Tampa Bay Rays
Rays notes: Price getting back to work
DENVER - LHP
David Price returns to the mound tonight for the first time since his much-publicized dispute with umpire Tom Hallion, and Price can’t wait.
“Absolutely, yeah,” Price said. “It has been an awfully tough week, but that’s part of it, and I understand that. I’m looking forward to going out there and pitching (tonight).”
Price said he does not anticipate any fallout with other umpires from the incident, which began when Price said Hallion used a swear word while making an unprovoked comment to Price as he walked off the field after the seventh during a game against Chicago. Hallion called Price a liar and Price, LHP Matt Moore and RHP Jeremy Hellickson responded on Twitter, with each drawing $1,000 fines for violating MLB’s social media policy. Hallion was fined for his role.
“I don’t think umpires hold grudges,” Price said. “If something happened directly to that umpire, then maybe. I don’t know. But I don’t think so.”
Clint Fagan will work the plate tonight.
Price reiterated his stance that he feels Hallion owes him an apology.
Manager Joe Maddon said he wants Price and everyone involved to put the incident behind them.
“A lot of this stuff, as far as I’m concerned it’s over,” Maddon said. “I believe everybody involved feels the same way. I want to believe that. It is about playing right now. It’s about moving on. It’s about team, focusing on your team.”
A change of scenery INF Reid Brignac is the last member of the 2012 Rays to cross paths with his former team this week, having been traded to the Rockies at the beginning of spring training for a player to be named later.
Brignac said he was happy about the trade and enjoys his new home.
“For me it definitely was a positive thing,” Brignac said.
The one-time shortstop of the future realized during the winter that he was no longer part of their plans when they traded for SS Yunel Escobar and signed 2B/LF Kelly Johnson.
“No doubt,” Brignac said. “I could see the signs right in front of me. I’m not an idiot. I’ve been in this game long enough, and I understand the business side that goes along with just playing the game. I know if I was going to be in Rays camp it was going to be very difficult to make that team. I was really hoping (GM Andrew Friedman) would give me a chance to get with another team before spring training so I could play for that team, play for my new manager.”
Said Maddon: “Sometimes the second or third organization to get a player is the lucky organization.”
Back to Price Another reason Price is eager to get back on the mound tonight is because he gets to hit, and Coors Field is where he collected his first major league hit, in his first major league at-bat.
Price provided the details: “Against Aaron Cook. Michel Hernandez just got on base with two outs. I’m pretty sure it was in the third inning. I hit a chopper over Aaron Cook’s head. He was a sinker-baller throwing 93, 95, so it was a win in itself just putting the bat on the ball.”
Actually, Hernandez reached on a hit, and Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki had a play at second but couldn’t get the ball out of his glove.
“I think I ran like a 3.7 to first and they gave me a knock,” Price said. “I was hitting 1.000. I should have retired then.”
Friends of Price’s parents were in the stands and later sent Price a mug with photos of him in the batter’s box, standing on first base and the scoreboard before Price’s next at-bat showing that 1.000 batting average. Price doesn’t remember their names, but he does know it was at their house where he took his first steps as a toddler.
“They were pretty influential in my life,” Price said.
Noteworthy DH/1B Shelley Duncan cleared waivers, was assigned to Durham and accepted the assignment. … On Thursday, the Kansas City area experienced its first measurable springtime snow fall since May 3, 1907. … A makeup date has not been set for Thursday’s game.