It’s been almost a month since the infamous Eckersley-Price showdown was first reported. No specific details of the confrontation were reported, and the Red Sox sure wish it had stayed that way.
Dan Shaughnessy, of the Boston Globe, reported it all with impeccable detail, and it was ugly. Really ugly. Check out the column here, if you have not yet.
For those who prefer to just read the summary, here’s one:
NESN color analyst, Dennis Eckersley, has a reputation as a ‘call it as it is’ type of broadcaster. He rarely sugarcoats the truth, and when he criticizes the Red Sox, it often carries weight, since he is in the hall of fame.
During the Red Sox broadcast on June 29, a graphic of Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab pitching line drew a ‘Yuck’ comment from Eck.
While boarding a plane heading to Toronto from Boston that evening, Eckersley was heading towards the back of the team charter, where NESN and WEEI broadcasters sit on the plane.
David Price, along with other teammates, were waiting in the middle of the plane for Eck. As Eckersley approached the group of players on his way to the back of the plane, Price exclaimed, “Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!”
Eck was stunned and before he was able to speak, Price shouted at him, “Get the [expletive] out of here!” Many players applauded Price’s verbal attack on the hall of famer.
For good measure, as Eck made his way to the front of the plane, where Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombowski was seated, Price again went at Eckersley as he passed the players, “Get the [expletive] out of here!”
Ugly, ugly look for the Boston Red Sox. Even worse, manager John Farrell made an appearance on WEEI show, Dale & Holley, Tuesday afternoon and confirmed that he has not issued an apology to Eckersley, nor has Price.
Perhaps an ‘us against the world’ mentality can group this young team together, but this incident should make fans question this team’s makeup.
Can they win in the postseason, under the pressure of the October night lights? If a simple incident such as Eckersley (rightfully) saying ‘Yuck’ to a subpar rehab outing by E-Rod can cause such a rift between the media and players, what will happen if the Red Sox face an elimination game in the playoffs?
If they approach it with this whiney attitude, this team will surely crumble. This is a time when the Red Sox could use a vocal and just leader in the locker room, formerly filled by the now-retired David Ortiz.
Ortiz had his differences with the media, but he never confronted a media member in such a cowardly manner. He would confront them during media sessions and say his piece in front of the many media members in front of him. Out in the open.
Thus far, the fact that neither Farrell or Price, especially Farrell, has not apologized to Eck, makes matters worse. Farrell is known as a clubhouse manager, rather than an in-game manager, but this season, it has been the opposite.
This is the third time this season there has been an incident that has shined a bad light on the Red Sox, the Pedroia and Pomeranz incidents before this one, and if Farrell can not hold his team accountable, the issues will only grow worse.