Not one week after he claimed to be a new, media-friendly man, David Price is back on his bullshit. The man who wants to be the next clubhouse leader can’t go more than a few days without complaining to anyone who’ll listen about how difficult it is to be in Boston.
In a piece in USA Today, Price claimed that he had a hand in convincing JD Martinez to sign with the Red Sox. But what’s confusing is how he apparently did so, considering his less-than-glowing sentiments towards our city: “It is tough here. There’s just so much more negativity… I just can’t stand it.”
Are we a tough city to play in? Absolutely. But did we make David Price this way? No. He was like this long before he came to Boston. Like in Tampa, when he talked smack about David Ortiz and hit him with a pitch. We might exacerbate Price’s soft underbelly, but we certainly didn’t create him. He says he can’t even stand to hear his wife talking negatively. But it’s not like repeatedly telling us how negative we are will make us want to be nicer to him. Besides, it’s reasonable for a fan base to want a starting pitcher making $217 million to actually perform.
Price went on to say that he warned Martinez about getting booed at Fenway, saying, “he’ll get booed… but he’ll handle it.” Maybe Martinez can teach Price how to handle it, too.
Unlike Price, who’s had, at best, a lackluster time in Boston, Martinez has had a strong last few seasons. He batted .303 with 45 homers and 104 RBIs in 2017, a feat made more impressive when you remember that he missed the first five weeks of the season and was then traded from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks halfway through the season. 31 of his 45 homers came after the All-Star break; he adjusted well to his new team.
Price, on the other hand, has been beset by injuries and PR disasters. The $32 million-per-year starter spent a large chunk of 2017 on the DL with an elbow injury and only pitched in 16 games total, less than half his 2016 appearances. He faced just 317 batters; in 2015, he pitched to 951. Though he somewhat redeemed himself as a relief pitcher at the end of the season, Price is performing far under the standard for any starting pitcher, let alone the one for the most handsomely-paid pitcher in Red Sox history. He has also not yet apologized to HOF-er Dennis Eckersley after verbally attacking him last summer. Price said last week that he’s open to speaking with Eck and finally resolving the beef, but he also said he was a new, positive Price last week, and that’s clearly not true.
If the Red Sox want to assign a player to JD to help him acclimate, I’d recommend Rick Porcello. Porcello had a terrible first season with the club in 2015, followed by a 2016 that saw him winning the Cy Young Award. He then had a dismal 2017. But unlike Price, he remains a positive presence in the organization, and therefore has not fallen victim to the same kind of “negativity” that plagues Price.
Now, I’d love to see a positive David Price. I said I was willing to give him another chance. But is it even possible? He couldn’t even make it through Spring Training before he started back up with the “negativity” broken record. And what’s more annoying still, I have to keep reporting about this instead of getting to talk about how our players are actually performing.
The irony about this whole thing is that Price claims, “I like surrounding myself by positive people,” but he’s constantly negative himself. I get it, we’re a tough crowd to play for. But so far, the most negative person on the Martinez Welcome Wagon is Price himself.
Photo: BoSox Injection