David Price’s history with the Red Sox — and the city of Boston itself — is a tumultuous one, to say the least.
The veteran left-hander has gone through his battles with the Red Sox — most notably in the 2008 and 2013 playoffs as a Tampa Bay Ray — and with Boston fans, who enjoyed giving Price, a disdained rival, as much grief as possible.
Now he’ll play for those fans after reportedly agreeing to a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox on Tuesday.
“I definitely get my fair share of hatred from this fan base (Boston) as well,” Price told WEEI’s John Tomase in July. “The amount of hatred I get from this fan base blows every other fan base away. Some of the things I get, I just know. Whenever I see something on Twitter, I know where it’s from. That’s part of it. I want no part of that. I want to be somewhere where I’m wanted by the entire fan base, not just half of it.”
Price apparently decided that all of Red Sox Nation wants him, prior Twitter insults or not. Red Sox fans surely will appreciate whoever explained to the prized southpaw that the more heckling you receive from fans in the Fenway Park bleachers, the more they probably respect you.
Then again, maybe Price knew that all along. He also told WEEI in July that he wouldn’t cross Boston off his list of possible destinations in free agency, based on what had previously transpired when he was an American League East rival, including a three-year war of words with David Ortiz. Clearly Price kept his word.
“I won’t rule out anybody,” Price told Tomase. “If you can prove to me that you want me for the player that I am and the person that I am, I’ve got to respect that.
“If you have a formula to win and can do it over a sustained period of time, who doesn’t want to win? That’s why you play the game. It’s not about the money. It’s about being able to win now and in the years in the future. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a part of something special. That’s what I’m looking for.”
It’s worth noting that Price’s reported deal would be the richest ever for a pitcher, both in terms of average annual value and total dollars allotted.
That said, the Red Sox, who finished in the American League cellar for the third time in four years, turned things around after July 31, going 32-26 down the stretch. That .551 winning percentage would have been good for 89 wins and home-field advantage in the American League Wild Card Game.
Price only will help those numbers, and if he inevitably wins that elusive World Series ring in Boston, all Red Sox fans will appreciate that he kept his word just a little bit more.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via David Price kept his word