Dodgers: David Price didn’t want uniform number to send wrong message

David Price - Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
David Price - Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers starter David Price didn’t want to send the wrong message to fans with his uniform number.

In choosing his uniform number for the Los Angeles Dodgers, David Price was careful not to pick something that could send the wrong message to his new teammates and fans. After initially selecting number 18, he thought better of the idea.

During the Dodgers Zoom Party on Monday, Price explained that he chose not to wear 18 in case fans thought it was in reference to the 2018 World Series when the Red Sox beat the Dodgers. He didn’t want to make it appear he was rubbing the championship in anyone’s face. Price won Game 2 and the clinching Game 5 for Boston.

"“I chose 18, just because one of my favorite numbers is 8, it was close to 10, the number I was already wearing,” Price said in response to a fan’s question on Zoom. “And then I got to thinking about it, and I don’t want my teammates or Dodgers fans to think I was talking about 2018 [World Series] with this number, so I wanted to switch to something else.”"

Price ended up going with number 33 in honor of former teammate James Shields.

As major league players follow social distancing protocols, they have been forced to get creative with their workout routines during the coronavirus pandemic. For Price, that means keeping his arm strong by throwing into a sock.

"“At first playing catch into a sock,” Price said when asked how he is keeping his arm in shape. “That was what I was working with at first. Throwing a baseball into couch pillows. Stuff like that.”"

Price has since progressed to a more normal workout routine in Arizona.

The Dodgers acquired Price in the deal that brought superstar Mookie Betts to Los Angeles. While the Red Sox will pay a portion of the veteran starter’s salary, his inclusion in the deal was an added cost to the Dodgers, as the Red Sox wanted to shed salary.

The left-hander went 7-5 in 22 starts in the American League last season, with a 4.28 ERA, before requiring surgery to remove a cyst in his left wrist toward the end of the season.

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Dodgers president Andrew Friedman figured in picking up part of the tab on Price, the Dodgers also gained a third starter in the rotation with postseason experience who can replace the departed Hyun-Jin Ryu.