David Price Begins To Settle Into Life In Red Sox Nation

Feb 20, 2016; Lee County, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) signs autographs for fans after he works out at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2016; Lee County, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) signs autographs for fans after he works out at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

After making his debut against the Yankees, David Price seems ready to lead the Red Sox to victory. 

When David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox four months ago, it made no sense. Hadn’t the Red Sox vowed to not sign players over thirty? Wasn’t the Red Sox ownership done committing to big-time free agents? Aren’t those same free agents weary of playing before a hard-to-please fan base and media?

At the close of the 2015 MLB season, all of the aforementioned questions would have been answered in the affirmative; however, the new and improved Red Sox front office led by Dave Dombrowski shocked sports fans across the country by signing Price to a record-breaking seven-year $217 million contract.

Many Red Sox fans have placed their faith in Price to not only lead them to the top of the American League East, but to the World Series. While the expectations of fans may be lofty, the Cy Young-winner is not shying away.

"“I know it’s a tough place to play, but if you can embrace that, and throw the baseball the way I know I’m capable of, I can’t imagine how it will feel to have that passionate fan base behind you, where they get so loud, the dugout shakes, and you feel like Fenway is going to crumble,” Price told USA Today. “That’s why I came here.”"

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Price has wasted no time getting assimilated to life as a member of Red Sox Nation. On Wednesday, he spent time hearing stories and receiving advice from Tim Wakefield and Pedro Martinez. He analyzed Dustin Pedroia‘s swing with Dwight Evans. And on Tuesday, he did the one thing Red Sox fans demand unequivocally from their players: beat the Yankees.

Yes, earlier this week, Price had the chance to get his feet wet in sports’ greatest rivalry, and he did not disappoint. In four innings pitched, Price recorded six strikeouts, threw 40 of his 54 pitches for strikes, did not walk a single batter, and gave up only one run on a solo shot by Aaron Hicks.

"“It will be intense,” Price said of the rivalry. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest rivalry I’ve ever been a part of. So I’m looking forward it. It’s going to be 18, 19 games of good baseball. So I’m looking forward to that.”"

Price’s dominance against the Yankees shows that he is beginning to settle into his new role as a face of Boston sports and the Red Sox’s personal savior.

It is still far too early to make any definitive predictions about the team’s new ace. Talent aside, it is a determination to win that the Red Sox need to climb their way back to the top of the American League East, a mindset that David Price seems more than happy to provide.

"“I want to leave my mark on baseball. That’s very important to me,’’ said Price."

While he has already left his mark as a Cy Young Award winner, five-time All Star, and two-time AL ERA leader, he has yet to earn a championship ring – the most significant mark one can leave.

Price got a small taste of what it is like to play in a World Series in 2008 when, as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, he pitched 3.1 innings in relief. The Rays would go on to lose the series to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1.

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Now, as a member of a Red Sox team stocked with young talent and veterans who have done it before, Price hopes to be parading through the streets of Boston in the near future.

"“I want to see a Duck Boat,’’ Price said. “I mean, the good one. The Duck Boat parade they have for winning championships. That’s what I want.’’"

As Price will soon find out, despite our notorious reputation, that’s all Red Sox fans want too.