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David Price is limiting his interactions with the Boston media


In a column for the Boston Globe, Dan Shaughnessy of all people tries to talk some sense into Red Sox fans when it comes to David Price. As has been discussed frequently here and elsewhere, Price’s relationship with the Boston media and Red Sox fans has been tumultuous since signing a seven-year, $217 million contract in December 2015. Price pitched decently last season, putting up a 3.99 ERA in 35 starts while leading the majors with 230 innings, but he wasn’t the same pitcher who finished as a runner up in 2015 AL Cy Young balloting. He also lost his only playoff start, lasting only 3 1/3 innings in his team’s loss in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Indians.

Shaughnessy spoke to Price in the dugout before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees. He was asked how he liked playing in Boston, and Price deflected, talking about his teammates. Shaughnessy then asked Price if he’s more cautious since coming to Boston. The lefty responded:

I’m not cautious. I’m the same me. I don’t talk to the media every day like I did last year and I guess I get blown up for that. But I was honest with everything they asked me last year and I get blown up for that. So they did this to themselves. Talk to me on the day I pitch and that’s it. There are no more personal interviews. There are no more asking me questions on a personal level. That’s done.

The media is not a monolith, but as a general trend, the media has tended to portray players negatively when they aren’t granted full access. Writers, feeling bitter about their jobs being made marginally more difficult, characterize these players as arrogant and aloof. As a result, fans reading those columns start to believe those characterizations and suddenly that player’s time in that city is made more difficult. Players that do make time for the media are portrayed as good people and positive influences on the team.

Boston is not the only city in which the media has acted this way in the past; any team in a city with a heavy media presence has experienced this. But it has certainly happened in Boston before and it would be a shame if Price were to suffer consequences from the media for prioritizing his mental health and focus. Sadly, Price was stuck between a rock and a hard place: put up with unfair criticisms of his performance and contract, or put up with unfair criticism of his unwillingness to speak to reporters. It feels weird to write this sentence, but: Kudos to Shaughnessy for being the voice of reason.

Giants fans will have to pay a surcharge to park at Athletics games

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Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.

This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.

Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.