David Price remembers what got him here, so he always packs extra socks.
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner had a busy offseason, full of events that took place in venues from the east to west coasts. At times, the traveling made it difficult for him to keep up with his throwing regimen. No problem. He would simply go to his suitcase and grab a clean sock. With a baseball in his hand, he would place the sock over his left arm and proceed to throw into it. Pitchers call this drill "sock throws," and they can perform it anywhere -- holding the ball, winding up and firing over and over again.
"I just had to adjust to what I was doing," said Price about his offseason. "It's hard to throw in New York in a hotel when it's 25 degrees outside. I just had a ball and a sock and did sock throws. That's what I've learned from this organization. Something I did a lot more during this offseason. I feel like it has benefitted me. Because I feel better than I have in Spring Trainings in the past."
Price had a dominating 2012 season, posting a 20-5 mark with a 2.56 ERA in 31 starts. Don't expect anything less from the 27-year-old southpaw this season. He's way too competitive to rest on his laurels. He wants to be the best, as always, in everything he does.
"I know that he's very motivated," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's a very humble guy. When it comes down to it, he is probably very motivated to do it again."
For all of his success, Price has remained grounded. Those who have known him a long time might describe him as being anything from a "goof ball" to a "14-year-old in a 27-year-old's body," unless he's on the mound.
Read more: David Price aims to repeat success of last year, lead Rays staff | MLB.com: News