David Ortiz on Red Sox signing nemesis David Price: ‘That’s fine’
David Ortiz insists he’s fine with the Boston Red Sox signing longtime nemesis David Price, for whom he has no shortage of bad blood.
“That’s fine. We need pitching and David Price is a great pitcher and has showed that for years. I hope he will help us,” Ortiz told Dominican Republic radio station on Wednesday, via ESPN. “It’s a marquee pitcher, and that’s what we need.”
The Red Sox broke the bank to bring in the ace, signing him to a seven-year, $217 million preliminary deal Tuesday, according to several outlets.
Ortiz and Price have been at war for years, both on the mound and in the media, primarily during the pitcher’s tenure with the division rival Tampa Bay Rays.
The feud appeared to begin in earnest during the 2013 ALDS when Price ripped Ortiz for taking too long to circle the bases after hitting a home run. Price never got the opportunity to exact revenge on the mound in the playoff series, but in the team’s first meeting the following spring, the pitcher plunked Ortiz in his first at-bat. This prompted a declaration of war by Ortiz. Almost literally.
“It’s a war. It’s on,” Ortiz said at the time. “Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves. I have no respect for him no more.”
The two sniped at one another from time to time from that point forward, with Price taking a potshot at Ortiz at the 2015 All-Star Game.
But time heals all wounds, as the saying goes. And for Ortiz, this is as much a practical statement than one of reconciliation. After all, when your employer signs a guy to a $217 million deal and you’re playing in your final MLB season? It’s time to set feuds aside and play ball.
“No problems. All that’s in the past. Now he is my partner,” Ortiz said. “When a person joins your cause, you must leave the past in the past.”