BOSTON — David Price understands the book on Boston. It can be sunshine and rainbows one second, and then doom and gloom the next — all based on the performance of the Red Sox.
Some players embrace the pressure. Others shy away from it. Price, who signed a seven-year contract with the Red Sox on Friday, wants to be part of the group that thrives under the immense scrutiny.
âIâve experienced it,â Price said during his introductory press conference when asked whether heâs equipped to handle negativity in Boston. âI know itâs not always going to go good out there on the field. Iâm 30 years old now. I feel like Iâve been through a lot of things on the baseball field and Iâve learned how to handle those things, whether those are good experiences or bad experiences. Whether I handle them the right way or the wrong way, I still learn from those experiences.
âThatâs something Iâm always trying to do. Iâm always trying to get better. Iâm always trying to learn how to handle certain situations better. And I think that Iâve done that. Iâm ready for Boston. Iâm ready for it.â
Price was all smiles Friday after tossing on his No. 24 home Red Sox jersey in the Royal Rooters Club at Fenway Park. The left-hander spoke of surrounding himself with positivity and getting to know his new teammates on a personal level. He even referenced his Hubway rides through Boston, expressed a willingness to drink Dunkinâ Donuts and showed his funny side when asked about his playoff futility.
Basically, Price said all of the right things. But thereâs a difference between saying the right things and performing at a high level. The former can only carry you so far in this market. And itâs part of what appealed to Price about Boston when considering potential destinations in free agency.
âThis is a place that has winning in its history, and I definitely think it has winning in its future,â Price said. âThey want to win, they know how to win. We are extremely young. I want to be a part of a team that is as young as we are and can stay young the way that we can. Just to be around those guys, to help them, to be a part of something like this. The passion from the fans, the passion from the community.
âThis is a place that has winning in their blood, and not just with the Red Sox. Obviously with what the Patriots are doing, the Bruins, Celtics. This is a place that wins, and this is a place that expects to win. Thatâs what I want to be a part of.â
Itâs difficult for an athlete to escape nowadays, especially when things arenât going well. Social media offers a direct line of communication between players and fans, and Price uses Twitter more than most major leaguers, leaving him vulnerable to the Internetâs negativity.
Price doesnât see Twitter hate or media criticism as being an issue, though. Athletes are under a microscope in Boston, but Price might be hisÂ ownÂ biggest critic.
âI want to be great. Thatâs what I tell myself,â Price said, downplaying the pressure that comes with pitching under a $217 million contract. âWhenever you guys see me talking to myself on the mound, 90 percent of the time Iâm telling myself to be great. And thatâs whether Iâm throwing the ball well at the time or if Iâm struggling, Iâve got bases loaded and itâs 3-0 and I got nobody out. Thatâs what Iâm telling myself to do.
âIf I go out there and throw the baseball the way Iâm capable of throwing, I know the expectations for all of Red Sox Nation will be met. If I come anywhere close to meeting the expectations that I set for myself, Iâm very positive that everybody else will be happy with that.â
Boston isnât for everyone. But Price is confident itâs for him.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Winslow Townson/The Associated Press