Sunday, October 6, 2013
David Price ignores fact that nerds help him
By David Schoenfield
Hey, I did hit two home runs once in one game in the fourth grade, but I'm pretty sure David Price would still classify me as as a "nerd."
I'm sure he realizes the Tampa Bay Rays front office is populated with a plethora of nerds doing nerdy things like helping acquire catchers good at pitch framing to help make him a better pitcher, or aligning defenses behind him in such a way that also make him a better pitcher, but whatever; nerds aren't athletes and thus are incapable of analyzing baseball.
Did you see the story? Price, no doubt upset after getting shelled in Game 2 of the AL Division Series between the Rays and Red Sox, lashed out on Twitter, calling former major league pitcher Dirk Hayhurst and writer Tom Verducci, both working on the TBS studio show, nerds:
I didn't see what Hayhurst and Verducci said, although I can't imagine they would have bashed him much beyond saying he's a great pitcher who had a bad day. Maybe they said something about Price whining after the game that David Ortiz stood and admired his second home run. (By the way: Enough already with pitchers complaining about this. I never hear batters complaining when pitchers pump their fist after a big strikeout. So a player admires his work a little too long? Who cares. Really.)
As for Price, his Twitter meltdown is a good reason for players to avoid Twitter after a tough loss. And for all his bravado about his greatness, it would be nice if he stepped it up a little more in big games. Here are the five biggest games he's started in his career:
2010 ALDS, Game 1: 6⅔ IP, 5 R
2010 ALDS, Game 5: 6 IP, 3 R
2011 final game: 4 IP, 6 R
2013 tiebreaker: 9 IP, 2 R
2013 ALDS, Game 2: 7 IP, 7 R
Five starts -- one great one, four mediocre-to-awful ones. The nerds would point out that's a 20 percent success rate. Here's another nerdy thing to point out: Price has a 2.78 career ERA at home, 3.59 on the road. Take him away from St. Pete -- and away from all those defensive shifts -- and is he a Cy Young winner or contender? We might find out next season if the Rays end up trading Price, who is two years away from free agency but perhaps getting too expensive for the Rays to afford.
OK, so Price later apologized on Twitter, saying "#thatsnotme."
I don't know, seems like the original tweet was a little insight into the real David Price. We get it: The media is annoying and asks questions and, yes, sometimes we criticize. But dealing with the media is part of the job, part of a job that will compensate Price just more than $10 million this season and even more next season. Although if he gets traded to New York or Boston or L.A., he better learn to grow a little thicker skin. The media will be a lot tougher in those places than in Tampa/St. Pete.
Here's another idea: In this day when bullying in schools is a huge problem, when athletes are sometimes the worst offenders of this behavior, how about showing a little more responsibility? Maybe Price could film a public service commercial against bullying and point out that many of the "nerds" out there are among his biggest fans.