UPDATE: Price has apologized on Twitter for his previous tweet. I don't see that he has anything to apologize for, but the thinking behind his remarks certainly needs to be challenged.
Rays ace and reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price had a rough go of it against the Red Sox in Game of the ALDS, as he allowed seven runs in seven innings of work.
No doubt, Price was frustrated, as his team is now on the brink of elimnation against a not-entirely-beloved divisional rival. And speaking of frustration, Price apparently didn't like what he heard from TBS analysts Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci on the subject of his Saturday struggles. Here's what Price tweeted:
I didn't hear what Hayhurst and Verducci said, so I can't speak to whether their criticisms were excessive. Also, as mentioned, Price was surely -- and understandably -- in a bit of a foul mood after the day's events. There's also the fact that social media aren't exactly conducive to whatever moderating instincts one might have. So competitors get frustrated and lash out. Nothing noteworthy there.
As for Price's underlying criticisms, however, they're nonsense. Verducci, who's covered the game closely for decades, can't speak critically of a player's performance? Hayhurst, who made the majors, also can't? The implication is that only those at or above Price's standing as a ballplayer have sanction to criticize. Needless to say, that's a very short list. Price's manager Joe Maddon, who never played above A-ball, would also not have the necessary stature to say anything about his pitcher's performance, at least if Price's implied criteria are any guide.
Has Price ever seen a movie he didn't like? According to this line of thinking, his bad reviews have no standing because he's never directed a film for a major studio. Bad meal at a restaurant? Keep quiet unless you have experience as a classically trained executive chef. And so on and so on.
In order to critique player performance with credibility, one needs an understanding of the relevant measures, a history of closely scrutinizing and studying the game and a healthy grasp of context. One does not need to have been a major-league All-Star. This isn't to pick on Price, who is far from the main offender when it comes to this kind of thing and is by all accounts a highly intelligent professional. The reality, though, is that when players appeal to their own authority in such a way, it's intended to shut down any negative appraisals without addressing the merits (or demerits) of same. That's just lazy.