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David Price thanks Rays fans, organization in full-page ad in Tampa Bay Times (pic)


David Price became the second high-profile pitcher in the past few days to take an ad out in a newspaper to thank his former team and its fans for everything after being traded.

Just days after Jon Lester took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to thank the Boston Red Sox and its fans, Price did the same in a Tampa paper.

Price, who enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, including winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2012, was dealt to the Detroit Tigers last week at the trade deadline.

While Price may have been slightly chagrined that he missed out on the Rays’ formal wear road trip, the worst part was the trade itself and the realization that he was leaving a lot behind him in Florida.

On Tuesday, a full-page ad appeared in the Tampa Bay Times to thank not only the fans, but the Rays organization from top to bottom.

It reads:

Thank you, St. Petersburg and thank you, Tampa. I’ve lived in both of you and enjoyed every minute.

Thank you, fans. I heard you ringing your bells each time I had two strikes. I heard your applause when I walked off the field. I heard your groans in support of me with close calls on balls and strikes. I heard you, I felt your presence, and I so appreciate you.

Thank you, Joe Maddon and Jim Hickey. You’ve believed in me. You’ve taught me. You’ve given me opportunities to shine. I will have you with me in every game the rest of my career.

Thank you, Cuz, Stanley Mc, Holmes, Foles, Davey, Shelty, Nelly Nel, and the amazing Don Zimmer. You’ve all meant so very much to me.

Thank you to my incredible Rays teammates. You have been my brothers and greatest friends. Thank you for our times together.

Thank you, Rick Vaughn, Westy, Ronnie P, Nation, and Vinword. I couldn’t have made it through a day without you guys.

Thank you, Rays organization. From Vinny in the parking lot, to Berte outside our clubhouse, to Papito, Beans, Champ, T-Wall, Sexy Black, Nasty Nate, and all the many wonderful people who helped and supported me each day I was at the Trop. Thank you for being there.

Thank you, Stu Sternberg and Andrew Friedman. Thank you for drafting me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to know all of the people I’ve mentioned above and the opportunity to experience the last six years playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. I’ll forever be grateful.

Astro and I love you all. We miss you already. Although we begin a new chapter on the mound tonight, we will never forget you.

David & Astro Price

It’s awfully nice of Price to include his beloved bulldog Astro in the expression of his gratitude. You know, since Astro probably wouldn’t have been able to get a newspaper ad on his own. Price keeps him on a pretty tight leash. Zing!

In all seriousness — if that’s possible in this instance — Astro became a beloved figure in Tampa during Price’s tenure. He even has his own Twitter account, although it’s not verified, but something tells me Astro isn’t the one doing the tweeting. It’s probably some member of his entourage or something.

Either way, chances are Tigers fans will become as charmed with Astros’ antics as Rays fans. Which brings up a cool thought: What if Price (and Astro) were traded to the Houston Astros? Talk about synergy.