Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price acknowledges the mistakes he made off the field last season and aims to be a better leader this year.
David Price is coming off a disappointing season on and off the field. While his production on the mound was hindered by the health of his elbow, he has full control over his actions away from the game. Price didn’t live up to the responsibility that comes with being one of the most prominent names on the roster. Nobody knows that more than him.
The veteran lefty met with reporters at Jet Blue Park on Tuesday in what turned out to be one of his less combustible interactions with the media. Price provided a positive outlook on his future and how he feels heading into the upcoming season. When the conversation inevitably veered toward his relationship with the media, Price showed a hint of remorse for his actions.
Blowing up at NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich and his infamous confrontation with NESN’s Dennis Eckersley are among the notable incidents that soured Price’s season. These spats left the impression that Price was miserable in Boston. The perception that he couldn’t handle the pressure of the intense media scrutiny in this city soiled his reputation.
According to Price, that’s not the case. He claims he knew what he was getting into when he signed here. He intends to stick around for the duration of his seven-year deal, despite an opt-out clause that could allow him to escape after this season.
Price is committed to helping the Red Sox win and considers himself a leader in this clubhouse.
"“Everybody in their own right can be a leader,” said Price. “It’s not something where you wake up and say ‘I’m going to be a leader today.’ Leaders lead.”"
There are different ways to be a leader. Price has always been the type to lead with his actions, yet acknowledges he didn’t do that very well last year. He admits that he could have handled himself better and looks forward to “getting back to being that faucet, not a drain.”
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Price wants to be a leader but has yet to show leadership qualities. He expects to live up to his lucrative salary but has yet to produce a season in Boston that resembles the ace he was prior to coming here. He’s willing to make himself more accessible to the media but refuses to discuss anything negative.
He’s saying all the right things, which is about all we can expect at the start of spring training. Now Price has to go out there and prove it. Words are empty unless you can back them up. Price is capable of being an elite pitcher and a positive influence in the clubhouse. We’ve seen it before, just not in Boston. Red Sox fans don’t care about what he’s done before, only what he’s done wearing our uniform.
If he delivers this year in the regular season, in the clubhouse and most importantly, in the postseason, then all will be forgiven. Winning cures all.