KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rays ace David Price was not happy with the $1,000 fines Major League Baseball handed him, two teammates and umpire Tom Hallion on Thursday and wants his own form of justice:
An apology from Hallion.
Price, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore were fined for their reactions in Twitter posts to Hallion's actions during and after Sunday's game, allegedly cursing at Price as he walked off the field, then calling Price "a liar" in denying using foul language.
"Whatever happened to Hallion, I just wanted an apology," Price said. "I didn't want any money to come out of his pocket, I didn't want him to get fired or fined or suspended or anything like that. I just wanted what I thought was fair to me and the rest of this team, and that was an apology."
Price — one of the game's more popular and gregarious stars, and with 154,533 followers on his @DAVIDprice14 Twitter account — didn't think he and his teammates deserved to be disciplined and said he will not be as cooperative going forward with MLB officials.
"As many times as MLB asks us to tweet stuff for them, I find it kind if funny," Price said. "But it's fine. I'll remember this next time they ask me to do something. I don't feel like we were in the wrong; we were mistreated."
Specifically, Price was rankled at being called a liar: "I'm not a liar. I wasn't lying. And it's a little embarrassing, to be honest."
MLB introduced a social media policy last year that prohibits tweets at certain times (just before and during games) and on specific subjects. Other players have been fined, including Price previously for a tweet too close to game time. One specific is not posting content "that questions the impartiality of or otherwise denigrates a Major League umpire."
Price said he felt he was not in violation: "I didn't think I directed my tweets toward anybody; I guess they just kind of assumed."
If so, it didn't take much, as his posts included, "Someone give me the definition of a coward please," "Someone please give me the definition of accountability … " and "Think our entire dugout would ERUPT cause an ump told me to throw the ball over the plate? No, I'm sorry that wouldnt happen #accountability"
Hellickson, who was ejected from the bench for objecting to Hallion's on-field comments, regretted his tweet, which said "There's only one person lying about all this and his name starts with a T and rhymes with pom"
On Thursday, Hellickson said: "$1,000 is a lot of money, I wish I hadn't done it now."
The trio's salaries for this season: Price $10.1125 million, Moore $1 million and Hellickson $503,000.
Moore, the team's player rep, tweeted: "Unbelievable someone would mis remember so quickly. Stay in your lane. Nobody cares what you have to say. #tom"
On Thursday, he said, the $1,000 "kind of seems like a lot for a tweet" but was glad the issue was resolved.
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So was Rays manager Joe Maddon: "I just wanted to make sure that it died a quick death. It just gained way too much traction. It didn't deserve all of that."
Maddon said he hoped there was a lesson for his players in how they reacted and not to immediately post on Twitter. Also, he saw Price's position on wanting an apology: "I understand where he's coming from. Who knows, it might be forthcoming."