As part of Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols for the 2020 season, individuals can opt out if they feel uncomfortable playing in the current conditions. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are without David Price this year for that exact reason.
Price, acquired from the Boston Red Sox in February, announced his plans to sit out on the Fourth of July. The decision was especially difficult given that he was expected to be a significant contributor in the Dodgers starting rotation.
While his presence is certainly missed in the clubhouse, Price continues to stay in touch with his teammates from afar. “It’s been tough, for sure,” he told Alanna Rizzo of watching from home during a recent Dodgers in-game broadcast.
“Just knowing my teammates are out there playing baseball right now and I’m not with them. But I’ve stayed in contact with them, we still have our group chat, we still send messages back and forth, I’m talking to guys individually.
“I just want them to know even though I’m not there, I’m still there with them. I think they know that.”
The Dodgers released a statement supporting Price in the wake of announcing he would not play this season. His teammates have been very supportive as well.
Joe Kelly understanding of Price’s decision to opt out
Joe Kelly, who was with Price during their time with the Boston Red Sox, is among the Dodgers players understanding of his decision to opt out. “It’s one of those things that, going into a season like this, I think as a player, coach or fan, you knew there was going to be players who obviously didn’t feel comfortable and would be opting out,” Kelly said.
“For me, myself, I can’t speak for everybody, but I know in the Dodgers clubhouse, everyone respects D.P.’s decision. That’s something that’s probably gone through most guy’s heads, honestly.
“For myself, knowing I have three kids — two of them are a little over two months — so a decision like that is obviously a personal one. Me knowing D.P. and where he was at, I respect D.P. for his decision.
“He’s one of my best friends. We talk to him, he still keeps in contact. His decision for him was the right decision. Throughout the league there are guys doing it. I think fans understand, obviously teammates and the front office understand that this was going to be a possibility.
“For D.P., we support him, we make him feel like he’s part of the team still. He watches all the games and text us, he was talking about the changeup I threw to Justin Turner, we talk in the team thread. He’s still part of our team. He still is engaging, rooting, supporting, talking baseball.
“That’s one of the cool things about David Price. It could be easier for someone to opt out and isolate themselves, but D.P. is a guy who cares so much about other people that he literally is the first one firing off texts the next day about the game. He’s a good human being.”
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