NEW YORK -- The lingering question on Thursday is motivation, and if it’s tied to how David Price pitches.
He put more of himself out there in public view Wednesday than he has in a long time.
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That was the case in a pregame interview with the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy -- an interview that you can bet at least one party, Shaughnessy, knew would receive a ton of attention, even if the other didn’t.
That was the case for Price’s postgame reaction to other media members, including the Herald’s Steve Buckley -- but particularly to me, who discussed part of the Shaughnessy column on Twitter. (Shaughnessy was not around postgame.)
What’s most curious now is how a day like yesterday’s folds into performance.
It may not, at all. Maybe his blood boiling before a big start is a motivator. Maybe it has absolutely nothing to do with baseball.
Does it galvanize him? His clubhouse?
We can speculate. If he pitches well, perhaps he’ll have channeled anger. If not, perhaps anger will have lingered. Or maybe the Yankees will have just had an awesome game plan and none of the other stuff mattered.
Reporters and players have it out sometimes. They need to. Our conversation Wednesday was loud, unpleasant, and ultimately reached beyond just the day’s events and Tweets. So it goes, and will go again.
It’s armchair psychology to try to figure out exactly what was going through Price’s head. The media, in a media- and sports-crazy town, is certainly an easy scapegoat for sensitive athletes. Price is undoubtedly sensitive. That was true before last night. And there's nothing inherently wrong with sensitivity.
It's how it manifests itself.
Price feels he has been treated unfairly. And when it comes to his performance, he definitely has been.
His 3.39 ERA in 28 starts to end last season and his league-best innings load are ultimately underappreciated. The Red Sox don’t win the division without him. They didn’t lose the Division Series because of him.
What pushes him to success or failure going forward, and whether interactions and relationships with the media and public in any way plays in, is the question Thursday.