"David, as all of you know, has made us very proud, as have the Rays," Buckhorn said in his remarks introducing the star pitcher at an event held at City Hall Plaza in Downtown Tampa. "We take great pride in David's award this year. He is a good guy, I mean he is really, really a good guy. There's nothing pretentious about him. He's been blessed. He's an amazing athlete. He's an amazing ballplayer, but he's also most importantly an amazing human being."
With at least 60 people in attendance watching the ceremony — including City Council members Mary Mulhern, Harry Cohen and Lisa Montelione — Buckhorn offered the key not only to Price, but also to his French Bulldog Astro, who Buckhorn and Price mentioned almost as much as they mentioned Cy Young.
"You guys didn't have to do this. I'm a small piece to a big puzzle and that's the rest of my teammates," Price said humbly. "This is a blessing ... I never did anything like this back home, to come here and have the recognition that you all give me, it's a blessing." The star player added that his dog Astro "loves it."
CL asked Price if he was surprised that it was Tampa, and not St. Petersburg, that offered him a "David Price Day." Price said, "St. Pete loves me as well. This is just something that Tampa thought to do, and they did it." When asked if he had any thoughts about a new park, he said he hadn't heard anything on the Internet. "I just play baseball. Whatever happens, happens," he said.
In his short professional career, the 27-year-old pitcher has won a number of honors and awards, including: being named three times to the All-Star Game, where he was the starter in 2012; the MLB Players Choice for Pitcher of the year in 2010 and 2012; and of course, the Cy Young this year for his stellar 20-5 season, including a 2.56 ERA, the lowest in the AL.
However there is considerable attention that he may not be a Ray for much longer. Over the weekend, Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times wrote that Price may price himself out of the Tampa Bay market when it comes time for his next, and probably last, chance at a major payday.
Price has been the ace of the Rays' pitching staff, a pitching staff that got a bit thinner after the major trade on Sunday when the team traded pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City for a number of top prospects. When asked his reaction, Price spoke highly of Davis, in particular.
"It's part of the business, that's what goes on. Nobody can stay on the same team forever. It's tough, but we're looking forward to meeting these new guys," he said.