Red Sox

David Price lays out Red Sox doomsday scenario in surprising comments

David Price lays out Red Sox doomsday scenario in surprising comments

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has avoided pressing the panic button amid Boston's abysmal start to 2019.

It's safe to say David Price has a different mindset.

The Red Sox pitcher made some eye-opening comments to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier on Wednesday night, suggesting major changes could be coming for the defending World Series champions if they don't improve on their 6-13 start.

Here's the kicker:

"If we don’t start playing better, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, maybe myself, we could get traded. We’re, what, 30th in minor league systems?” Price noted, referencing Baseball America’s recent organization rankings that did indeed feature the Red Sox with the No. 30 farm system. “We’re dead last. We don’t play better, Mookie Betts will be traded, J.D. Martinez will be traded. It will be tough for a while here.”

Price was drawing on experience, as the Rays' disappointing 2014 season following a 2013 playoff berth prompted a fire sale in Tampa Bay that included his trade to the Detroit Tigers.

The Red Sox still have plenty of time to right the ship in 2019, but Price seems to have a bit more urgency.

"It needs to happen now," Price said. "Boston doesn’t handle losing well. I get that. The Celtics are good, the Bruins are good, the Patriots are always winning, and the Red Sox are always good.

"If we don’t play better, there’s going to be a lot of changes around here. I remember when Boston won the World Series in 2013. In 2014, they were trash. Trash."

Price may just be trying to light a fire under his teammates, but considering the Red Sox are less than 20 games removed from a World Series title, these are pretty strong remarks. Not that he's totally off-base: Martinez hits free agency this offseason while Betts will command a massive contract the following year, so if Boston continues its free fall, a move to shore up its depleted farm system might not be too crazy.

That's all to say the Red Sox should probably start winning games, especially with a three-game series against the American League East-leading Rays looming this weekend.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

This photo of Mookie Betts, Brock Holt will look so strange to Red Sox fans

This photo of Mookie Betts, Brock Holt will look so strange to Red Sox fans

The Boston Red Sox lost two of their fan favorites over the offseason with the departures of Mookie Betts and Brock Holt.

Betts was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a multi-player blockbuster deal earlier this month, and Holt left as a free agent to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers. Betts and Holt spent six years as teammates in Boston and helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2018. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

They were reunited Friday for the first time since leaving Boston when the Dodgers and Brewers squared off in a spring training game in Phoenix. They even posed for a photo, which is sure to bring some sadness to Red Sox fans everywhere.

Check it out in the tweet below:

It's going to take some time for Red Sox fans to get used to seeing Betts and Holt on different teams (and in the National League). Making matters worse is the Red Sox apparently put Betts on some of their season tickets sent out to fans.

It's going to be a long year for Red Sox fans, and it could get even worse in October if Betts and/or Holt enjoy postseason success.

Ron Roenicke explains why he's hidden radar gun readings at JetBlue Park

Ron Roenicke explains why he's hidden radar gun readings at JetBlue Park

Ron Roenicke dislikes baseball's current obsession with velocity, so he has removed the tool that feeds his pitchers' counterproductive cycle of gratification and mortification — the radar gun.

Attend a game at JetBlue Park this spring, and you'll notice the familiar scoreboard velocity readings are missing. That's by design, Roenicke explained to reporters in Fort Myers on Friday morning, because at this point in camp, no good can come of overextending.

"You guys all see what pitchers do," Roenicke said. "They throw a pitch, then it's rub here and the eye is right on the radar. Right now, that's not a good thing. So I think as much as we can stay, and I realize the fans want that radar up there, we'll get it up there when Bushy feels like, OK, they're beyond the point, we can start putting it up there."

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Bushy is pitching coach Dave Bush, and he brings an analytical bent to the job, but also experience as a veteran of nine seasons, including a pair of 12-win campaigns with the Brewers in the mid-2000s.

The Red Sox have struggled to keep their pitchers from overthrowing early in the spring over the years, with ace Chris Sale memorably hitting 99 mph in his very first Grapefruit League appearance in 2017.

"It's there. It's real," Roenicke said. "You see it in every big league game. A pitcher comes into the game, he throws that first pitch, and those eyes are right up on the radar. When they don't see what they are used to seeing, maybe if a guy is 95 and all of a sudden he looks up there and sees 92, he's like, 'Whoa.' Whether he's going to throw harder on that next pitch or what, it makes a difference."

Roenicke played during an era when craftiness and guile were as valued as velocity, with pitchers like Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine living on the black and winning with pinpoint command. It may help explain why Roenicke is so impressed with right-hander Ryan Weber, a longshot fifth starter candidate who rarely breaks 90 mph, but throws a curveball and sinker with considerable movement.

With teams prioritizing big arms above all else in the draft, Roenicke worries about a generation of kids obsessing over throwing rather than pitching.

"When I was young, I didn't even know what a radar gun was," he said. "I just tried to pitch to get guys out, pitch to the corners where guys didn't seem to hit the baseball. Now they're pitching to velocity. You're seeing it in Little League. You're seeing it in radar guns all the way through." 

A kid, if in his mind he's thinking about playing professionally, it's max. It's max effort to throw the baseball. Max effort doesn't last if you do this all the way up through. You just can't last. It scares me.

Roenicke hopes teams don't shy away from the Webers of the world, pitchers with unconventional repertoires who nonetheless show some potential. He'd like to see soft, cerebral throwers win games so the pendulum swings back.

"If we see pitchers come up and they are successful and being able to hit spots again, I think if that happens, yeah," he said. "I hope they continue to give those guys chances. So if you're in college and your record is whatever, 15-3 but you only throw 88, I hope we still continue to give those guys a chance."

So don't go look for radar gun readings in Fort Myers this spring, because for now, they're nowhere to be seen.