Tom Verducci on D&C: 'David Price brought his personal grudge to that game' Friday

June 02, 2014 - 7:39 am

Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss the feud between David Ortiz and David Price, Stephen Drew, and other news from around MLB. Emotions once again reached a fever pitch last Friday between the Red Sox and Rays, as Price hit both Ortiz and Mike Carp, which resulted in the benches clearing in the fourth inning. Then Sox starter Brandon Workman was ejected in the sixth inning for throwing behind Evan Longoria. After the game, Ortiz blasted Price, stating that the Tampa lefty "better bring the gloves" if he hits him again. "€œI understand what Price was doing there,"€ Verducci said. "In my mind, he was definitely throwing it at David Ortiz. I did not think he deserved to be thrown out of the game, so I think the Red Sox were wrong about that, but David Price brought his personal grudge to that game and he actually put Evan Longoria in a terrible position, because he knew at the time that they were going to go after Longoria in retribution. "If Longoria gets hit by a pitch and breaks his wrist, that'€™s the end of Tampa Bay season if it hasn't ended already. It'€™s a dumb thing to do to try to settle a personal grudge that was four or five months old." While Drew is scheduled to join the team on Monday, some have raised the point that the Sox may not need him after all, as Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts are hitting .375 and .367, respectively, over the last seven games. Regardless, Verducci believes that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington would still sign Drew if given another opportunity. "€œI think he still does [feel that way]," Verducci said. "They'€™re adding a very good player that has to make the team better. ... I never have an issue with adding more talent, and that'€™s what they did. ... In the long run, in four months, if I'€™m in the Red Sox, I'€™d rather have Drew than not have him." While Red Sox president Larry Lucchino acknowledged that talks between Jon Lester, who is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season, and the team likely will be renewed during the season, Verducci believes a deal won'€™t be done anytime soon. "€œIt'€™s not the situation where doors are closed, where it seems to be the case with [Max] Scherzer in Detroit. ... I think there'€™s some momentum there,"€ Verducci said. "Clearly, Jon still wants to stay in Boston and Boston wants to keep him. ... To me, [Boston] has too far to cover to get this guy signed before the year ends. I think they'€™ll be some more back and forth, but I don'€™t see a deal getting done between now and the postseason." Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at On whether moving to third base will affect Xander Bogaerts: "€œIt'€™s not easy for a guy to give up shortstop. I mean, Ozzie Smith never did, Derek Jeter never did, Barry Larkin retired rather than play second base. It'€™s like being quarterback or point guard. It'€™s in your DNA, you'€™re captain of the field when you'€™re out there.'€ On what is more likely to last this season -- Toronto leading the AL East, or Tampa Bay holding last place: '€œTampa in last place. They are very short right now. ... They have the fewest wins of any rotation in the league, which is shocking. ... I don'€™t want to say everything went right for them for about a six-year period, but a lot did." On whether the Red Sox could trade Drew: "I think it'€™s probably asking too much for this guy to show up and start hitting right away. ... Traditionally, he hasn't been a fast starter. ... I wouldn't rule it out, but I think it's probably a long shot." On if Boston has already seen the peak of Dustin Pedroia'€™s career: "It'€™s possible. It you talk about winning an MVP, yeah, I'€™m not sure that'€™s going to happen again. ... He'€™s still a guy that can win you games in so many different ways. ... It'€™s still a great investment for the Red Sox."