Carl Crawford, the best-ever Tampa Bay Ray is gone. He’s now with the Boston Red Sox.

The Rays will never need a team cardiologist. Boston has the Rays’ heart.

The Rays won’t need a team chaplain. Boston has the Rays’ soul.

To put it in the easiest terms, Carl Crawford was simply the heart and soul of the Tampa Bay Rays. He was their all-time best: best player, best teammate, best guy with the fans.

Tampa Bay’s loss is Boston’s gain.

They’ll love him in Fenway Park. He’ll hit for power and average. He’ll light it up with singles, doubles, triples, whatever is needed. Gold Glover, Silver Batsman. Base stealer extraordinaire.

The bad news is he’ll help beat his old team. The good news is he’ll help beat the Yankees.

While Crawford was getting a free dinner out of Yankee General Manger Brian Cashman on Tuesday night, Theo Epstein was working out the details of Crawford’s seven-year, $142 million deal. Yow-zer!

While the Yankees push all their chips to the middle of the table in the Cliff Lee poker tournament, the Red Sox added a great guy and super teammate, someone the fans can wrap their arms around and welcome with a smile.

Crawford is that kind of guy. He’s paid his dues. He toiled in the early futile years of his career on a Rays team that was simply dreadful with an awful owner named Vince Namoli. At least in the end he enjoyed success with the Rays, with two AL East titles and a World Series appearance.

Terry Francona called Crawford “a game changer.” He is that and more. He can be a one-man wrecking machine and a terror on the bases. He’s a worker and expects his teammates to be the same way.

Throw him in with Jacoby Ellsbury, newly-acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Big Pappi and you’ve got yourself some serious bats and talent, something to make the Yankees take notice.

Which means Cashman’s all-in on Cliff Lee and perhaps then some.

Doesn’t matter.

The Red Sox have some real heart and soul, straight from the Tampa Bay Rays.

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