As a Blue Jays fan, I get some enjoyment seeing the Red Sox not get anything close to the kind of production they expect for what they’re paying David Price. On the other hand, I also want to see a player (especially one as good as Price) not fall short of what they’re capable of doing and end up tarnishing what has been a very respectable career to this point.
Since Price joined the Red Sox two years ago after signing a 7-year $217 million contract, he’s registered a 3.84 ERA in 46 starts. This compared to the 3.09 ERA he had during his first eight seasons in the big leagues prior to joining the Red Sox. After just two seasons in Boston, Price has become a perfect example of how an overly negative environment can seriously affect a players performance. And yet a good number of Red Sox fans and members of the Boston media continue to pile it on and call him out for not living up to their expectations.
Just months prior to Price signing his mega-contract with the Red Sox, he was playing some of the finest baseball of his career. In 2015, he went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA…and this included his brief stint with the Blue Jays after the trade deadline when he was practically untouchable going 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts.
Not all athletes can handle the pressure of playing in a difficult market like Boston. Not all ball players are as mentally tough as David Ortiz or Pedro Martinez. Those kind of athletes are few and far between, especially in this day in age when on average people seem to be a little more sensitive. There are only so many pitchers out there as talented as Price, so when your team invests as much into him as the Red Sox have, as a fan or member of the media, shouldn’t you do everything you can to make him as comfortable as possible?
Even with an under-performing Price, Boston is still a great team. With a roster that includes Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel, this is a team that could win the World Series. In fact, the difference between Boston winning the World Series and losing out in the ALDS like they have the past two seasons may be as little as having Price play like his old self.
As long as Price is not completely comfortable, there’s little chance Boston will get anything close to his best. And that’s not on him, it’s on you, the finicky fans and media of a baseball market that’s becoming far too rabid for its own good.