In an interview with Fox Sports, Cy Young Award winner David Price discussed the possibility of being with a new team in the next few years and how much he will miss his current team, the Tampa Bay Rays. O, he also talked about how he wouldn’t play for certain teams due to their strict rules. “It’s a joke to me, that I had less rules in college than I would on some major league teams. That’s not my style, man. I couldn’t do it on some of these teams I hear about. I couldn’t do it. I’m a grown man” says Price. When told that he would have to shave his beard if the Yankees traded for him, Price stated “I wouldn’t stay there very long then. I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there. Those rules, that’s old-school baseball. I was born in ’85. That’s not for me. That’s not something I want to be a part of.” Price went on to praise Rays coach Joe Maddon’s care-free environment in the club house, where players can play any type of music in the locker room and wear any type of hair (or beard) style.
Yankees fans (and probably the Yankee Organization) did not like what Price said about the strict rules over at New York. On Thursday February 21, Price began doing damage control with the Yankees by calling them the best organization in sports, saying anything could happen by 2016, “My hair might fall out by then.” But Price stuck to his principles, saying that he “never aspired to be a New York Yankee” while growing up. Price says though money is a factor, he wants to be comfortable where he plays, “The last thing I want to think is that I’m signing a long-term deal — regardless of the money — and not having the feeling I have here.” Though money is always important in signing a contract, Price makes an excellent point on feeling comfortable spending years with one team. Former Ray Carl Crawford signed an expensive contract with the Boston Red Sox and ended up hating his time there, admitting he regretted his decision to play there several times. Luckily for Crawford, the Los Angeles Dodgers could afford to cover Crawford’s contract. If Price becomes the most expensive pitcher in baseball history, that means he can’t count on another team to bail him out but will have to remain with the team. The chance that a team would not like Price is slim though since he brings laughter to the Tampa Bay area.
According to Price, the Rays’ club house is a special place in all of major league baseball. It isn’t just recently traded pitcher James Shields that will miss the Rays, “It’s everybody that’s been traded or hit free agency from here and left and got their millions of dollars. They all miss it. We do things differently over here. We have freedom. We’re treated like grown men. Other places, it’s a penitentiary.” The Rays fans know that while the players love playing in Tampa, it is common to see players leave due to money issues. Center-fielder B.J. Upton signed with the Atlantic Braves this past off-season since the Rays could not afford him, and Price knows he probably will not be a Ray forever. Price’s contract with a new team could be worst almost $200 million, a price that the Rays cannot compete with. Though Price is a Ray for the next two years, there is a possibility that he will be traded before then; some even speculate that as soon as the All-Star break 2013. Price refuses to think about it and to spend the rest of his time here having fun while playing baseball. As with Upton, Crawford, and several other former Rays, the fans will continue to speculate how long Price will remain a Ray.
Spring Training has started and already several players (and one team) is making news. Here are the top five baseball news stories of the day.
- Carl Crawford: Crawford is currently in the Los Angeles Dodger’s rehab facility for his elbow., where he is recovering from elbow surgery. Crawford is happy with the Dodgers, but admits how awful his two years with the Red Sox were. Crawford says “I knew with the struggles I was having, it would never get better for me. I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It puts you in kind of a depression stage. You just don’t see a way out.” Crawford also said he regretted signing with the Red Sox “ a lot of times” and how he thought his career was over since he did not believe any team would take over his expensive contract. Can’t believe a team organization nearly drove a player into depression.
- Kevin Youkilis: Mr. Red Sox is now with the New York Yankees, due to Alex Rodriquez missing half the season due to surgery. The Red Sox traded Youkilis away due to disagreements with Coach Bobby Valentine. Youkilis’ message to the Yankees fans “I’ll always be a Red Sock.” Though Youkilis met all his fellow teammates, he and Joba Chamberlain had yet to talk face-to-face due due to a previous feud in 2007 when Chamerlain threw two pitches over the head of Youkilis. Chamberlain was ejected for the first time in his career and suspended for two games. The “feud” is being overblown by the media, but Youkilis being a Yankee should make an interesting year.
- Grant Balfour: Oakland Athletics closer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks, meaning Balfour will just probably just miss Spring Training.
- The Red Sox 793-game sellout streak at Fenway will likely come to an end, said the team president Larry Lucchino. No one, but Red Sox fans, take the streak seriously since the Red Sox organization would actually buy and give away free tickets just to keep the streak alive. Also, judging by the amount of empty seats at the stadium toward the end of the 2012 season, it seems as though not every game was a sell-out. Anyways, the fact that the team president believes he can’t count on Red Sox fans to attend games shows how the Red Sox will start off another “great” year.
- Alex Rodriguez: Last week a report came out that Rodriquez was doping in Miami, just in time for spring training. Rodriquez was due to miss half the season due to hip surgery, but the allegations that he is using steroids made sure that his name will continue to be in the news. Now some baseball fans, mainly non-Yankee fans, are wondering if A-Roid is the only Yankee player using steroids. Due to years of steroid abuse, I believe Rodriquez no longer has testicles. Quite possible that he also has man-boobs since that is also an effect of steroids. Stay away from drugs kids!
In 2010, it was common knowledge amongst baseball spectators that one of the best Tampa Bay Rays players in its history, Carl Crawford, was leaving after spending eleven years with the Rays organization due to a cut in the payroll. When Crawford was up at bat for the last time against the Texas Rangers, all of Tampa Bay went into despair, knowing that he would be wearing a new uniform the next year.
