DETROIT — David Price had no idea the Tigers were trying to bring him to Detroit. All he knew was wherever he was going, there was going to be a whirlwind of activity involved and it was going to happen very quickly.
There was nothing he could do about it, no way to control the pace of the day. So he controlled what he could. Price spent Thursday morning playing some golf — yes, Justin Verlander is happy to finally have a golfing buddy — before he headed to the ballpark to work out and settle his mind. It didn't connect with him that he would ever be making more than a temporary trip to Detroit.
"I just kind of went there to get away from everything because the baseball field is where I feel most comfortable, where I can go and really get away from everything," Price said.
As Price finished a bullpen session after getting time in the gym, his agent texted him and told him he was about to be traded. Price, who, like Drew Smyly, had never been traded to another team, went home and sat on the couch with his girlfriend and dogs without the TV on. Then the news came of where he was going and his phone did a more than adequate job of letting him know.
"I didn't know Detroit was even in the running for it," Price said. "Joba (Chamberlain) texted me whenever I was playing golf that morning, and said ‘Make sure you bring your sticks.' I was like ‘We already came to Detroit ...' Then a couple hours later, I heard about it."
The focus now for Price is fitting in with his new team and becoming a solidified member of the starting rotation. Putting on the Old English D was a unique experience for Price and it hasn't completely set in yet that he's with the Tigers. "It's pretty cool to be traded to a first-place team," Price said. "It feels like I walked in the clubhouse and there was an All-Star game."
In his first interview with the media at Detroit, Price used some variation of the phrase "I just want to fit in" or "it's cool" several times in regards to meeting his new teammates, being a Detroit Tiger, and the entire adjustment in general. But he said that doesn't change the fact that his goal remains the same; pitch deep into games to give his team the best chance at the World Series.
"To get back to the World Series, that would be pretty special and then to go on and win one would be pretty crazy," Price said.
With the numerous changes in the last two days, there is one thing that Price didn't want to rush in getting to Detroit, and that's Astro, his French Bulldog. Astro is still in Tampa and will make his gradual trip to Detroit, but there's no rush as the Tigers go on the road to New York after Sunday's game against the Rockies.
There will be plenty of time for Price to meet all of his teammates and adapt to the crowds at Comerica, but for now, Price is just happy to be a Detroit Tiger. He's going to enjoy as much of it as he can, because he said when you stop enjoying the game of baseball, it becomes work and no matter how well you pitch, that's not why he plays the game.