Allow me to try and take the attention off David Price for a moment.
It’s what everyone wants. But more importantly, it’s what everyone needs.
Ignoring Price isn’t an easy task right now though. The guy had an opportunity to sound just a teeny-tiny bit remorseful when talking to the media on Saturday, the first time he addressed Dennis Eckersley since details of their confrontation on the team plane were revealed. But instead, he defended his actions and patted himself on the back for being the reason Eckersley — in his mind, at least — is now less critical of the team.
“I could have handled it probably a different way, but, ever since that’s happened, he’s been really good, he’s said a lot of positive stuff about everybody in this clubhouse,” said Price. “This is one band, one sound. We’ve got to have everybody on board, and that’s that.”
If you think that’s good leadership, then you’re just as lost as Price is. So again, from my perspective, it’s tough to ignore.
Nobody wants Price to go out and dominate on the field more than I do. But that’s part of the problem. He’s currently on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.
I’m OK with them being overly cautious, considering Price missed the first two months of the season because of an elbow injury. The goal should be to have him healthy for the postseason. But that’s the other problem.
The dark cloud you see hanging over Price’s head represents his postseason struggles. It’s one of the reasons why president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski went out and traded for Chris Sale this past winter.
So let’s move our attention to him, shall we?
Sale was brought in here to be the rock of the Red Sox pitching staff. He’s the type of momentum-killer that teams are dying to have in their rotation every fifth night. But if it’s postseason success we’re all ultimately asking for, let’s not act like Sale has it. Yet.
That’s because Sale has never even been to the postseason in his seven-and-a-half year MLB career. So while he hasn’t necessarily failed in October like Price has, there’s also no playoff success for us to look at and think it’s a lock for Sale to lead the Red Sox to the World Series.
To get there, he’ll most likely have to get through the Cleveland Indians. Based on the way the standings look, the Red Sox and Indians will face each other in the ALDS if both teams win their respective divisions. And if not, then it’s possible they could meet in a potential ALCS showdown.
Cleveland slapped Sale around on Tuesday night at Fenway. The ace allowed seven runs on eight hits, including two home runs. The good news? The Red Sox won the game, and Sale is still going to win the AL Cy Young award. As we know, that doesn’t guarantee postseason success.
Right now, I wouldn’t trade Sale for anyone in the world. But there’s no denying the fact that postseason success can be what defines you as a pitcher in this league.
So regardless of what Price says or does moving forward, whether it’s difficult to ignore or not, the focus from here on out should be primarily on Sale.
For these Red Sox will only go as far as he takes them.