Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is ready to put his feud with David Price behind him in order to help his new teammate win games.
What was the biggest hurdle facing the Boston Red Sox in their pursuit of David Price? It wasn’t the money, as ownership proved they had plenty in shelling out a historic contract for the free agent pitcher. It wasn’t a question of if he could handle the deep lineups in the AL East, since he’s spent most of his career in this division. No, the issue that had fans worried most about whether or not Price would be willing to sign in Boston was his strained relationship with David Ortiz.
The pair of veteran stars have a well documented feud that dates back to a game in May of 2014 when Price drilled Ortiz in the back in retaliation for what the pitcher felt was a sign of disrespect when the Red Sox slugger paused to admire a home run that he had blasted against him in a previous battle. The incident sparked a heated war of words between the two rivals that carried over into future meetings between their respective teams.
So you can see why it’s fair to wonder how welcoming Big Papi would be when Price arrives in Boston to join his new team.
Turns out there was nothing to worry about, as the face of the franchise has no qualms about sharing a clubhouse with his former rival. Ortiz told MLB.com’s Ian Browne that he’s ready to put the past behind them for the good of the team.
"“Everything is fine, man. Everything is fine,” Ortiz assured. “Everybody’s got their moment on the field, but now we’re teammates. You’ve got to turn the page. I’m going to help him the most. He’s going to help me the most to win ballgames, and that’s all that matters.”"
While Ortiz hasn’t spoken directly to Price to bury the hatchet yet, he appears to be more than willing to put their differences aside. Clearly Price feels the same way since he agreed to sign here knowing Ortiz was still on the roster.
Ortiz also confirmed that the Red Sox front office consulted him before striking the deal with Price and he assured them that he had no problem with adding the former Cy Young winner. Despite having some pretty harsh words for Price in the aftermath of the game where the lefty plunked him, Ortiz is no longer concerned about it.
"“Since that incident happened, we pretty much kind of shut it down,” said Ortiz. “He’s not a bad guy. I know him from before. Things happen in the game, but that doesn’t mean that’s how you are. Our adrenaline kicks in on the field. We all have the purpose of what we want to do on the field. You make up your mind from there, but that doesn’t dictate what kind of person you are.”"
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Price’s reputation is that of a beloved teammate, so you would be hard pressed to find anyone that he’s played with that has anything negative to say about him. Now that they are no longer on opposite sides, Ortiz is eager to find out for himself why Price’s former teammates have loved playing with him. If nothing else he can be satisfied to know that he’ll never again be on the receiving end of a bean ball from Price.
More than anything else, Ortiz wants to win. This is his final season before he hangs up his spikes and he would like nothing more than to ride off into the sunset with a fourth championship ring. In order to reach that goal he knows the Red Sox needed to upgrade their pitching staff, so he needs Price in order to get back to postseason. If Price helps lead this team to a title, he may become Ortiz’s new best friend.
Now the only question is whether or not Price will still be irked every time Ortiz takes a moment to stand at home plate and watch his home runs fly out off the ballpark. Now that those mammoth blasts are working in his favor, perhaps Price won’t mind.