More details have emerged from the David Price-Dennis Eckersley confrontation that took place late last month.
According to the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, the conflict between Price and the Hall of Fame pitcher and NESN analyst followed a critical remark Eckersley made regarding Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez. When stats from a rough Rodriguez rehab start flashed on the TV broadcast, Eckersley said “yuck.”
On the day of the episode, Price was standing near the middle of the team aircraft, surrounded by fellow players, waiting for Eckersley. When Eckersley approached, on his way to the back of the plane (Sox broadcasters traditionally sit in the rear of the aircraft), a grandstanding Price stood in front of Eckersley and shouted, “Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!’’
When a stunned Eckersley tried to speak, Price shot back with, “Get the [expletive] out of here!’’
– Boston Globe
This wasn’t the first time that Eckersley, a veteran of 24 MLB seasons, has been involved in a confrontation with a Red Sox player. Shaughnessy reports that Jackie Bradley Jr. took a photo standing and smiling with Eckersley two years ago. Once on the team plane, Bradley Jr. tweeted the picture to his followers with a memorable caption.
The confrontation between Price and Eckersley took place on a team flight to Toronto following a June 29 game with the Minnesota Twins. Shaughnessy reports that Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy, “handled (the matter) internally in Toronto.” There hasn’t been an apology to Eckersley from Price or Boston manager John Farrell, according to the Globe.
“I stand up for my teammates,” Price told Shaughnessy. “Whatever crap I catch for that, I’m fine with it.”
This doesn’t sit well with Blue Jays scout Jim Beattie, a former World Series champion with the New York Yankees in 1978 and former GM of the Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles.
“If I was a ballplayer and got criticized by Dennis Eckersley, I think I’d go back to the hotel and look in the mirror,” Beattie told Shaughnessy.
The Red Sox lead the American League East by 2.5 games with a 55-45 record and look poised to make a post-season run. Price sports a 3.82 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks over 11 starts this season. He’s in year two of a seven-year. $217-million deal he signed with Boston in December 2015.