David Price ready to be teammate, friend of former foe David Ortiz

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Price and David Ortiz have had some epic disagreements. So what happens when Ortiz reports to the Fenway South complex in a few days?

Price, who signed a $217 million free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox in the offseason, is on Big Papi’s turf now. It’s Papi’s clubhouse and Papi’s team.

Can they forget about the animosity?

“I hope so,” Price said Saturday. “I’m ready to be his teammate and his friend. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I want to be accepted by all my teammates, and that’s something you need to have if you want to get to where we need to be.”

During a Game 2 loss in the 2013 American League Division Series, Price was incensed that Ortiz took so much time circling the bases after a pair of home runs. Ortiz said Price apologized to him in the offseason, but the first time they met in 2014, Ortiz was hit by a pitch, which prompted Ortiz to say, “I mean, it’s a war. Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves. I have no respect for him no more.”

Price’s response: “Nobody is bigger than the game of baseball, and sometimes the way he acts out there, he kind of looks like he’s bigger than the game of baseball. That’s not the way it is. That’s not the way it goes.”

Price also seemed offended by Papi’s depiction of the incident as “war,” saying, “We have troops, men and women that are fighting for our freedom, making sure we stay safe and could be prepared for a real war. That’s not acceptable. This is not a war, by no means. This is a game we play.”