Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price has turned around his season with a solid stretch that warrants All-Star consideration but he doesn’t want to go.
David Price has been selected to appear in the MLB All-Star Game five times throughout his career. It seems he won’t be making his sixth appearance this year despite having his best season since joining the Boston Red Sox.
While fans vote for the starting position players in the All-Star Game, the reserves and pitchers are selected by the managers with input from votes cast by players. It’s clear that Price won’t be voting for himself.
If American League manager A.J. Hinch selects him anyway, Price is intent on finding an excuse to get out of a situation most would be honored to be in.
"“I’ll come up with something if I am an All-Star, so I won’t have to pitch,” Price told reporters, according to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. “I’ll play a lot of Fortnite the night before, so I’ll be down (unavailable).”"
Price was trolling reporters a bit with the Fortnite reference. Stories of his video game habits being blamed for a bout with carpal tunnel syndrome spread like wildfire earlier this season. Still, his message regarding pitching in the All-Star Game remains clear. Thanks, but no thanks.
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Many Red Sox fans will scoff at Price looking to weasel his way out of the Midsummer Classic because they don’t feel he deserves to be there. He enters the day 8-4 with a 3.76 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 8.7 K/9. Solid numbers, yet a far cry from the peak form he displayed when he was an All-Star.
However, Price has been in vintage form of late. The Red Sox have won each of his last seven starts. Price is 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA over that span. He’s held opposing hitters to a .205 batting average and struck out 47 in his last 44 1/3 innings.
Price hit a rough patch for a few weeks following the carpal tunnel issues, souring his overall numbers this season. Outside of that, he’s been an All-Star caliber pitcher. If he keeps this up, Price will warrant serious consideration for a trip to Washington, D.C.
Except he doesn’t want to go.
The former Cy Young winner tried to deflect the notion that he belonged on the All-Star team by pointing out a few of his teammates he feels are more deserving. Chris Sale is an obvious choice. He joked that Craig Kimbrel doesn’t need his vote because he’s getting selected anyway. He even voted for relievers Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes. Even the most adamant Price-haters have to admit that they would pick him over Barnes.
While Price went out of his way to praise his teammates, his decision is more about him. He doesn’t want the wear and tear of pitching more innings than he has to.
"“Anytime you get an extra day you’re going to take it,” Price said. “There are definitely some guys that like staying on that five-day and I definitely understand that as well. For us to still all feel strong and feel good at the end of the regular season is what we’re looking for.”"
He has a point. Price is 32 years old, so it’s more important than ever for him to conserve his arm for the stretch run. That’s part of why the Red Sox temporarily moved to a six-man rotation to steal an extra day of rest for their starters.
When asked if his arm felt the way it normally does at this point in the season, Price answered that “it feels like Oct. 20.” He was (probably) joking. We know that’s not true. If this were October then Price wouldn’t be winning, right? See, I can make jokes too.
The point is that Price is looking forward to the break next month. Pitching an inning or two in the All-Star Game may not seem like much. Yet when you factor in the travel, meetings with the media, and other requirements that come with being an All-Star, it can be exhausting. Price would rather spend that time recharging his batteries.
Price probably won’t be an All-Star. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to be. All Red Sox fans should care about is that he keeps pitching like one.