ST. PETERSBURG — As much as David Price enjoyed coming back to Tropicana Field to see his former teammates and good buddies, he isn't really excited about pitching against the Rays today.
"I'm not looking forward to it," he said. "Pitching against friends is always the worst."
As it turns out, the Rays aren't too keen on facing him, either, three weeks to the day since Price's trade to Detroit.
"A) Because he's good," Evan Longoria said, "and B) because it's one of those weird situations" in that Price is returning so soon after playing with the Rays for so long.
"It'll be interesting," Longoria said. "I'm sure I'll have mixed emotions."
Price and the Rays' hitters have intimate knowledge of each other from their time together.
Manager Joe Maddon said Price, like any pitcher in this type of situation, should have the advantage because he forces the action but emotions should be a bigger issue for Price.
"It will be very awkward for him to be in that clubhouse and pitching against us," Maddon said.
Alex Cobb, who text messages almost daily with Price, said sharing the mound with him today will be "weird" but "it's going to be more weird for him, I think, facing his old buddies."
Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer