When David Price walked off the field in the ninth inning of today’s game it just felt different. His walk was slower. The tip of his cap felt more touching. And the reception from the players in the dugout looked more like a tribute from players that respect one of the game’s greats and are about to say goodbye.
It is no secret that there is a good chance that Price will not finish the season with the Tampa Bay Rays. But if we listen carefully to Price’s post-game comments today, it sure sounds like he has pitched his last game with the Rays and he knows a trade is coming sooner, rather than later.
When Price was asked about being pulled in the 9th inning and wanting to finish the game, he had some very telling comments:
“That would’ve been cool. I think Shields in his last start here he gave up 1 and we lost 1-0 and I’m pretty sure he threw a complete game, punched out 15, just set all kind of records. It’s something I wanted to do for sure. My last batter in Vanderbilt was a home run. My last hitter last year was a home run when I thought I done and then, you guys think I’m out of here now and my last hitter for the Rays was a home run again.”
There is more than a month before the trade deadline. It is not often that a player speculates on the end of a tenure unless he knows it is coming.
He then was asked about the ovation from the fans as he walked off the field:
“These fans were awesome. We love them. They support us very well and if this is my last game here, thanks.”
Of course, Price’s next two starts are on the road, and Price may just be assuming that he will be dealt before the Rays return home on July 7. But these comments sure sound like a man that has been told by the front office that a deal is coming and it is coming soon.
The entire day just felt different and special.
Before the game, Price asked to wear the sky blue Sunday jersey because it matched his spikes. The wish was granted.
On the mound, Price just seemed even more focused and even more determined than usual. And then there was that walk off the mound with his head low.
For once, it really felt like the end.