If David Price is “soft” then Alex Cora doesn’t want players who are hard.

The Boston Red Sox left-hander called himself “soft” in a weird exchange with reporters following Boston’s 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Price took a line drive off the chest in the first inning, but he stayed in the game to pitch five solid innings and get the win.

He noted, whether jokingly or not, that had the liner hurt he would have exited the game because┬áhe’s “the softest guy on the team.”

Cora was asked about Price’s comments before Tuesday’s game against the Jays, and the Red Sox first-year manager has his star lefty’s back.

“You think he’s soft?” Cora said. “Why? Well, if he says he’s soft then he is. He took a line drive off the chest yesterday or whatever and he kept pitching. He shows up every five days man. He competes. Since Day 1, I saw the bullpens and what he does to prepare every day, and if that’s soft, give me five soft guys every day. Because he can pitch.

“People don’t understand what goes through the process to compete at this level,” Cora continued. “It’s not that easy. It’s not only physically, but to prepare for a game, to look at scouting reports and to compete against the best of the best. This is MLB.”

Cora then said he believes Price was joking with his “soft” comments.

“Being sarcastic probably. We all are, you know? You can’t take everything like, you know?” Cora said. “I actually laugh at it. Sometimes I’m sarcastic, you guys know it.”

As for Price using outside noise to motivate him, Cora will take whatever works for the big lefty.

“There’s a lot of guys in the big leagues that do that,” Cora said. ” I saw a big guy yesterday in New York that tipped his hat when he got booed. I played with one here — Curt Schilling — he loved it. If that’s what gets him going, so be it. One thing for sure, he’s healthy, he’s throwing the ball well and he’ll be in Houston Saturday competing and we love the way he competes.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images