David Price spent the first six and a half seasons of his career in the relatively sleepy baseball market of Tampa Bay, then had only short (and highly successful) stints in Detroit and Toronto. So maybe it figures that when he signed with the Red Sox he wasn’t ready for the Boston media’s notorious intensity.
Price has had a somewhat icy relationship with local reporters for a while, but it really boiled over this week. First, he told Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy that he wouldn’t speak to reporters on days he wasn’t pitching.
“I’m not cautious. I’m the same me. I don’t talk to the media every day like I did last year, and I guess I get blown up for that,” Price said. “But I was honest with everything they asked me last year, and I get blown up for that. So they did this to themselves. Talk to me on the day I pitch, and that’s it. There are no more personal interviews. There is no more asking me questions on a personal level. That’s done.”
After Wednesday’s game, he pulled aside CSN New England’s Evan Drellich and loudly confronted him about some tweets he had sent hours earlier. Describing the incident a day later, Drellich said he had rarely experienced that kind of blowup from a player.
“There are occasions where the airing of grievances, that has to happen. That’s normal in the course of a baseball season. Where this differentiated itself was in how loud and how angry it goes,” Drellich explained. “It was a very heated argument.”
Drellich said he wouldn’t share specifics of his conversation with Price but that the interaction was loud enough that other reporters could hear it, thus making it fair game to discuss in broad strokes.
But Price’s confrontation with Drellich wasn’t the end of his media troubles. When the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley approached the pitcher to see if he would indeed refuse to speak on days he wasn’t pitching, he blew up again. Wrote Buckley:
Price informed me that yes, from now on, he’d only talk on days he pitches. He followed with this: “Write whatever the (expletive) you want. Just write it. Whatever the (expletive) you want.”
A few minutes later, when I spoke with [Red Sox PR representative] Kevin Gregg about my own exchange with Price, I was told to wait around a few minutes. Gregg was going to see if Price would speak with me.
The last words I heard from David Price last night were “(Expletive) them! (Expletive) them all. All of them.”
Maybe it’s because Price has never experienced a media climate like Boston’s, maybe because his ERA is north of 5.00 or maybe because members of the Red Sox press corps indeed did something grievous to offend him, but clearly Price has had it with the people who cover it.
For what it’s worth, the lefty pitched poorly in a Red Sox loss Thursday, allowing six earned runs in five innings.