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Kevin Millar on MFB: MLB ‘dropped the ball in the situation with David Price’

06.06.14 at 1:20 pm ET
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MLB Network analyst and former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the state of the Sox. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Kevin Millar

Kevin Millar

Since Millar last called into the show, the big story surrounding the Red Sox has been the situation between David Ortiz and David Price in last Friday’s Red Sox-Rays game. Millar said he was surprised the situation erupted the way it did, especially given the both teams’ recent struggles entering the game, but he said he can understand the situation from both sides.

“I will say this, as much as I love Papi, and you know that I’€™m a Red Sox groupie, the moral of the story is Price said some interesting things and I think he said something that stood out,” Millar said. “Guys like Miguel Cabrera, tremendous human beings. David Ortiz, tremendous human being. At the end of the day, you are a pitcher and you have a family to feed also. So if you have a ball go inside — and this isn’t so much about David Ortiz, either … you have to back these guys off the plate at some point because they’€™re trying to get you out also.

“That pitch was on purpose, we know that. But in the big picture, to pound these guys inside, there’€™s going to be balls that get away. When Price said, ‘€˜Nobody’€™s bigger than the game,’€™ on the other side of the dugout and you’€™re not David Ortiz’€™s teammate, I can see where guys get rubbed the wrong way.”

Both benches were given warnings after Price hit Ortiz, but Price wasn’t tossed after hitting Mike Carp later on because it was ruled unintentional. Sox pitcher Brandon Workman, however, was ejected in the sixth after throwing behind Evan Longoria, and later suspended six games. Price, on the other hand, only received a fine.

Millar took issue with Major League Baseball‘s ruling.

“I think something should’ve been done league-wise,” he said. “When you suspend Workman, you have to suspend David Price. The only thing at the end of the day is you’€™re asking it to be fair. Major League Baseball, you have to be fair. I know there’€™s a fine in it, an undisclosed amount. David Price got fined, but we know the intent was to hit David Ortiz with that pitch, and once the league looks at it, he’€™s got to go for six games also. Not just Workman.

“[MLB] dropped the ball in the situation with David Price. … It’€™s a unique situation. Rarely do we see two stars going at it like they have and this is a great rivalry. It’s turned into one of the great rivalries in baseball.”

Millar doesn’t think Ortiz watching his home run against the Indians Wednesday was meant to send a message as a result.

“Let me get something straight, when he gets that lean-back type of homer like that bullet he hit in Cleveland, he’€™s a big boy,” Millar said. “When you lean back and watch it for a second, that’s OK. This guy is a bona fide home run hitter, he’€™s an ambassador for this game. Guys that hit homers, this is a show. They’re showmen, and this is showtime. So Papi’s allowed to let it go a little bit.”

Millar also discussed the Red Sox’ situation regarding Stephen Drew, who made his return to the team this week.

“They just signed this guy. They gave him $10 million. He’s a guy that’s trying to give back a little bit of magic from last year,” Millar said. “At the time, though, here goes [Xander Bogaerts] swinging the bat. [Brock Holt] is just an absolute lightning spark plug for the club. He’€™s been playing unbelievable baseball. Then Drew comes off ready to play.

“Now you’ve got a situation. … It’s not fun, especially when guys like Xander and Brock have swung the bats great up to that point. … They’€™re trying to do something, and where do you start? And I think the Stephen Drew signing now is complicated a little bit because guys are all playing well.”

Millar is especially fond of Holt, who has emerged as a reliable utility player for the Sox as of late.

“This young man, I enjoy watching him play,” he said of Holt. “He reminds me of Bill Mueller, who was on our team for a few years with the Red Sox. He’s just a gritty-type player, you can put him anywhere in the lineup, you’re not going to get hurt, he’s going to see pitches, he’s going to battle, he’s going dog fight, hit good pitching. He gives you everything you want as a baseball player.

“Is he an everyday third baseman who will hit 25 home runs? No. That’€™s not what you have him for. But you move him around, you contribute a tough at-bat. It just seems like he gets in there and puts his nose in that batter’€™s box.”

Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Kevin Millar, Middays with MFB
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