FORT MYERS, Fla. -- What is it like to be a central figure in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry? David Price advises you to check back with him the first week in May, at which point he'll have experienced three-game showdowns between the clubs at both Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.
"It'll be intense," Price said after Tuesday night's strong Grapefruit League outing against New York, a 6-3 Boston loss. "It's definitely going to be the biggest rivalry I've ever been a part of. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be 18, 19 games of good baseball. I'm looking forward to that."
Over four innings, Price made one mistake, a solo homer to Hicks. He allowed three hits overall and the one run while walking none and striking out six.
But there was no added adrenaline for Price against the Yanks. Not in March.
"I'm going to take the same attitude and the same mind-set when I'm out there whether I'm pitching on the back field against a high A or Double-A team or whatever it is," Price said. "I want to go out there and throw the ball the way I'm capable of throwing it. The front of that jersey or the name on the back of my jersey, that doesn't affect the way I'll throw the baseball."
A member of the Yankees since 2004, A-Rod has seen a lot of comings and goings to the rivalry.
"It was weird to seeing [Price] in Manny [Ramirez]'s old jersey," said Rodriguez of Boston's new No. 24. "That was strange. But same old David Price. I mean, he's always tough, he's always fun to face. He's very predictable -- he comes at you every time."
The Yanks have been competing against Price for a long time thanks to his stints with the Rays and Blue Jays. Now there will just be more scrutiny and buzz that surrounds the matchups going forward.
"He's hit three [teams] in the [American League] East now, right?" said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He's got outstanding stuff. He knows how to pitch, he knows how to locate. He was tough tonight. Nothing unusual."
But the Red Sox are still enjoying the novelty of having Price on their side.
"Regardless of who is in the box, when he makes his pitches, he's very good, very tough," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He has a long career of that. I think with his command he was almost in midseason form here tonight. It's good to see him go out and finish some good hitters off in pretty efficient fashion."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.