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An honest David Price: 'I could go 35-0 in the regular season and it wouldn’t matter -- I need to win in October'

Rob Bradford
September 12, 2018 - 2:04 am

It was about six hours before the Red Sox would officially be toasting the clinching of a berth in the postseason. With the assembled media taking up most of the clubhouse waiting for something to warrant their pregame access, David Price sat in front of his locker, quietly executing another crossword puzzle. 

In other words, other than the impending opportunity to punch a ticket to playoffs the scene really wasn't all that different than any gameday.

To get to this point should have seemed momentous, both for the team and the crossword puzzle-penciling pitcher.

Nope.

Question: "What part of this season do you take the most satisfaction in?"

Price: "Getting a chance to set the win record for the history of baseball."

Question: "How about as an individual?"

Price: "I don’t worry about individual stuff."

And then came the moment of clarity, honesty, and reality.

Price: "I could go 35-0 in the regular season with a zero (ERA) and it wouldn’t matter. I need to win in October. That’s that. Regular season means nothing for me."

The lefty could have easily highlighted moments that mattered the most. Bouncing back after the disaster that was last season. Heck, bouncing back that was his July 1 start at Yankee Stadium. But talking to Price it becomes clear where his head is at. First off is finding a way to transfer the kind of success he is taking into Wednesday night -- (2.47 ERA in his last 10 games -- into the postseason. Then it is to stick around for a while after that.

The second part of the equation became evident when discussing what led Price to Boston along with his current lot in life.

"I wanted to put myself in the best chance to win," said Price when discussing his choice of the Red Sox heading into the 2016 season. "I still feel like I did that even though my first two years didn’t end the way we wanted to. This year if we win however many games, set records and go on to win a World Series I promise you we’re going to better in ’19 than we were in ’18."

According to Price, this is what he was banking on. The winning. The playoffs. And, evidently, the whole seven years without opting out.

He had gotten a glimpse of the origins of this Red Sox team first during a July series in 2015 while Price was playing for the Tigers, and then two months later when visiting as a member of the Blue Jays. It was a stretch which saw the likes of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez were starting to thrive under then-interim manager Torey Lovullo.

Price had even put Andrew Benintendi on his radar despite the outfielder having been drafted in June, 2015 thanks to updates from former Detroit's James McCann, who, like Benintendi, hailed from the University of Arkansas. ("It was very eye-opening to see the season he had. To see him drafted by Boston, I was very aware of it," the pitcher said.)

"It’s why I came here," Price said. "I saw what Boston had going on in 2015, especially in September. The young talent they had in the big leagues at that time. They had a good minor league system to make a trade, and that just so happened to be Chris Sale. Knowing we have money to sign whoever we want, or at the trade deadline if we’re in it we’re going to get whoever we can to make us better. That’s been the case every year I’ve been here. I knew that was something that was going to be the case as long as we put ourselves in position come that deadline. It's just knowing what I signed up for coming to Boston has come true."

Now comes the part that hasn't come true ... yet.

"Just keep going. Finish strong," Price summarized his situation. "I’m not worried about the regular season."

Fair or not, at this point, neither is anyone else. Acknowledging that reality is already a step in the right direction for Price.

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