David Price

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

Defiant David Price tees off on critics after winning World Series: 'I hold all the cards now'

John Tomase
October 29, 2018 - 2:04 am

LOS ANGELES – David Price’s critics had ammunition no matter how well he pitched.

Throw a shutout, why can’t you win in the playoffs? Win five in a row, why can’t you win in the playoffs? Lead the league in innings, why can’t you win in the playoffs?

That question is now gone, and Price is loving it. Sounding as defiant as he has at any point in his tumultuous Red Sox tenure, Price reveled in the glory of winning the clinching Game 5 of the 2018 World Series on Sunday night.

“I hold all the cards now,” Price said. “And that feels so good. That feels so good. I can't tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You've played that card extremely well. But you don't have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.”

Price earned his freedom from questions about his postseason failure by winning the clinching games of the ALCS and World Series. He limited the Dodgers to a solo homer by David Freese on his first pitch and otherwise shut them down over seven-plus innings, allowing three hits and striking out five.

“My confidence was never altered through however many seasons I've been to the playoffs, however many times I've failed in October, however many times I failed in the regular season or against the Yankees,” he said. “My confidence was never altered. I always had belief in myself and my abilities. To be able to come through on this stage and in October for myself and for my teammates, I know I can do it now. And it's always a good feeling to have. It's just good to know.”

Price wasn’t done taking on the media as he sat at the victorious podium. In spring training of 2017, he was diagnosed with an elbow injury that could’ve required surgery. He visited Dr. James Andrews, who told him his elbow was unique and that he could return with rehab.

Price did and was rewarded.

“I told you guys, Dr. Andrews said I have a special elbow,” he said. “I'm sure you guys ridiculed me and mocked me and made fun of me, and did everything that you guys do. I wasn't lying when he told me that, and now you guys see that.”

Price didn’t even know he’d be starting Game 5 until manager Alex Cora grabbed him in the handshake line after the Sox rallied to win Game 4.

“Right when I ran in from the bullpen, I gave Pedey a high-five and Cora was right behind him and he said, ‘Tomorrow is you,’” Price said. “I thought Sale was starting until Cora told me right after the game on the field. That was a little bit different. It’s a different mindset when you know that you’re starting for sure. I started to lock it in right when he told me. I ate dinner in the clubhouse by myself in the traveling secretary’s office, just to go and start locking it in. Put my headphones in and got in that mode.”

Price’s teammates couldn’t be happier.

“I can’t say I felt it with him, because he’s the only one that walks in his shoes,” said fellow starter Rick Porcello. “You’ve been around, and you see what’s been said, how he’s been treated. To see him go out and do what he did, it’s unbelievable.”