ANAHEIM -- The Baseball World's Fastest Human for almost a decade, Rays left fielder Carl Crawford is ready to turn the unofficial title over to the Angels' Peter Bourjos -- or any of the other challengers, such as the Yankees' Brett Gardner or Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury.
"Let those guys have a race for it," Crawford said. "I've had it long enough."
Crawford got his first look at Bourjos, the Angels' mercurial center fielder, on Monday night at Angel Stadium, and the Rays' Man of Steal was duly impressed.
"He can really move," Crawford said. "He made some great plays out there. I'd like to see him race Gardner, Ellsbury. I figure [Bourjos] can steal 50 bases. He looks like he can run about as good as any of those guys."
Bourjos respectfully gives the edge to the incumbent sprint champion.
"I think he'd probably beat me," Bourjos said. "There was a ball in the gap [Monday night] and I thought I might have a play on him at second, but when I got ready to throw he was already there."
Crawford, having just turned 29 with free agency knocking on his door this winter, isn't interested in racing anybody.
"I got enough of that in the Minor Leagues when I had to race everybody every year," he said, grinning. "That's how I got anointed the guy when I got to the big leagues. The one guy I would have liked to race was [Joey] Gathright. He talked a lot of trash."
A football and basketball star as a kid in Houston, Crawford was a Deion Sanders admirer and loved to watch the Neon one fly. Crawford never saw Bo Jackson run but met the legend at the All-Star Game this year.
"He said, `You're still going strong -- I like that,'" Crawford said. "I was kind of star-struck, honestly. Bo Jackson. Man."