If the Los Angeles Dodgers have a weakness, it’s the lack of one more top quality starting pitcher.
But don’t blame them for that.
They acquired David Price along with Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in a ground-shaking mega-deal last February, remember.
The Dodgers just didn’t make a contingency plan for a pandemic or the 35-year old former Cy Young winner opting out of the season.
Price, who has already made more than $200 million in his career, announced on July 4 he would watch this shortened season from the sidelines because it was “in the best interest of my health and my family’s health.”
He added that he looked forward to representing the Dodgers in 2021.
It was a costly decision, but again, he can afford it.
Price has two years and $64 million remaining on his contact, which, with an average annual value of $32 million, currently has him tied as the eighth-highest paid player in baseball.
His 2020 pandemic and opt-out adjusted salary is approximately $5.93 million.
But enough of that.
Would the Dodgers even be headed to a Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday if they had Price to go along with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias in a rotation featuring three lefties?
Or would they already be at home polishing their championship rings.
In 2019, Price was 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA, the first time his ERA has been over four since his first full season 11 years ago.
He also struck out 128 in 107.1 innings, so he’s not exactly washed up.
A Blue Jay for part of one season (in 2015 he gave Toronto a 9-1 record with a 2.30 over 11 starts), Price also has World Series experience.
Most recently, in 2018 he was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 13.2 innings as the Red Sox prevailed over the Dodgers in five games.
But now, to pitch for the team that he helped beat the last time it reached this stage … well, it would have made a good storyline this past week.
That and the fact Tampa made him the first overall pick of the 2007 MLB Amateur draft.
Yes, Price pitched for the Rays, as a rookie reliever, the only other time they made it to Fall Classic, losing in five games to the Phillies.
He spent seven seasons in Tampa before pricing himself out of that market with a 19-6 mark in 2010 and a 20-5 record (which earned him the Cy Young award) in 2012.
“(The Rays) helped groove me and turned me into the pitcher and person I am today,” Price told USA Today before the Series began. “I’ll forever be grateful for my time in Tampa, to be part of what they started until the time I left.
“Believe me, I’ll be watching.”
You have to wonder if he’s also regretting not being a part of it.
PAYING THE PIPER
Dodgers fans are snapping up available tickets at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas — which is approximately a 21 hour drive from Los Angeles — in anticipation of their team ending its 32-year World Series drought Tuesday night. According to TickPick, a no-hidden-fees secondary ticket marketplace, the average ticket price for Game 6 is $796.04, while the Game 7 cost for a ducat is averaging out at $733.35. That’s peanuts compared to last February’s Super Bowl in Miami, where the average ticket price was $7,000 according to Stubhub’s analysis of tickets resold through their site.
OUT OF BOUNDS
As if the Arizona Coyotes weren’t already a steaming hot mess, now their first pick in the 2020 draft is under scrutiny for bullying an African American classmate with developmental disabilities. Four years ago, Mitchell Miller, a defenceman from Sylvania, Ohio, admitted to bullying Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, who was tricked into licking a candy push pop that Miller and another boy had wiped in a bathroom urinal. Miller was also accused of repeatedly hitting Meyer-Crothers, while constantly calling him a “brownie” and the “N-word.” Miller issued a letter of contrition to the Arizona Republic while refusing an interview. “He pretended to be my friend and made me do things I didn’t want to do,” Meyer-Crothers told the newspaper. “In junior high I got beat up by him. Everyone thinks he’s so cool that he gets to go to the NHL, but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life.” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong was not involved in drafting Miller but said in a statement that Arizona scouts were aware of the bullying incident. Before the draft, Miller sent a letter to all 31 NHL teams admitting his transgressions, and expressed to the Coyotes his regret after the story came out. Miller is currently with Ottawa NHL prospects at the University of North Dakota, which knew of his past before giving him a scholarship.
TAPE TO TAPE
Last week the agent for Mike Hoffman told The Athletic that a dozen teams are interested in his 30-year old client, including five or six that are serious. Today, Hoffman still remains unsigned … Two separate ProLine Point Spread bets of $5 on Sunday won yours truly $100 and $111, while I was also 11-1 straight up and 10-2 ATS. What is it the Spittin’ Chiclets guys say? Oh yeah, not a big deal … Starring in the next season of The Amazing Race: D.K. Metcalf, whose speedometer hit 22.64 mph as he tracked down Cardinal safety Budda Baker on Monday night.
It’s hard to imagine any one man has ever done as much for a professional sports league as David Braley did for the CFL. He owned the Hamilton Ticats from 1987-90, the B.C. Lions from 1997 until present day, and the Toronto Argos from 2010-2015. He was allowed to own two franchises simultaneously because he was a man of integrity — and because if he didn’t take over the Argos they might have ceased to exist. All told he won four Grey Cups, including consecutive championships with the Lions (2011) and Argos (2012). Every year, the most valuable player in the East Division is awarded the Terry Evanshen Trophy while the MVP in the West takes home the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy. The Football Reporters of Canada vote on which of the two gets presented the CFL Most Outstanding Player Award. Giving the MOP a name like the David Braley Memorial Trophy wouldn’t be a bad idea.
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