Red Sox

David Price may actually be perfect for Boston

David Price may actually be perfect for Boston

BOSTON — David Price may actually be perfect for Boston. 

With each wisecrack to the media, the lefty may be embracing the spotlight. He is inviting it further, brighter. But wait — is that his intent? He may simply want to take shots when he can, disguised as jokes. Or maybe they're just . . . jokes.

Let's run in circles. Maybe that's what he wants. Maybe that's what we, those who consume sports, want to do. Because Price and perception is far from a new subject.

Whether Price realizes it or not, his sarcasm is sublime. There's allure in the opaque. In sports, we want winning players and we want layered people. Price provides both, with no tangible downside to point to in 2018.

In the last two months, the Red Sox lefty has consistently entertained both on the mound and in interviews, underscoring his status as a thought-provoking figure in a city that devours personality. The motivations behind his jokes, or jabs, and their ultimate impact could be debated for a fortnight. They're speculative to begin with.

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On Tuesday, after six strong innings against the Angels in a 9-1 win, Price was asked if he’s looking forward to pitching in New York on Sunday. That game will be a national telecast, and Price’s first start against the Yankees after two misfires for health reasons. 

"I don’t think I’ll be able to go, so I don’t think so," Price said dryly at Fenway Park.

A reporter, playing along, asked if he would not be able to pitch because of the video game that he and his teammates like, Fortnite.

"Yeah," said Price, who has a 2.72 ERA in his last nine outings, with a 7-1 record. “Fortnite."

Price is an example of a player who is sensitive. Which is to say, he is a person who cares about perception to the point that he reacts to it publicly, and has done so repeatedly. He is not alone, in the ranks of pro athletes or others.

At the same time, he is succeeding in his high-pressure job. In Boston, then, he is a walking oxymoron. Success and sensitivity are not supposed to pair here. 

He may be more successful if he weren’t as sensitive, you suggest. And what if the outside world is the fuel he needs?

In 2017, Price’s sensitivity was detrimental. Not now, though. There’s no distraction, no concern he's treating people poorly.

The human instinct to reduce everything to a simple explanation will never disappear. A player like Price and his choices can be unpacked 18 ways. He’s compelling because he can create so many reactions. Simple quips leave so much to talk about.

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Price's snark, mild as it may be, has become a schtick, a running gag. He referred to himself as soft. He’s made light of his tingly fingers, a reference to his carpal tunnel syndrome and circulation issues that can lead to numbness.

If Price really is bothered, there’s an argument to be made Price is acting immaturely because he is not really working to fix the problem. Then again: he really may just be conveying dry humor.

He may be delivering a message he still solemnly feels at his core: “You don’t get me.” 

He may relish the attention, he may enjoy the tizzy his words create for some. Those 18 points of view of oneself must be fascinating to see bandied about, over and over.

Maybe none of this is a revelation. When you consider how many other players in Red Sox history believed themselves to be mistreated by the media, or misunderstood by fans, Price seems just another in a long line. Embrace the ride, play along.

He’s the perfect water-cooler debate. He must know he’s making himself one, too. With no visible downside at the moment to boot.

He's winning. He's confusing. He fits.

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Suspect in David Ortiz shooting ordered to one year in preventive prison

Suspect in David Ortiz shooting ordered to one year in preventive prison

A suspect in the attempted killing of Red Sox legend David Ortiz was ordered to one year of preventive prison Monday. 

The man, nicknamed "Bone," and whose real name is Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino, has been accused of being a liaison between the alleged hit men and the person who paid them, according to the Associated Press. Dominican authorities said they were "closing in" on the mastermind and the motive behind the attack on Ortiz. 

UPDATE -- 12:07 a.m.

DR authorities identify the man they say paid the hitmen who carried out the Ortiz shooting. His name is Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, a judge announced at a hearing for Perez, nicknamed "Bone." Mota is believed to be a fugitive. 

Court documents stated that a man in prison for an unrelated case reached out to Perez regarding the alleged job a week before the shooting took place and sent him a picture for Perez to show it to the hit men. It is unknown to this point if the person pictured was Ortiz. 

Documents also state Perez sold the phone he used to plan the attack the day after the shooting in order to get rid of evidence. 

Perez is one of 10 suspects detained, but authorities are still looking for two more people, including the man accused of paying the hit men. 

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Dombrowski not worried about making early trades, wants to get injured players back

Dombrowski not worried about making early trades, wants to get injured players back

The Boston Red Sox are finally starting to get hot, as they reached the six games over .500 mark after their win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. However, their team isn't without holes.

So far this season, their bullpen has been inconsistent and has had trouble closing things out in the later innings. On Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, Marcus Walden blew a one-run lead in the seventh inning before the Red Sox had to make a comeback to beat their lowly division rival in extra innings. And in the eighth inning against the Twins, Colten Brewer got into trouble with a one-run lead before managing to get out of it.

Additionally, the team has had a lot of issues with their fifth starter. Nathan Eovaldi has been out since mid-April and in his stead, their replacements have struggled.

After the New York Yankees got active on the trade market and acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners, there were questions about whether or not the Sox would make a move of their own. Still, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplayed the notion that they needed to make a move earlier because of the waiver trade deadline being eliminated.

"I don’t think it has anything necessarily to do with the trading deadline changing," said Dombrowski per WEEI's Rob Bradford. "This is how it has been the last couple of years when you have some clubs who are willing to declare themselves not in it earlier than normal and I think there are more clubs that are like that. Some clubs are willing to make that move if they have a particular need at that time if the asking price is right. As you could see with Encarnacion, he’s a good hitter and it looked like there was some drive to move salary, too."

And Dombrowski would know something about acquiring key players earlier in the season. He acquired World Series MVP Steve Pearce in an unheralded move in late-June and he was a great platoon option with Mitch Moreland. Some expected that after the Sox' early struggles in 2019 they would make a change to the team or patch one of their weaknesses. But, for the moment, it appears that they are willing to wait.

Dombrowski also brought up the fact that the Sox were going to get some players back that could have an impact on the squad. And in particular, Steven Wright, who will return from a suspension on June 25, was one of the names he is excited about in the bullpen.

"Really when you look at our club there are a few guys we’re talking about but we think on June 25 (Steven) Wright will be ready to come back and (Nathan) Eovaldi is making great strides so he should be back in plenty of time by then," said Dombrowski per Bradford. "Pearce, he’ll be healthy, we just have to hope he goes out and performs like he’s capable."

This isn't the first time that Dombrowski has mentioned Wright, so he figures to have a big role as a bullpen arm and a potential spot starter. But while getting injured/suspended players back will help shore up the depth, they may not be the full fix for the team.

The Red Sox still have plenty of time to make a decision on what to do ahead of the trade deadline. For the time being, it appears that they are willing to stand pat even as other teams make early-season trades.

TOMASE: Do the Sox need a starter more than a reliever?>>>

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