Red Sox fans must accept David Price’s performances
By Rick McNair
The Boston Red Sox now have an expensive mediocrity on the mound every fifth day. That mediocrity is only based on the David Price of a few seasons back.
Another Disappointing performance by David Price has certainly tweaked Red Sox Nation. Price was simply lackluster against a Kansas City team that may not be capable of winning a title in the International League or American Association. Price went south, but Red Sox bats went north – far north – with a 15 run rescue mission. Price avoids a loss (and a win), but his Earned Run Average was elevated.
Price’s previous start was a baseball fur ball presented to a nationwide audience as the New York Yankees treated Price like a rented mule. A recovery against the dreadful Royals was most certainly anticipated. Prior to New York Price had a string of excellent starts that had the “He’s back!” chants in full force. Obviously, that was a bit impetuous.
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Price’s relationship with the media has certainly impacted what we see through our own interpretive prism as fans. Price’s encounters of the insolent kind did little to endear him to the masses. Especially when coupled with poor performances or being absent from that strategic little bump. It goes even deeper than being his own worst enemy.
Price gets too much money in relation to value received. This, of course, is not the fault of Price. Nor were the contracts to Pablo Sandoval and Carl Crawford their fault. There are inherent risks in offering a boatload of money and baseball is littered with the carapaces of bad contracts. Fans expect more of a positive bounce from the financial outlay and undoubtedly so does Price. I doubt Price sits on his carpet all day becoming corpulent will being hand fed coffee rolls by indulgent retainers.
Price is a competitor and has a long history of putting in the effort needed to be successful at his well-paid craft. Right now Price has to be, must be, or should be for the doubters – in a funk knowing that lifelong skills have suddenly eroded. Price is simply not the Price advertised when signed to a contract that still has $127 MM left.
I may have droned on, but the theme is constant with “money” followed by “money” and closing with “money” when Price tanks it in a game especially an important game. Forget the money. What you, I, and opposition have seen is a capable pitcher who would certainly be a fine addition to the middle of any rotation, but using that as a means of shipping Price elsewhere is simply foolish – the money! Price is staying.
Is Price in transition? Pitchers change as they get older. A fastball that would set up secondary deliveries losses a bit of zip. It can cascade into the land of long, very long, home runs and doubles. With Price, it may take all this season and possibly the next to redefine his skills and to establish his credentials fully. C.C. Sabathia has had a respectable transition and others have and – as in all potential tragedies – some have not.
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With Price, it becomes a matter of acceptance that each and every start will not be reminiscent of the Price of just a few seasons back. The very positive news traces back to the word I used previously – transition. That streak in May through June saw eight quality starts by the soon to be 33-year-old lefty. Not all were pristine, but Price kept his team in the game and with the Red Sox offense that is really all he needs to do. Maybe Price has transitioned?