ST. PETERSBURG — Before Monday's Game 3 of the American League Division Series, LHP David Price addressed his post-Game 2 Twitter rant aimed at a pair of TBS analysts and his dig at Red Sox DH David Ortiz, apologizing profusely for both.
“I'd like to start this by sending a deep apology to everyone that has been affected throughout my actions after the game against Boston,” Price said. “That is not the way anybody should handle themselves at any time, especially myself should handle something of that nature. I'm a person that I feel takes pride in character and that was probably the exact opposite of that. I hurt a lot of people. I embarrassed myself, I embarrassed my family, I embarrassed this organization. And it's not good, it's not good for baseball, it's not good for our team, especially at a time right now, and I'm deeply sorry.”
Price was upset with comments made by former major-league pitcher Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci after he allowed seven runs in a 7-4 loss that put the Rays in a 2-0 hole in this best-of-five series.
Price, who said he will continue to tweet, said he let his emotions get the best of him, referring to it as “emotional overflow.” He said the attention his tweets received and the subsequent fallout put a “dark spot” on baseball at a time when the focus should be on the playoffs.
Also, he felt he damaged his reputation.
“I understand that baseball has made me really into the person that I am today,” he said. “I do feel like I'm a good person. With the things that I said after the game Saturday, I know a lot of people probably have changed their views on how they viewed me. That probably is what hurt the most.”
As for Ortiz, Price was upset that he stood at home plate and watched his second home run during Saturday's game sail into the right-field stands. Price said Ortiz knew the ball was fair and should “run.”
On Sunday, Price called Ortiz to apologize.
Price said he has tremendous respect for Ortiz, and said Ortiz has spent time with Price's nephew and parents during games at Tropicana Field.
“That was an extremely poor decision on my part and it stinks,” Price said.
3B Evan Longoria was one of a handful of players who showed up Sunday for the Rays' optional workout and spoke with the media about the club's predicament.
Manager Joe Maddon said that's just another sign of Longoria's leadership within the clubhouse.
“Leadership is taken, it's not given,” Maddon said. “With him he understands his role within the organization and within the game. I've spoken about that the last couple of years, so it doesn't surprise me that he understands the moment that I need to be here. Most of the guys aren't but I need to be there and talk on their behalf.”
Maddon said that actually helps the rest of the Rays.
“When one or two guys take the brunt of that at this time of the year, it helps the rest of them chill a little more,” he said.
What a team
Julianna Zobrist earned a hug and kiss from her husband, Ben, after singing the national anthem before Monday's game.
The last time Julianna performed the anthem before a Rays game, Ben finished it with a two-run walk-off homer to beat the Rangers. That was Sept. 7, 2012.
“So awesome” Julianna said. “The few times I've gotten to sing the anthem before, the anthem in and of itself is powerful enough but to have my husband out there and to sing it and here all these voices was just phenomenal. I'm really blessed.”
RF Wil Myers left Game 3 in the top of the eighth because of cramping in both legs. ... DH Matt Joyce, 6-for-22 for his career against Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, started Monday over Delmon Young, who was 1-for-9 against Buchholz. … Rays senior adviser Dick Crippen, whose broadcasting career in Tampa Bay spanned 49 years, threw out the first pitch. ... Monday was the Rays' first home game in exactly two weeks. … Game 2 drew a 12.2 TV rating with 222,000 homes watching in the Tampa Bay region. Game 1 peaked at a 10.7 rating and was seen in 195,000 homes.