It was rumored Crawford would be joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a team the Rays modeled their speed strategy after. It would be a perfect fit for the speedy Crawford. Angels’ outfielder Tori Hunter even joked about helping Crawford pick out a house. Then the news broke during the offseason that Crawford signed a $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox? The Rays’ most hated rival? The team filled with hot-headed egos? All of Tampa Bay erupted into anger; how could Crawford do that to the city that was his home for years?
But as months passed, many Rays fans started to forgive Crawford. After all, he played when the Rays were horrible and he helped take them to the post season twice. And out of all baseball players, Crawford deserved the $142 million? Of course he would not receive a happy welcome back at his first at-bat in Tropicana Field; but in time, maybe it was possible it would be forgiven. Then, Crawford started talking. He talked about how he always thought his son was a secret Red Sox fan. He talked about how amazing Red Sox’s fan base was. He talked about how excited he was to finally play in a stadium that would be filled with fans. Ouch.
Then something funny happen; some may call it karma, others may call it life, but baseball fans call it the baseball gods. Throughout the 2011 baseball season, Crawford had a hard time batting, stealing bases, and making big offense plays. He finished the year batting .255 and stole only 18 bases; in 2010, he was batting .307 and stole 47 bases. Meanwhile, Desmond Jennings, the Rays’ new outfielder called up after the All-Star break, finished the year batting .266 with 19 stolen bases. Whenever Crawford entered the batter’s box, Fenway Park filled with boos. Due to his poor hitting, Crawford was demoted to batting eighth in the line-up in hopes that he would magically start batting again. It never happened.
Though ESPN, Crawford started a monthly blog so he could become closer to the Red Sox fans. On his last entry dated September 19th, Crawford discussed how he is booed and heckled when he returns to Tropicana Field. During the next offseason, he would be inspired to workout harder because of them. Crawford is whining about the wrong crowd. Current Ray’s player Johnny Damon is booed in Boston AND New York since he used to play for both teams, yet he does not complain about his old teams’ fanbases. Yet, Crawford was complaining about the people who bought his jerseys the year before and who used to cheer for him when he made a catch. He’s complaining about the fans he badmouthed earlier in the year; did he really think all of Tampa would forget his unnecessary comments and forgive him? In his blog, Crawford also apologized to the Red Sox fans for his poor performance. After all, he claimed, the Red Sox fans were very supportive to him. Apparently Crawford does not hear the fans boo him when his name is called to bat or read any newspapers or websites based in Boston that complain about his performance. Crawford ended his blog saying how if the Rays made a comeback and made it to the playoffs instead of the Red Sox, he would be devastated
On September 28th, both the Red Sox and Rays knew they had to win against their respected opponents or they would be sent home. Red Sox were beating the Baltimore Orioles and were down to the final out and the final pitch. Then Nolan Reimold doubled, tying the game. The winning run was on second base; a base hit would allow the Orioles to win the game. Robert Andino was next at bat. Jonathon Papelbon threw the ball, Andino swung the bat, and the ball went to left field. For some reason, Crawford did not catch the ball. By the time he threw it to home plate, it was too late. The Orioles won. As the Red Sox walked into their clubhouse, they sat around the television, praying that the New York Yankees would beat the Rays. Too their surprise, Evan Longoria hit a homerun, winning the game in extra innings. Longoria hit a homerun over the small fence in left field; the fence that was purposely lowered to allow Crawford to make catchers while he was with the Rays…
How strange is it is that it was Crawford who allowed the Orioles to win while his former team won their game minutes later, sending the Red Sox packing. Those baseball gods have a real sense of humor.
Carl Crawford Carl Crawford Diary ESPN
Money is the biggest issue in the world; thus, it is
no surprised that even Major League Baseball is concern with money at the
moment. Nearly every human being has a goal of obtaining enough money so that
he and his family will forever live a comfortable life. Baseball and baseball
players are also on that mission which is why this year in baseball, the biggest
issue will be money.
Several baseball owners, including the New York
Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, have already expressed anger at the current
revenue-sharing system since they are the top two teams who had to contribute
($130 million and $87 million respectively). In fact, rumors have surfaced that
the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays are facing contraction in order for
the other baseball teams to make a larger profit; or maybe the Yankees and Red
Sox are tired of the threat the Rays pose to bring each year. Though the MLB
players union has already said no teams are going to disappear, this will
continue to be a topic throughout the year since the collective bargaining
agreement ends on December of this year.
Last offseason showed that baseball is heading into
a more expensive direction since several players signed multi-year, expensive
contracts. Pandora’s Box has been opened. Carl Crawford signed a 7-year, $142
million contract with the Red Sox while Cliff Lee signed a 5 year, $120 million
contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. More players will also want an
expensive, multiyear contract. At the moment Albert Pujols is asking for a $30
million a year for 10 years. The Cardinals at the moment have expressed zero
interest in paying that much money so next year Pujols may be playing for a
different team that will fork over that money.
My mother told me that when she was growing up, the
same players remained on the same team for years and every team had a fair shot
at the World Series. Now I live in a time where players’ team loyalty is dimmed
by the color green. There are teams that spend the year scouting out the best
players in each position and hands them a blank check during offseason while
small market teams send their scouts to the schools, colleges, and minors to
discover talent. Last year the umpires seemed to be favoring the big market
teams over the small market teams, leading to conspiracies that MLB favors teams
that bring in money. Soon the World Series Championship will rotate between the
big markets. The San Francisco Giants showed that time is not now, but the
lowest rating in history is something the MLB does not want.