David Price and David Ortiz Hate Each Other
Update (1:13 p.m.): David Ortiz told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes Wednesday all of the problems he’s had with David Price are in the past.
Before David Price suits up for the Red Sox next season, one of his first orders of business will probably be to mend fences with David Ortiz.
The genesis of this feud dates back to the 2013 playoffs, when Ortiz took Price deep twice in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series. Price took exception to the way Ortiz admired his second shot of the night in the eighth inning, and let the world know about it after the game.
“He steps in the bucket and he hits a homer, and he stares at it to see if it’s fair or foul—I’m sure that’s what he’d say,” Price said. “But as soon as he hit it and I saw it, I knew it was fair. Run.”
Those comments were just an appetizer to the Twitter rant Price’s girlfriend unleashed against Red Sox fans later that evening, in which she called her plane trip home from Boston “the flight from hell.” (Price also had a Twitter meltdown of his own, telling TBS baseball analysts Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci, who were critical of his performance, to “SAVE IT, NERDS.”)
I just want to pick up the kiddos…shower…and go to sleep. Flight from hell. No, seriously. We are flying from Boston, remember??
— Tiffany Nicole (@kstatetif) October 6, 2013
After that episode, Ortiz and Price both claimed they had settled their differences. But when they matched up the following May, that clearly wasn’t the case. Price plunked Ortiz the first time he faced him, which helped precipitate a bench-clearing brawl between the Red Sox and Rays that occurred after Price hit Mike Carp later on in the game.
Ortiz, who isn’t one for subtlety, declared war on Price afterwards.
“First at-bat of the season against him, he drilled me. That’s means it’s a war. It’s on. Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves on. I have no respect for him no more,” Ortiz said.
“You can’t be acting like a little girl out there all the time, you give it up, that’s an experience for the next time, but you gonna be acting like a little [expletive], every time you give it up, bounce back like that and put your teammates in jeopardy. … He knows he screwed up. No manager was [telling] him. No player was comfortable with the situation. He did that on his own, which is [expletive], he can get somebody else hurt. You can’t be doing that [expletive].”
Price admonished Ortiz for his comments, reminding him you “can’t relate baseball to war.” Price failed to mention he was the one who started the skirmish, considering he—you know—hit Ortiz in the back with a fastball.
There haven’t been any incidents between the two players since then, though Price did make it a point to tell reporters last September he “wasn’t paying attention” to Ortiz’s chase for 500 home runs.
Price will have no choice but to pay attention to Ortiz this season, whether he likes it or not. In fact, one could say he has 217 million reasons to pay attention to him.