David Price loves the relaxed media atmosphere in L.A.: 'Such a big difference from Boston to here'

David Price enjoying the Dodgers.
David Price is all smiles since joining the Dodgers. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

It’s no secret Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price had a contentious relationship with the media in Boston. Price had a few run-ins with broadcasters and media members during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox.

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Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Price is finding things a bit easier in Los Angeles. In fact, Price noticed the Dodgers’ relaxed media presence the first day he showed up at the team’s camp, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

“That was a big day for me, a very big day,’’ Price says, recounting the details. “I came in, got undressed, showered, came back to my locker, and stood there for 10 or 15 minutes. There were maybe two or three [reporters] hanging out, talking to other guys, and nobody came over to talk to me about my day. I couldn’t believe it.

“It was like after me and Mookie had our introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium, we walk off the field when it was all done, and Mookie says, ‘That’s it? Is this a joke?’”

Price, 34, added that he’s only been with the Dodgers for a few weeks, but he “couldn’t be happier.”

Price clashed with the media in Boston

He wouldn’t have said that with the Red Sox. Price seemed to draw the ire of Red Sox fans immediately, posting a 3.99 ERA in his first season with the team. A number of columns were written criticizing Price’s performance at the time. The Red Sox spent $217 million on Price, and fans — and some media members — believed the team should have gotten better production.

The following season, Price got into it with Red Sox broadcaster — and Hall of Fame pitcher — Dennis Eckersley in front of the entire team. Eckersley was critical of one of Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab stats on a broadcast, causing Price to berate Eckersley on the team plane. The rift between Eckersley and Price apparently continued throughout Price’s tenure with the club.

Later that season, Price refused to speak to the media outside of the days he took the mound. Price got into it with a few media members who questioned that strategy.

Price has support from his Dodgers teammates

While Price was sometimes painted as a jerk in Boston, his new Dodgers’ teammates don’t see it that way. Both Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner spoke glowingly about Price joining the team. Turner said he felt Price “got a bad rep from the media in Boston.”

New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman also defended Price, calling Price “the best teammate I ever had.” Price and Stroman briefly overlapped with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Will Price’s happiness lead to success with Dodgers?

Price’s happiness is great and all, but how will it impact his new team? That’s impossible to know. Perhaps Price will pitch better because he’s happier with the Dodgers, but that’s not really something that can be measured. If Price is better in 2020, it could be due to a number of things, including his new park, new teammates, a different approach or knowledge he gained from his new organization.

Still, it can’t hurt, right? Price being happy beats the alternative. And as long as the Dodgers are as good as everyone expects, Price should be able to keep that smile on his face all season.

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