I cast thee OUT, demons!
(Chris O'Meara, AP)
Last night, former Vanderbilt star turned Tampa Bay Ray David Price became the third-youngest player in baseball history to save a deciding Game Seven in the League Championship Series. Price retired one batter in the eighth, then finished off the Boston Red Sox in the final frame to secure a World Series trip for the Rays.
Obscure stats are usually meant to highlight an unworthy achievement. Not here. Simply put, most 23-year-olds aren't built to handle ninth-inning, post-season pressure. Especially considering Price's last foray into highly leveraged relief pitching.
Last year, as a junior, Price gave up the game-winning home run that eliminated the No. 1 ranked and highly favored Commodores from the NCAA tournament. Despite knowing full well that he was days away from becoming the top pick in the MLB draft, Price was so distraught about how his college career ended he left the locker room before talking to reporters.
Flash-forward 16 months. Price has not only redeemed himself, he's done so on the largest stage imaginable.
Baseball is fickle. A squib here, a seeing-eye single there, and Price could've been the goat rather than the Anointed One. So while his glorified status remains intact, let's raise a toast to Murfreesboro's Price, a hero in the eyes of Rays' fans and Masshole-haters everywhere. At least for today.