We all did it as kids. “How much money would it take for you to (insert stupid action here). Apparently at 31 years old has gotten himself into a real life situation. The lefty signed a 7 year, 217 million dollar deal with Boston in 2016 and has seemed to regret it ever since. The 30 million dollar yearly paycheck doesn’t seem to be enough for someone who was once considered the best pitcher in the game.
For Price, the signing was all about the money. All though his career, Price played for small-market teams that considered making the playoffs a success. Well, Boston doesn’t work that way. Price was considered a savior to the Tampa Bay Rays as he even brought them playoff success from the moment he took a major league mound. Debuting in September of 2008, Price helped the Rays reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history. From then until 2014, his playoff struggles were hidden by his amazing regular season performances and the laid back nature of the Rays fan base. Even in the post-season, Tampa Bay was lucky if they filled half of Tropicana field.
Eventually, the Rays knew they weren’t going to get much post-season success out of Price, and dealt him to the Detroit Tigers, a contending playoff team in 2014. The Rays received Drew Smyly, Willy Adames and Nick Franklin. This doesn’t seem like much for the best lefty in the game at the time. Then again, by now, people were starting to figure out just how soft David Price was. He managed to pitch well in his one start for Detroit in the post-season. However knowing he was a soon-to-be free agent, the Tigers dealt him to Toronto the following season.
Once again, Price put up fantastic numbers in the regular season in the second half of the season for the Blue Jays. Going 9-1 for the Jays in the 2015 season, Price received Cy Young consideration. These considerations however were short lived after posting a 7.20 ERA in the ALDS and a 5.40 ERA in the ALCS. Price once again proved he can not pitch in big time moments against a big time crowd.
It is now the 2016 off-season. Price received hefty offers from many teams around the league. However, there was one offer that stood out more than any other. A 7 year, 217 million dollar contract by a very notable franchise. A franchise that is considered to have some of the best, yet most ruthless fans, media and front office. A franchise that is basically a death wish to anyone that has a weak mentality. But for $217 million, the Red Sox got their “ace”.
Since his first game in a Red Sox uniform on opening day 2016, Boston has been everything Price should have expected it to be. The fans crave championships, the media craves storylines and the front office wants to win now. Boston is not for everyone, and Price found that out the hard way. Price posted a pretty good first season with Boston. He lead the league in strikeouts and innings pitched, so why are Boston fans so hard on him? It could have something to do with the fact he is getting paid $30 million a year. Or maybe that he had his worst start when the Red Sox needed him most when they found themselves down in the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.
Regardless of why Boston doesn’t like Price, it is obvious Price doesn’t like Boston. He has made a series of questionable comments to the media about Boston, most recently exploding on members of the media in the current Yankee series. When being asked if he loved pitching for Boston, Price responded saying he loved his teammates and his team, but never mentioned the city of the fans. It is clear Price does not like Red Sox nation as much as they hoped to love him.
Price makes it almost seem like he wants you to feel sorry for him. Like the $217 million is just a compensation for the harassment he receives from the city of Boston. The truth is, Red Sox fans didn’t come hate Price originally. He hasn’t been the first, or most recent pitcher to come here with little to no playoff success. Boston pretty much dumped their farm system to acquire Chris Sale who never pitched in a playoff game in his life, and he has quickly become a fan favorite. Sale also has already tied the major league record in consecutive games with 10 Ks along with posting a sub 3.00 ERA. Sale pitched his way into the hearts of Red Sox fans, and Price pitched his way out.
This is not a case of the fans or media being to hard on Price. He chose to come here knowing he came to a place who cares about their team year round. The $30 million the Sox are paying him every year is not compensation for the lack of love he receives, it is to go out and be an ace pitcher. If Price wanted to pitch for a team who’s fans didn’t care, he should have stayed in Toronto or Tampa. There is no reason for fans or media to let up on the criticism and there is certainly no reason to feel bad for this guy.
So would I pitch for the Red Sox for $217 million? Even with all the scrutiny and harassment by the fans and media? Even with fans trying to rush me back from injury? Absolutely I would, and Price should too.