Photo Credit: Matt Stone / Boston Herald
It took a couple of seasons, but the Red Sox $217 million man went from zero to hero.
Let’s face it, if there was a Red Sox poll on the most hated Boston-area players before the season, David Price would have been on the top of the list.
Perhaps the hatred was irrational for the majority of Red Sox fans, but it was quite prevalent. It was seen throughout a variety of social media outlets, topic boards, online forums, and standard media…fans hated David Price. They often felt like he was taking money out of their pockets and merely producing average performances with a poor attitude. He wasn’t, but as always, perception is reality in most cases.
Price entered the season with a new-found swagger…at least when he wasn’t facing the New York Yankees. There was the carpal tunnel game, then the torching at Yankee Stadium that left his rapport in Boston at an all-time low. However, as most stories are written, the ending was far from being predictable.
Exorcising the Demons – Postseason Edition
There was little secret that Price struggled in the postseason, in fact, it was one of the only downsides to the signing of the lefty in 2016. He entered October with a career 2-8 record, coupled with a 5.08 ERA. His team had never won a game that he started, nor had he ever tallied a win as the starting pitcher – until this season.
The redemption tour began with a rock introduction. The Yankees welcomed Price with multiple long balls en route to a loss, accompanied by boo’s from Fenway Park. In his next appearance, it was more of the same. The lefty gave up 4 ER, but his team won his postseason start for the first time in his career.
Fans clamored for Price to head to the bullpen, but Alex Cora showed unwavering confidence in his ace. In fact, rather than turning to Chris Sale in a clinching opportunity against Houston Astros and Justin Verlander, he handed the ball to Price. He delivered with his first ever postseason win and sent the Red Sox to the World Series.
While many pointed fingers, the lefty continued to deliver on the biggest stage. His team-first attitude allowed him to appear in multiple situations, giving everything he had for his fellow teammates. That doesn’t sound like a selfish player to me. He put a bow on his performance with six strong innings in the World Series clinching game – his third straight postseason victory and made a strong case for series MVP.
Earned the Right to be Heard
After the World Series victory, the Red Sox pitcher wasted little time in telling the media that they can no longer hold a postseason record over his head – and he’s right. There may be those fans that find issues, but he’s earned every right to be heard. He’s been under scrutiny since his arrival and it must feel tremendous to get the metaphorical monkey off of his back.
Lazy teammate? Choker? Overpaid? Enough. Add World Series champion to that list and enjoy the raw emotion from David Price. Enjoy it, sir.
“Your teammates speak so highly of you, what’s it mean to be a good teammate?”
David Price pauses, begins to tearing up:
“A lot.” pic.twitter.com/DdizBva5Lu
— Casey Baker (@CaseyBake16) October 29, 2018