Playing for the Boston Red Sox comes with an added pressure and Curt Schilling offers some words of wisdom to David Price.
Since David Price‘s arrival in Boston in 2016, he’s had a tough time with the fans and media. Perhaps his $30 million contract comes into play, not being able to live up to the money, but playing for the Boston Red Sox comes with an added pressure.
No one knows that better than three-time World Series Champion Curt Schilling, who finished his 20-year career in Boston, who had some advice for Boston’s former Cy Young.
Since Price missed his start against the New York Yankees May 9, he has not allowed more than two earned runs and has gotten the win in three of his four starts (the Red Sox still won the fourth game). I would say that Price has turned a corner, and perhaps will be what we can expect from him for the rest of the season.
But of course, why would we think that Price wouldn’t take this opportunity with his regained confidence on the mound to get back at the media? In a way in which I believe Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald put perfectly, Price felt the need to “throw a wet blanket” on top of what seemed should have been a time for celebration:
Later, he (Price) was asked a very obvious question: Did the line drive hurt?
Out came the wet blanket.
"“You know me, I’m the softest guy in this clubhouse,” he said. “If that bothered me, I would have been out of the game. I’m soft. It wasn’t painful. I’m fine. If it was painful, I would have come out.”"
To me, this just points towards how poor of a fit Boston is for Price. Throughout his time here in Boston, he has had bright moments but is usually overshadowed by Price’s spite towards this city and the media. What should have been a positive moment for Price after a bumpy start to the season, he feels the need to continue to feed his negativity to the media and Boston fanbase.
Schilling, a member of both the Red Sox 2004 and 2007 World Series Champion teams, was called on by Rob Bradford of WEEI to weigh in on Price’s attitude and his fit in Boston. This is baseball player Curt Schilling, someone who has 20 years of experience under his belt, three World Series championships (2001, 2004, 2007), a world series MVP (2001), and is a six-time All-Star. He’s been around the block and back when it comes to baseball, and knows the game like the back of his hand, so perhaps his words of wisdom could serve useful to Price.
"“Ultimately I always looked at it as on my day I pitched there was nothing that penetrated what I was trying to do from a thought process,” said Schilling. “It was always hitters, sequences, preparation, and gameplan. If sat there and thought, ‘I’m going to show Rob Bradford,’ that’s not going to work.” And what about those who are distracted? “It’s part of your make- up. You’re so insecure that you can’t believe people would be against you.“I am not sure what he thought the expectations were going to be when he came here. Thirty million per year is a 20-win, October stud sort of contract. He hasn’t lived up to that. He is accountable or not. That’s his decision. But the fans don’t want to hear boo-hoo stories and this media rarely if ever is going to give you the benefit of the doubt. This city requires big boy pants.”"
From the comments that Price made after his last start, it’s clear he is doing exactly what Schilling believes you cannot do in order to be successful. Rather than sticking to his gameplan for each batter, he is instead thinking about showing up the fans and the media that have doubted him in his time in Boston. Rather than focusing on his mental fortitude and preparing for the game, it seems he is maybe letting the insecurities mentioned by Schilling above creep into his mind, and in turn is affecting his performance.
The Boston fan base is tough for sure, but we are also fair. If we see a guy struggling, but he’s grinding and is willing to make the necessary changes in order to improve, we appreciate that. We do not want to hear our players complaining. Be accountable for the past, and work your ass off to be better in the future.
Price is doing himself no favors by continuing to act negatively toward the Boston fan base and the media. When on your side, we are one of the most embracing and passionate fanbases to have cheering you on. But when we feel that we have been slighted in any way, we don’t appreciate it and will let you have it. That’s the beauty and the beast of Boston sports.
So what advice does Schilling have for Price in order for him to possibly change his mindset and attitude for the remainder of his time in Boston?
"“After the game make sure everything that went wrong was your fault. That’s your job. All the guys you’re suiting up with, they know the truth,” said Schilling. “If you go out there and throw eight scoreless and you give up one and you lose, they know they didn’t come through for you. You don’t need to say it. And that goes with fans, as well. If you take responsibility and you’re accountable, fans don’t get pissed as long as you fix it. It’s very refreshing to for a guy to be accountable, but at some point, you have to start pitching really well.”"
Sounds like great advice from a great former baseball player, who should be inducted in the Hall of Fame for his performance he has had on the diamond. If I were Price, I would listen, as I know we would definitely enjoy the positive, fun-loving, and absolute gamer that we have been hearing about hiding in the Red Sox Clubhouse.