July 24, 2017

Shaughnessy Reports On The Price-Eckersley Incident

I usually do not link to anything written by the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy, but I'm making an exception today. On Sunday, the CHB wrote about the confrontation between David Price and NESN's Dennis Eckersley back on June 29:
While in California, I spoke with six people who witnessed the Price-Eckersley incident and another handful of folks close to the situation. Few would agree to be quoted — Eckersley and Price would not comment — but here's the narrative of what went down ...

At Fenway, there has been clubhouse disgruntlement about Eckersley's style for some time.

For Price, the tipping point came when he learned Eckersley said "Yuck" when Eduardo Rodriguez's poor stats were flashed on the NESN screen after a rehab start in Pawtucket June 29.

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!"

Many players applauded.

Eckersley made his way to the back of the plane as players in the middle of the plane started their card games. In the middle of the short flight, Eckersley got up and walked toward the front where Sox boss Dave Dombrowski was seated. When Eckersley passed through the card-playing section in the middle, Price went at him again, shouting, "Get the [expletive] out of here!"

When Price was asked about it the next day, he said only, "Some people just don't understand how hard this game is."

After his next start, Price said, "I stand up for my teammates. Whatever crap I catch for that, I'm fine with it."
So the next day, when Price told the media, "Some people just don't understand how hard this game is", he was referring to Eckersley.

We all know Price is remarkably thin-skinned and immature, but he may also be insane (or at least wildly ignorant about Eckersley's career). I find myself in complete agreement with Shaughnessy, when he writes:
One would think that [Eckersley's] Hall of Fame resume and 24 major league seasons (which included two divorces, getting released, career-threatening injuries, and being a stand-up guy after epic failures) would insulate him from the anger of today's players."
Shaughnessy reports that many Red Sox players have disliked Eckersley for years because of his blunt, on-air criticisms. (Eck often speaks the truth when someone does poorly, but he is also very willing to give a tremendous amount of praise when warranted.) Price's actions always seemed like a calculated attempt to build himself up in the eyes of his teammates. From this report, it sounds like it worked.


Maxwell Horse said...

I've mentioned this before, but I have to say it again. A few years ago when David Price got on his soapbox to publicly shame Ortiz for using the word "war" metaphorically in the context of the feud between the Sox and the Rays--that was the most full of shit I've ever heard any athlete be about anything ever. (Look up the soundclip if you want to get your blood boiling.)

It's not that Price was coming from a place of genuine patriotism/jingoism. That would be annoying enough, but at least it would fall under the category of "typical bonehead athlete" quotes. What sets Price's faux outrage apart was the fact that it clearly wasn't genuine. It was completely calculated pandering, a pure affect, pretending he was offended on behalf of all the brave men and women fighting for our freedoms... ugh. What a friggin' mealworm. (Seriously, look up the soundclip again to refresh your memory.)

What's hilarious too is that in the midst of publicly shaming Ortiz, Price accidentally uses the word "battle" to describe playing baseball. So I guess using "war" as a metaphor is offensive, but "battle" is okay? I suppose in Price's world of pious morality, "battle" is okay because, uh, battles are smaller than wars?

I remember during that time, Price accused Ortiz of thinking he was "bigger than the game," and of course, the Boston media generally took Price's side. For whatever reason everyone was blind to the fact that Price was already at that time revealing himself to be addicted to social media (unironically ranting about his critics being "nerds" and proudly listing all his professional accomplishments since kindergarten to overcompensate for getting pantsed in the playoffs yet again) and already showing he had skin thinner than a grape. And I guess too because everyone in the media was, bizarrely, predisposed towards disliking Ortiz, they took all these sanctimonious lectures from Price as gospel.

For people to view Price back then as this wise, mature sage was completely insane. It feels double insane when viewed through the lens of today.

FenFan said...

For once, CHB has reported something that doesn't appear to be an attempt at innuendo. Price owes Eck an apology if he hasn't already done so, regardless of whether or not the latter is a Hall of Fame pitcher.

allan said...

Back in 2012, Price was asked what he thought of Yu Darvish (born in Osaka, Japan):

"He likes sushi."

allan said...

Thanks as always, Horse. I've missed your comments.

allan said...

I posted this on the SoSH thread:

Thinking about this some more -- Price didn't stand up for Rodriguez at all, at least as far as what has been reported. He made a sarcastic comment to Eck and when Eck tried to reply, Price told him to F Off. (Twice.)

If Price had asked Eck what he was trying to accomplish by saying that about Rodriguez, if Price said he and his teammates are sick of Eck's on-air criticisms, or if Price had explained why Eck's comment was unfair, I think it would have been in the Globe's report. But according to the story, Price did not actually mention Eck's specific comment and refused to have an actual discussion (or argument). It seems like an extremely weak defense of a fellow pitcher, if you can call it a defense at all.

Maxwell Horse said...

"Thanks as always, Horse. I've missed your comments."

Hey, thanks. I'm still following the Sox. Just not as engaged as much this season as I've been in the past. I suspect I'll eventually get back in the swing of things.

allan said...

SoSH comment: "Bradford was on EEI today and shared audio he had of an interview he had with Sale last week. This was a day that Price pitched which means that Price owned the music. During the typical time that the media hangs around the clubhouse and talks to players Price turned up some awful techno music to ridiculously high levels and according to those who were there did it for the sole reason of making the reporters job impossible to do. Bradfo stated that the volume of the music was absolutely unprecedented for that time of day and the only time it ever was nearly that loud was after a big win. As I said Bradford shared the audio and you could barely hear a word that was spoken even though he stated he had the recorder right in Sale's face. I hope Price throws shutouts every time he pitches for the team I root for but the guy simply seems like a thin skinned dick."