Sam Kennedy

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy: Pitching David Price in home opener '100 percent John Farrell's call'

Rob Bradford
April 10, 2016 - 6:32 pm

Perhaps the controversy will have died down a bit by the time David Price takes the mound Monday afternoon, but ever since John Farrell announced the ace would be pushed back a day, letting Steven Wright make Sunday's start, there has been buzz. Was this a mandate from above, such as Red Sox ownership, to get Price the start in the home opener? Why would there be such a priority to make sure the No. 5 starter, Wright, stayed on his regular turn? While appearing at the second annual WEEI Baseball Round Table at the Cathedral Station Sports Bar and Restaurant, team president Sam Kennedy offered his explanation as to how things transpired. "Selfishly, as someone who will be at Opening Day, I'm excited to watch David Price in person. I think ownership and those in the front office weren't sure what was going to happen, but it was 100 percent John Farrell's call," Kennedy said. "I think the thinking was that you had right-handers going against a right-handed lineup, and No. 2, the knuckleball hopefully works better in the [Rogers Centre] dome, and No. 3, you want to keep the rotation early in the year. It didn't seem to be that big of a deal, but I understand it has become a big talk radio issue, and I understand that any time you have David Price going. "[Kennedy and ownership] were at Fenway and we heard from Dave Dombrowski who was with the club that that was the decision they had made inside the clubhouse. I can assure you that was not a decision that was mandated by me or John [Henry] or Tom [Werner] or anybody else. That was a baseball decision and hopefully it will work out." Wright upheld his end of the equation, turning in the best non-Price start during the rotation's first go-round. The knuckleballer allowed two runs (1 earned) over 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, in the Red Sox' 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto. Now, with his new team coming home with a 3-2 record, Price faces off with the undefeated Orioles (5-0), a team he totaled a 1.29 ERA against in two starts (14 innings) in 2015. "I can assure you at this time, and throughout all of 2016 hopefully, decisions are going to be made around giving us a chance to win that given day," Kennedy said. "There's a great benefit to having David Price go Opening Day just because it was fortuitous that it is working out this way. But this is a decision that was made for baseball reasons by John Farrell."