A few weeks ago it was reported that David Price had verbally confronted NESN broadcaster, Dennis Eckersley after he boarded the team plane. No further details about the situation came out, as we all just speculated as to what might have been the issue. John Farrell had said that he, Price and Dave Dombrowski had a meeting to discuss the problem at hand, and would make no comments as the situation was being handled internally.
Eck is a great commentator for NESN because he calls the game like he sees it. And he sees it pretty well, as you can tell just by looking at his 24-year career in the bigs, including an MVP, Cy Young, World Series Championship, and oh yeah, he’s in the Hall. So he speaks his mind during the broadcast, and many fans listening to him love his input.
So at this point it’s been a little under a month since the issue with Price and Eck had been reported with “no details.” And now we get those details, thanks to Dan Shaughnessy, who enlightened us to the true disaster of this Sox team.
While Eduardo Rodriguez was on his rehab assignment, his stat line from Pawtucket came up on the screen and Eckersley responded with, “yuck.” Shouldn’t be a big deal, right? I mean his pitching line wasn’t great. Eck, a guy whose job is to give his opinion of what he thinks, and that’s exactly what he did.
Well, this comment got Price triggered. Price showed his true sensitivity by getting upset about Eck saying one comment about E-Rod, while E-Rod isn’t even with the team. Price and other Sox players were located in the middle of the team plane, waiting for Eck to get on the plane. The broadcasters sit in the back of the plane, so these players knew he’d have to go by them before getting to his seat. When Eckersley approached, Price yelled, “Here he is, the greatest pitcher who ever lived… This game is easy for him.” Obviously Eck was stunned by this comment because how could he have known he said anything to upset this sensitive bunch? When Eck went to respond, Price cut him off and yelled at him again, “Get the fuck out of here.” What’d the rest of the players surrounding Price do? THEY APPLAUDED.
Then when the plane was in the air, Eckersley went to make his way up to the front of the plane, where Dombrowski was sitting, but when he got to the middle section of the plane again, Price yelled at him with the same exact phrase.
How does the organization allow this behavior? Where is the leadership in the clubhouse? Where is the discipline of the front office or coaching staff? Answer, there’s no leadership or any type of discipline. Instead, the team tries to hide this situation which is actually a pretty big deal. One, because Price is a douchebag, and while many people have known this already by all the media comments made in the past, it was officially confirmed after the report about this situation became very clear. Two, because the front office or coaching staff didn’t feel the need or desire to suspend Price for even one start, or at least suspend him from the clubhouse during an off-day. And three, most players on the team actually backed Price with his actions and were right there alongside him, disrespecting Eck by applauding Price. Notice how Eck isn’t traveling with the team anymore? Don’t blame him.
I really wonder what David Ortiz is thinking about this whole situation. As soon as his leadership left this clubhouse they turn into a disaster. He’s probably ecstatic that he doesn’t have to deal with this group of guys. So many players on this team who just don’t care about anything. They’re all satisfied with getting their money and playing mediocre baseball. I know this team is in 1st place right now, but you wouldn’t think it if you are watching them night in and night out. They have no life and no desire. They’re all flat and it shows with their play.
I’ve been curious about how Dustin Pedroia is handling this specific problem. He’s always been a lead by example guy, never much of an actual clubhouse leader. But he’s the guy on the Sox, he’s been through it all with this organization. So with no Ortiz in the clubhouse, I’ve been wondering about how Pedey is taking all this. Then I was reminded about the time Manny Machado got thrown at and he looked in at Pedroia in the dugout. The camera panned to Pedey and showed him responding, “it’s not me, it’s them.” That just goes to show that he’s disconnected from this team. There is no we with this team, it’s all I. He’s probably fed up with it all.
Could you imagine how good this team could be if they cared more? Someone needs to light a fire into this damn team. They’ve seemed desperate all season. It started with Dombrowski and goes down to Farrell too. Dombrowski invested everything at 3B into Pablo Sandoval, are you kidding me? Glad that guy is finally out of here by the way, just like everyone else within Sox Nation. Calling up Sam Travis and then never giving him at bats. Spoiler alert, it’s not good for a player who’s in a groove to go from getting 3 or 4 ABs a game to getting 26 in 28 days, while also attempting to adjust to big league pitching. Then calling up Rafael Devers, probably before he’s ready. I mean I know he has a bat and has been hitting good in the short time he was in Pawtucket, but he’s not good defensively, and we all saw how frustrating it was to have someone manning the hot corner who was incapable of decent defense.
This team is so frustrating. The players, the manager, and the front office are making this team harder and harder to like with each day. We get it, it’s difficult to handle the Boston media at times, but it’s never been this bad, players have never been this sensitive, and a front office should not be acting nonchalant with this issue because it’s a terrible look for the team. The disrespect of this team is real and it’s not OK.
Eckersley has not gotten an apology from Price or Farrell since the incident. If John Farrell can’t show a level or professionalism as the manager of this team, then the rest of the team won’t be professional either. Although they’re in 1st place, they aren’t reaching their full potential as a team, and if they keep this up that’ll show and their season will end like the playoffs last year.
This Red Sox team just became much more unlikeable with the full report of this situation coming out. It was a disgusting issue that the team tried to cover up, showing their unprofessionalism from top to bottom within the organization. Hopefully soon they’ll get it together because this is just disappointing.
Follow Drew on Twitter @dtang10