Time is now for Red Sox David Price to get locked in

Danny Picard writes a weekly column for Metro Boston
Red Sox, David Price
David Price. Getty Images

So much for that hundo I put on David Price to win the 2018 AL Cy Young award.

In fairness, he was +2500 before the season began. And considering he was lights out in the previous postseason — as a reliever, of course — combined with the possible incentive of opting out of his current deal with the Red Sox this winter, it didn’t seem like such a crazy bet.

Fast forward to mid-July, and Price is 9-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 18 starts. After a month of June in which he went 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA, Price has had two awful outings to begin the month of July. He’ll try to snap out of that funk when he makes his third start of the month on Thursday night at Fenway against the Toronto Blue Jays.

And I have a little advice for Price, for after the game, regardless of the outcome: Don’t say anything stupid.

It’s been proven that this is not an easy accomplishment for Price, who not too long ago mocked the media about possibly not being able to play against the Yankees on July 1. He played. He just sucked, allowing eight earned runs in three-and-a-third innings, which included five home runs. Ouch.

He followed that up with another stinker in Kansas City last weekend. And when you have a target on your back in this town, it makes four earned runs against the Royals feel like 14. 

Price has put that target on himself. Not just because of some bad performances on the mound as a $31 million-per-year pitcher, but also because of his shaky relationship with the media. “Shaky” might be generous. It feels like he hates the Boston media. And you don’t have to live here long to know that’s a battle the player will never win, unfortunately. 

Price will never have the last word. But he can certainly have the last laugh. That’s why he should listen to my advice.

No more FortNite jokes. No more sarcasm. No more childish rants.

Do me a favor, David. Call Bill Belichick. Ask him how you should handle your media sessions. And for the next three months, adopt The Patriot Way.

Only talk to the media after your starts. Answer every question as generic as possible. Don’t add any fuel to the fire. Because the only way you can get the last laugh is by winning a championship. And for the Red Sox to do that, they’re going to need you to be a key contributor from here on out.

I’m not telling Price to stop playing video games. I’m not even asking him to be necessarily friendly with reporters. I’m just telling him that it’s time to cut the crap. It’s time to get locked in.

Getting all pissy with the media is a bad look for anybody. It’s become an even worse look for Price. And when he does so, he puts even more pressure on himself, because the critics begin to beg for him to fail. And when he does, that target becomes even bigger.

At the end of the day, all anybody really wants out of Price is for him to dominate the way he’s being paid to dominate. Maybe he doesn’t have that type of dominant stuff anymore. Maybe he does. But my point is, there’s only one way to find out. 

That should be all we’re talking about with Price; his results. That should be all he’s thinking about. 

Price will never get the last word. But he can certainly get the last laugh. The only place he can do that, though, is on the mound.

Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.

 
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