Will the Boston Red Sox big free agent signing be a saviour to the Red Sox Rebels or a phantom menace? The Force on the mound is strong with this one.
Sean Penney of BoSox Injection, in his wonderful take on the Star Wars universe, compares the Boston Red Sox players to some of the amazing characters from the famous saga. One player in particular, however, may have the most important role of all: David Price.
The recent acquisition has been more like a son of the Sith against the Red Sox in the past; however, his present path may lead Boston away from the Dark Side and back to the light of post-season action in 2016.
Just picture Price on the mound if you were a Red Sox batter. Even without a New York Yankees uniform on him, Price would have looked more like Darth Vader summoning the powers of The Force to mess with your mind. At 6’6″, his frame would have towered over the mound and cast a large shadow over home plate.
Vader may have wielded his lightsaber often with his right hand, but he went for his vice-grip on men’s throats with his left, much like Price does with his lefty pitching arm. In his career, Price locked his fingers onto 139 Red Sox strikeouts in 23 games. He only allowed 37 out of the 616 Red Sox plate appearances to walk to first base.
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Overall, Price posted a 3.08 ERA in 152 innings against the Red Sox Rebels. The five-time All-Star has dominated the MLB galaxy for eight seasons, even winning the Cy Young Award in 2012 and was the runner-up three times. In 2015, Price went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA in the regular season for both the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays, including a 9-1 stretch in the dog days of summer.
Yet, by signing Price for $217 million, Boston may provide a new hope to their fans. Baseball-Reference.com projects Price to go 13-8 with a 3.09 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 195 innings for the 2016 campaign. The New York Empire will find it hard to strike back, as Price has a .650 win percentage against the Yankees. The same goes versus the Baltimore Orioles (.667) and the Toronto Blue Jays (.889), the expected favorite to repeat as American League East winners. Price has only started three times against his former team the Tampa Bay Rays, so his .333 win percentage is too small of a sample size to count, just yet.
The return of the Jedi pitcher to Toronto, in particular, will be an interesting one for the Red Sox. Price has gone 11-1 in the Rogers Centre. He has also gone 8-2 in the new Yankee Stadium in New York and 4-0 in Camden Yards in Baltimore, making him a potential avenging angel, a la Anakin Skywalker, on the road for Red Sox Nation.
While Vader was not always on the Dark Side, Price never played for the Red Sox before. However, he was also never tempted enough to play for the Yankees, either. He can’t be all bad, then. Maybe, as Vader took off his helmet and looked on his son with his own eyes, Price will look on the Fenway Park faithful with his own eyes, without the helmet of an opposing pitcher, and see what it means to feel the force of Boston flowing through him. With that in mind, Red Sox Nation should expect him to throw the revenge of the A.L. East Sith over the side and into the depths of the division Death Star.