Even though they are close friends, ace Red Sox pitcher David Price will not bow down to Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman or Canadian fans booing him.
If the Boston Red Sox expect to win the American League East division, this season, they will have to surpass the Toronto Blue Jays, the 2015 division winners who finished 15 games ahead of them in the standings. The Red Sox may have hurt the Blue Jays by signing their ace to come to Boston, but Toronto’s new ace is definitely no slouch. In fact, yesterday, Stroman put on a show on the mound against the Red Sox, allowing only three hits while striking out four batters in just under five innings of work.
However, last December, the Stro Show had some comments about Price playing for the Red Sox. Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reported Stroman’s comments about when Price eventually returns to the Rogers Centre: “’I think it’d be cool if they booed him,’ Stroman says while eating lunch in Durham, N.C., where he’s spent the past month training at Duke University. ‘He’s on a division rival—you have to boo him. There’s no friends when it comes to competition.’”
Before everyone in Boston wants to get the pitchforks out and run Stroman out of town when he comes to Fenway Park, let’s remember that Price and Stroman are actually the best of friends:
It’s not like there was any malice in Stroman’s mischief; these two amazing pitchers became close friends during Price’s time in Toronto, when the team made their first realistic run for the World Series since 1993. If it wasn’t for the money, Price may have easily stayed in Toronto, considering how much fun he had playing for them.
Now, with the Red Sox, Price is the enemy, at least on the mound. Stroman doesn’t seem phased by the possibility of facing Price head-to-head, either: “It’s awesome. I get to pitch against one of my role models, one of my mentors and one of my buddies. It’s going to be fun. I’ve been texting him about it. It’s going to be a fun rivalry for a bunch of years.”
It will be fun, but nobody should bet against Price in a matchup against the Blue Jays, either.
Price has a solid record against the Blue Jays, striking out 126 Jays while walking only 33 of them in 21 games as an opposing pitcher. The Jays only have a .226 batting average against Price, which has helped him post a 16-2 record and a 2.41 ERA against them, his best comparative totals against any team in Major League Baseball.
In the Rogers Centre alone, Price is 11-1, with 95 strikeouts to only 23 walks. It’s safe to say that, whether Toronto boos him or not, Price loves to play there.
Stroman may put on a show, but Red Sox Nation should get their popcorn ready when Price steps foot on the mound in Toronto. Heck, Price himself has been very open about how much he loves the Blue Jays’ popcorn. So let Toronto boo him all day and night; Price will love it either way, and likely so will the Red Sox.