Boston Red Sox

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Through a series of sarcastic, passive-aggressive post-game remarks on Monday, David Price let all his critics know that he’s still keenly aware of what’s being said about him. But this time, at least it’s coming at a time when the Red Sox lefty is pitching better. Perhaps surprisingly so.

After an imperfect but decent Memorial Day outing in which he allowed two runs in five innings, Price was asked about a liner he took off his arm in the first inning. He proceeded to give all of his many persistent detractors in the local media yet another endlessly playable soundbite.

“You know me, I’m the softest guy in this clubhouse,” Price joked. “If it bothered me, I’d be out of the game. I’m soft.

Asked if he was hurt, Price added: “It wasn’t painful. I’m fine. If it was painful, I would have come out. … I wasn’t coming out of the game. I can’t. I’d rather blow it out there than come out. That’s just where we’re at.”

He later continued laying on the thick-as-molasses sarcasm: “I’m soft, period. It’s not a joke. I’m soft. … No. I’m soft. It’s cold. Can’t pitch. My hand’s tingling. Can’t do my job. That’s it.”


Does Price need to have a chip on his shoulder?


May 17, 2018, Boston, MA, USA: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price is congratulated by teammates after pitching a complete game in their 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. (Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

May 17, 2018, Boston, MA, USA: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price is congratulated by teammates after pitching a complete game in their 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. (Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Without going too far down this insufferable rabbit hole, nobody’s saying Price is physically soft. He’s obviously physically tough. He’s barely ever been on the DL in his career and it would be crazy to think he’s never pitched through injuries. The issue is mental. Price is pretty much inarguably mentally soft, at least not mentally tough enough to block out the noise in an intense market like Boston.

Still, it’s harder to reasonably get on Price over these latest comments when he’s actually producing on the mound. He’s posted a 2.49 ERA in four starts since that whole carpal tunnel fiasco, including 27 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. The Red Sox have gone 4-0 in those games, pushing their overall 2018 record to 7-4 in games that Price started.

So if Price needs to mock the criticism being hurled his way, if he needs to continue battling back against the media, so be it. Ultimately, he and the Red Sox are better off with Price taking the ball every five days and performing better.

That shouldn’t have to be said, but there are people out there actively rooting for Price to fail. If he fails, it’s likely that the Red Sox fail, too. Maybe that’s what you want. But if you want the Red Sox not to fail, then rooting against Price is severely counterproductive to that cause.

He’ll continue to hear it until he proves he can deliver in October, which may never happen. That may even be justified. But more importantly, Price is still hearing the criticism yet it doesn’t appear to be affecting him on the mound. If he can post a sub-3 ERA for the rest of the season like he has in his last four outings, he can act as petulantly as he wants to with a microphone in front of his face.

You don’t have to like Price. He makes that too hard, anyway. But if you want to see the Red Sox succeed, then you should want the same for him too.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.