On Saturday, the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich published an article entitled “David Price pitching with chip on shoulder.” The piece documents how Price has successfully turned his season around in the face of negativity. Following its publication, we reached out to the chip on Price’s shoulder, which reluctantly agreed to to an interview. The unedited transcript of the interview is below.
BRYAN JOINER, BP BOSTON: Chip, thanks for talking to me.
KEVIN, A METAPHORICAL CHIP: [deep, angry exhale] My name is Kevin.
BJ: I’m sorry, I didn’t know metaphorical chips had names.
K: It’s called the internet, dude. Use it.
BJ: Excuse me?
K: Nah. Go on. Ask a real question.
BJ: I’m sorry, is there something wrong?
K: [even deeper exhale, followed by an uncomfortably long pause]
K: … fine, let’s do this.
BJ: Okay though before we start, did I do something to piss you off?
K: You shouldn’t have done my boy Evan like that.
BJ: Excuse me?
K: You know what I’m talking about. “He’ll pitch better, but he doesn’t have to.” Taking some words out of context and making a column out of them. Even worse, saying Dave didn’t have to pitch better. That was dumb, even for you.
BJ: I can’t disagree with you there. It was a cheap shot.
K: Say you’re sorry.
BJ: I’m so– wait. Why am I apologizing to you? Can we just do the interview?
K: Not until you say you’re sorry.
BJ: You’re a metaphorical chip. You don’t even exist.
K: Then how are you talking to me?
BJ: I’m making this up as I go along.
K: Just as long as the audience realizes that, we’re good.
BJ: I don’t get it.
K: That you’re an amateur, and you need to do better.
BJ: Again, I don’t disagree. I–
K: Those double negatives are killing me, dude.
BJ: Oh. I’m sorry.
K: Jesus dude STOP APOLOGIZING. How are you going to get better if you keep saying you’re sorry?
BJ: You just said–
K: Dude, I’m messing you with.
BJ: [palpably relieved] Really?
K: No, not really. I do think some of your columns are good, though.
BJ: Then what is this about?
K: Better than other columns that get better traffic, even.
BJ: Thanks, I think?
K: You see what that gets you? It gets you nothing! It doesn’t matter if your performance doesn’t speak for itself.
BJ: Oh I see what’s going on.
K: Aha! You should! You’re the one who has (repeatedly) pointed out that David Price’s DRA has been far below his ERA for most of the year, and that he was bound to get better. In fact, one might go so far as to say that the DRA/ERA comparison is often the only card you have to play!
BJ: Fine! You win! It is! But it’s also Baseball Prospectus’s signature stat… and this is a Baseball Prospectus site. And now it loves Price more than ever! His DRA is 2.88, better than, among others, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Madison Bumgarner.
K: And it’s getting lower.
BJ: And it’s getting lower! So it was right! He was bound to pitch better.
K: But he wasn’t great.
BJ: Yeah, well, he is now.
K: He sure is. You know how he got that way?
BJ: Hit me.
K: BY LISTENING TO ME, GENIUS.
K: I told him to improve, every day. No matter how good he thought he was doing, I told him he had to do better. And so he did.
BJ: That… that makes sense.
K: You can always do better. That’s both the editorial “we” and you in particular. Your columns could be so much more than riffs off DRA that flail in any old direction in order to throw people off the scent.
BJ: I was hoping this interview would be something like that.
K: Well, yeah, no. You failed. You need a chip on your own shoulder. Maybe then you’d understand.
BJ: Who says I don’t have one?
K: Don’t push it.
BJ: Fine. You win. Maybe I could do better.
K: *That’s* what I want to hear.
BJ: I’m starting to see how this works.
K: No time like the present.
BJ: I think you really turned me around.
K: That’s the spirit. That’s it. Let’s come full-circle. Ask me a question.
BJ: About David Price?
K: About anything! Let’s see that big brain in action.
BJ: Okay: F***/marry/kill: potato chip, pita chip, tortilla chip.
K: F*** you. [hangs up]
BJ: That’ll do, Kevin. That’ll do.
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