David Price :: J. Meric/Getty Images
SI.com: Why has your dog Astro become such a superstar?
Price: His personality is just so outgoing, and whenever I take him places, everybody always wants to talk to him and pet him. He loves the attention. People just flock to Astro.
SI.com: Did you ever expect Astro to get this popular?
Price: Not a chance. Tons of guys have dogs and put pictures of them on Twitter and Instagram. But he has a sense of the spotlight and when it’s his chance to shine he does well.
SI.com: September was a time of rookie hazing. Do you remember what you had to dress up as during your rookie season?
Price: I wore five-inch heels, blonde curly wig with a pink dress, panty hose and really big boobs. I think the heels messed up my foot that year. That was the last season of the old Yankee Stadium and the media saw us come through the tunnel and by the time we landed in Toronto, I was on the front of USA Today.
SI.com: We have a lot of fun in Hot Clicks with bizarre injuries. You suffered one of the more memorable ones when you hurt your neck toweling off after a shower. Do you have extra sympathy for athletes who suffer bizarre injuries because of that?
Price: Absolutely, because I know weird things can happen. And that was actually the second time that happened to me. It happened a year prior, but it happened the day after I pitched, so I just took two days off and I was fine. But with the last injury, I had just gotten a fresh haircut, so my hair is short when I get a haircut and I just pulled the towel and it grabbed the back of my hair and yanked my head forward and I felt a pinch in the back. Actually, our trainer did the same thing to his head this spring training.
SI.com: Are you more careful when toweling off now?
Price: Honestly, I am, especially if I just got a fresh haircut. I’m definitely more careful when I towel off because my short hair tends to grab the towel and I don’t want any more neck injuries.
SI.com: How do you handle nasty people on Twitter?
Price: I don’t get a whole lot of bad stuff. When I do, I let it be known that I have no problem blocking anybody. If my mom had a Twitter and was tweeting me bad stuff, she would be blocked. I wish I could see how many people I have blocked on Twitter. I feel that I’m an extremely positive person, I want to be around positive people, I want to read positive stuff. So if you have anything negative to say, you’re not going to include my name in it because I’m just going to block you.
SI.com: This season the Rays had their lowest attendance since 2007. Does this still bother you or are you use to it?
Price: We’ve dealt with this ever since I’ve been here. We’ve come to an understanding that for mid-week games, we’re not going to have a good drawing. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, concert days, when the Yankees are in town, Boston is in town, we’re gonna draw well for those games. But when we have the midweek Kansas City or midweek Cleveland, anything like that, we’re not gonna draw good and we’ve grown to understand that. We still talk about it a little bit in the dugout. If we start at 3 o’clock, we’ll say, “Oh, the fans must have thought we started at 5 today.” We joke about it.
SI.com: You caused a minor stir in New York earlier this season when you said you'd never play for the Yankees because they have a no-facial hair policy. Where do you stand on that issue today?
Price: I love my beard. It’s a part of me. I wasn’t allowed to have too much facial hair in college and I really didn’t start growing it until my junior year and it’s been on my face since then. It is a part of me and that’s where I stand with that.
SI.com: 5 Gum recently gave you your own gum machine. Is that as cool as it sounds?
Price: It was unbelievable. I really didn’t know what to expect. It blew me away. I’ll put it in my game room eventually, but as of now, I’m gonna keep it in the locker room, right beside my locker. The screen is an iPad and there are pictures of my dog on it. It’s one of the cooler gifts I’ve received.
SI.com: What else is in your game room?
: In my game room, I have two comfy bean bag chairs, a 70-inch TV, my Xbox, my Playstation.