Price: No offense to Yankees
Yes, David Price loves his beard.
But not enough to offend the Yankees.
After being quoted in a foxsports.com piece saying he wouldn't want to play for the Yankees due to their no-facial hair policy, Price on Thursday had to face several questions about his comments.
"I said it. It probably wasn't the best thing to say, but I didn't mean anything by it,'' he said. "I wasn't looking to offend the Yankees. It's probably the best organization in all of sports. Not just baseball, but all of sports. I didn't mean anything (against) the New York Yankees. I've had friends on that team for multiple years.''
Though there is speculation the Rays could trade Price as soon as this season due to long-term financial concerns, he won't be eligible for free agency until 2016, so obviously it's premature to think about where he would or wouldn't sign.
"I can't rule out anybody because, obviously, what they do for the game of baseball is just tremendous,'' he said.
And, no, he didn't mean he would never want to play for the Yankees, though he didn't think it came across that way until he saw some of the Twitter reaction.
"I did that interview three days ago. I didn't think about it the whole next day. I came here the next day and did all my stuff and nobody asked me about it. Then I'm riding home and I checked Twitter and I was just like, "Whoa.' '' Price said.
"Look, I understand it. I really do. But I wasn't thinking that way when I said it. It wasn't about that. I was referring to the way we do things here. I really don't think that anybody does the things that we do here the way that we do it. That's what I was talking about and that's what the story was.''
And the one thing he is certain of is how much he likes playing for Joe Maddon and the Rays.
"I was talking about Joe. I was talking about the way we do everything over here. How he lets us be comfortable in our own skin. And that's what I was referring to,'' he said.
I love it here. Everybody loves it. I love everything from the trainers to the food guys to the clubbies. It's just unique. ... It's not about going to a powerhouse, it's about being comfortable where you play. That's not a slap in the face to the New York Yankees. It's about me.''
Price joked that he loves his beard - "at least another year.''
But as for 2016?
"That's three years from now. My hair might fall out!"'
Times staff writer Tom Jones contributed to this report.