It was December 4th, 2015. John Henry, Tom Werner, and Dave Dombrowski were all sitting at the press conference and made it official. David Price was now a member of the Boston Red Sox. He talked about how excited he is to win and play with such a great group of guys. Great things were ahead. Or were they?
A Turn for the Worst
Skip ahead to the beginning of 2018. Price is coming off two very disappointing seasons. Although 2016 wasn’t awful, a horrendous April left him with a 3.99 ERA. For an ace that is no good. In 2017 he only made 11 starts, as he would have an injury plagued season. The plan was to keep him in the bullpen for the rest of 2017 and to get him ready to start again in 2018.
Price went into Spring Training this year with high hopes. A new manager and a whole new coaching staff (except for Dana Levangie, the pitching coach) took over the old one. It was a good thing for Price since there were rumors of him not being the biggest John Farrell fan on the team last year. Price talked about how he was “mad at the world” last year when he got his injury that kept him from having the season he wanted. He was confident, this whole team was confident, hell even the whole fan base was confident, too. It was looking good for Price.
The season started very well for him, as he opened the season with 14 shutout innings against the Rays. The redemption tour was starting. Or was it? It went downhill after that, as he gave up four runs in the first inning to the Yankees in his next start. The next week he threw five scoreless innings in a Red Sox blowout win. Against the Oakland A’s he was one out away from going eight innings with only allowing one run. He’s back, right? Nope. The first pitch Price threw to Khris Davis was driven into the left field seats for a three run homer. After that he took on Tampa again, and it was ugly. He gave up six runs (five earned), eight hits, and walked four men over 5.2 innings. Not what you want.
More of the Same?
I sit here, writing this article after David Price once again wet the bed. This time against the Texas Rangers, a team that had a record of 12-20 and in the basement of the AL West going into the game. Yet somehow, this start was even worse. He gave up nine runs (seven earned) on six hits, while walking two in 3.2 innings. Price has always had struggles at Globe Life Park in Arlington, but this is not the same type of offense he faced back when the Rangers were a first place team.
The thing that is the hardest for me about Price is the fact that I have been one of his biggest cheerleaders for the past two years. I absolutely loved when we signed him. I have rooted as hard as anyone from the moment he threw his first pitch in a Boston uniform up until now. Through all the ups and downs, I defended him, and stayed confident in him. And all of this is why it gets me so frustrated when he fails. When Price signed with Boston, he signed the largest contract ever by a pitcher ($30,000,000 every year for seven seasons). That’s a lot of dough.
Clayton Kershaw previously made the record at $215 million, but there is a difference. Kershaw was the best pitcher in baseball at the time of his contract signing. All these years later, he still is. Price, on the other hand, has struggled mightily this whole time. Now I know it has only been a couple of years, but it’s getting to the point where enough is enough. It’s going to become too late. We won’t be able to defend him anymore. We’re going to just be stuck with a washed up David Price for the next four years.
Now can he avoid that? Yes, of course he can. If there is one man in the game of baseball who can get out of a struggle and get back to his old self, its David Price. I will keep on rooting for this guy, and cheering for him all I can, and I will still have faith in him. He used to be one of the best pitchers in the game, and there is no saying he can’t get back to that. The only problem is there is only a matter of time before it’s too late.