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MLB's Best and Worst, Through the Eyes of All-Star David Price

Luke Strickland@LSTRICK21Contributor IIIJuly 15, 2015

David Price is partnering with RBI Baseball and Head & Shoulders to raise money for inner city baseball programs.
David Price is partnering with RBI Baseball and Head & Shoulders to raise money for inner city baseball programs.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

David Price. Five-time MLB All-Star. Cy Young winner. Strikeout champion. ERA champion. 

Baseball fans across the country are aware of Price's accomplishments thus far in his career. But Price's biggest contribution to America's pastime is his work with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI Baseball). 

Price and RBI Baseball have partnered with Head & Shoulders in its third year of the "Season of the #Whiff" campaign. Head & Shoulders has once again committed to a $1 donation for every "whiff" across MLB throughout the 2015 regular season. 

Bleacher Report caught up with Price before the All-Star Game to discuss his affiliation with RBI Baseball and why it's important to him. We also grilled the hard-throwing lefty on a number of fun topics to get his opinion on the best and worst of MLB. 

Bleacher Report: You are starting a team. Who are the top five players in baseball right now that you would choose first?

David Price: Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt. We don't need pitchers. Those guys are going to hit enough. 

BR: Who is the best pitcher in baseball not named David Price?

DP: Right now, I have to go with Zack Greinke. I mean the way that he's throwing the baseball in the first half, to have under a 1.50 ERA is pretty insane. If he goes nine innings, gets 27 outs and gives up two runs, his ERA goes up. That's pretty insane. 

BR: Who is the best hitter in baseball?

DP: Hands down, by far, not a close second: Miguel Cabrera.

David Price holds teammate Miguel Cabrera in high regard.
David Price holds teammate Miguel Cabrera in high regard.Duane Burleson/Associated Press

BR: Who is the most under-the-radar tough out in MLB?

DP: I think maybe a guy like Brian Dozier. I think he's an extremely tough out. If you make a mistake, he's going to hit the ball out of the park. Even if you make your pitch, he has a chance to hit the ball out of the park. It's tough when you see guys like that hitting in the leadoff spot. It really makes you have to lock in from pitch one. I'm not sure if Brian Dozier is underrated or whatever it is, but I feel like Brian Dozier is a name maybe not everybody knows but they definitely should.

BR: Who is the funniest person you've come across during your career?

DP: That's tough. I'll go with a teammate now. Al Alburquerque is one of the funnier people that I've been around in baseball. He's funny because he doesn't try to be funny. That's the same way as Alex Cobb. He's an absolute hoot to be around. With the stuff he says it's like "did you really just say that?" But he always means well and he's a fun guy to be around.

BR: Who is the best teammate you've ever played with?

DP: The best teammate that's always going to have your back, for me that was Jonny Gomes. I've had a ton of really good teammates—Evan Longoria is a really good teammate, as is Miguel Cabrera. But Jonny Gomes, that's what he's known for, and it's not an act. That's him and that's who he is as a person. He doesn't just do that at the big league level, because we were in Triple-A for a while together. He was the exact same way then. Every team needs a guy like that, and Jonny Gomes is a very good one.

Price said he's had plenty of fine teammates but Jonny Gomes is at the top of that list.
Price said he's had plenty of fine teammates but Jonny Gomes is at the top of that list.Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

BR: What is your least favorite rule that you would consider changing?

DP: The All-Star Game determining home-field advantage for the World Series. I wouldn't have that.

BR: Other than Comerica Park, what is your favorite ballpark?

DP: In the American League for sure, it's got to be the Twins stadium (Target Field). I love the Twins stadium. It's kind of 1A and 1B with the Twins and 1B being Safeco Field and the Mariners. Those two fields to me are the best. And then Pittsburgh in the NL as well. I haven't been to a bunch of the NL parks, but Pittsburgh's stadium (PNC Park) is awesome as well. 

BR: On the other side of the coin, what's your least favorite ballpark?

DP: I love pitching in Boston, but it's probably my least favorite stadium to go to. I love the atmosphere and I love pitching there, but it's solely because of the dugout and the locker room. I love being on the field in Boston, but I hate being in the dugout and the locker room. 

David Price: Career Stadium Splits
StadiumGamesERAK/9Average Against
Yankee Stadium133.528.4.245
Fenway Park111.957.3.186
Target Field82.938.1.221
U.S. Cellular Field74.308.2.274
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=priceda01&year=Career&t=p

BR: What is your least favorite mound to pitch on in the big leagues?

DP: It's not because of the mound, but I guess it's the backdrop and because I feel forever away from home plate, but Yankee Stadium. That backdrop just doesn't make me feel good or comfortable. It makes me feel 65'6" away from home plate, which is never a good feeling when you're facing professional hitters that have a fence 306 feet away from them.

BR: Who are the meanest fans you've come across during your big league career? 

DP: Definitely Boston as well. And then White Sox fans. I never really experienced it the way that I did in my last start there. It might have rattled me, because it was the worst bullpen I had ever thrown pregame. But I was able to go out there and record 27 outs and get a win. So that was a very special game for me. The stuff that I had heard when I was warming up in the bullpen in Chicago that day I could not believe. If there wasn't a fence in between us they wouldn't have said it. It blows me away how people can say some of the stuff that they say without even knowing the other person. 

BR: In your opinion, what are the best and worst baseball movies of all time?

DP: I would have to say my favorite is The Sandlot. I like Angels in the Outfield too, but I like The Sandlot the most. I wasn't a huge fan of Bull Durham I guess. It's not like my least favorite, but if it was on right now I wouldn't watch it. 

BR: Who is your favorite umpire?

DP: Whoever calls balls and strikes the way I like it. The umpire that I like the most is the one that's consistent.

BR: Which MLB cities have the best and worst nightlife? 

DP: The best would probably be Chicago. A lot of those restaurants stay open late. The worst I would have to say is Kansas City. Whenever you get back to the hotel, everything that's around where we stay is already closed. There's not really any chance to get food that you can find open late other than fast food. There's really not any fast-food restaurants around, either. I really like the area, but you just can't find food late.

BR: How did you start playing baseball when you were younger?

DP: My parents always told stories that when I was two years old that I had my little bat and ball and I would go outside and I'd throw it up, hit it over the fence and go get it and throw it back over. My mom and dad said I used to do that all day long. I grew up watching the Atlanta Braves play. That's something my family and I would do every single night. While we ate dinner, we would watch the Braves game. That was our family time. I fell in love with it at a very early age, and that passion has stuck with me. 

BR: RBI Baseball and Head & Shoulders are working together to raise money for inner-city baseball programs. What part are you and the rest of the pitchers in baseball playing in that partnership?

DP: With the "Season of the #Whiff" they are going to donate $1 for every strikeout throughout the regular season. I'm not sure how many strikeouts there have been, but I feel like there's been quite a bit with (Chris) Sale and (Corey) Kluber and (Clayton) Kershaw and guys like that having very high strikeout totals this year. That's good to see.

BR: You are a big advocate for RBI Baseball. Why is that organization so important to you?

DP: To be involved with RBI Baseball is something that you have to want to be a part of. We just had the Jackie Robinson West Little League team come to Comerica probably about a month ago. I sat down with those guys and talked to them and let them ask me questions and stuff like that. It was great to see those guys. It's always a question I get asked every single year: "What can we do to help the African-American population go up in baseball?" I never have an answer for it because I don't know what the right answer is. But it's headed in the right direction doing something like this, and I'm very happy to be a part of it. 

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