I try to sneak a nap in a couple days during the week─a necessary part of the morning radio schedule. On Thursday, I dozed off around three something in the afternoon feeling like we (Rays fans) could just skate past that trade deadline with little notice and hang on to our beloved, organizationally-grown Ace. I knew full well that next July David Price wouldn’t be a Ray. But I thought for sure he’d be with us on a playoff push and finish the season where he belongs: at the Trop. I did not expect to wake up from my snooze and read that he’d been dealt to Detroit.
Much to Rays fans’ dismay, Andrew Friedman pulled the trigger, saying “farewell” to the Cy Young Award winner. Forget about the fact that Price wins games in grand fashion, eats innings like a bag of salty chips you can’t put down, and gives the team a morale boost every start because he makes every other player’s job easier. It’s even more than that… If Joe Maddon’s themed-travel and animal and magician friends count for fifty percent of what keeps the clubhouse loose, Price’s persona is the other fifty. He’s a wide-eyed Magpie whose exuberance for the game contradicts what we’ve come to expect from many professional athletes.
How will we go on without Price? Friday night looked like we might not be able to. All that effort since mid-season was for naught…
But after a dominant pitching performance by Chris Archer on Saturday and players echoing the same sentiment─someone will step up and bring that Pricey-intangible─I’m feeling a little better about where things are headed.
And I perked up even further after reading this article in Maxim about baseball GMs and how strong business relationships yield better trades. The GMs, including Friedman, who are wheeling and dealing and making worthy trades, share a similar analytical business approach.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski was quoted as saying, “You don’t try to win a trade” (back in 2011 during his aggressive pursuit of pitcher Doug Fister). The Tigers are trying to win a championship in 2014, and Dombrowski had his sights set on Price, so much so that he called his buddy Jack Zduriencik in Seattle to see if they could help each other out. Dombrowski got the player he wanted, but could that mean that Friedman won the trade? It’s still too early to tell.
The Rays received Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin, and Willy Adames. Smyly will undoubtedly provide wins for the Rays, but fans will have to wait until at least 2017 to see if Adames is patrolling short at the Trop.
This is who we are, Rays fans. We are a small market team. No World Series championships to speak of yet. I guess until then, it’s pick your battles, and hopefully, win the trades.
Follow Roxanne on Twitter @RoxanneWilder