and it will be a real whirlwind experience for them.
When I made the All-Star team in 2004 -- since it was my first time -- I was pretty nervous. I didn't really know what to do. It seemed to go by so quickly. I signed everything they put in front of me, and it was nice overall. I had a good time.
That year I was pretty quiet. I was also just 22 years old. I remember seeking out Gary Sheffield and Alfonso Soriano, in particular, as guys I wanted to meet. I already knew C.C. Sabathia pretty well because we're pretty tight as friends. That helped.
In 2007, I was a lot more comfortable. I was more relaxed. I also hit a home run in the game. That was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my career. When the game came around, I was a lot more relaxed, and I let the game come to me. I had a better approach, and I wasn't just up at the plate swinging at everything. In 2007, I looked for my pitch to hit.
I tell anybody that, if they were to get to experience something one time, that would be it. So, I'm really happy for my teammates -- Kazmir, Navarro and Longoria. My advice to them is simple: Don't party too much -- because this year, the second half of our season is going to be really important.
Carl Crawford has played for the Rays for all seven of his big league seasons. Last season, he became just the seventh player in the modern era (since 1900) to increase his average in five consecutive seasons and the first to do it at the start of his career.