As many people know, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price was involved in a verbal confrontation with team broadcaster and MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley on a team flight late last month; you can check out my July 1 article about it.
Details of the spat remained quiet for a few weeks. But it’s all out now.
In a Boston Globe column published Sunday by long-time Red Sox writer Dan Shaughnessy after Boston’s 2-1 series loss to the Angels, it’s revealed that Price was outraged at Eckersley for saying “Yuck” when Eduardo Rodriguez’s poor stats for a June 29 rehab start were displayed on the screen during NESN’s telecast that night.
The initial speculation was that Price was irked at Eckersley for commenting on his failure to cover first base on a ground ball in his start the same night. That also could’ve been part of it, but Shaughnessy describes Eckersley’s “Yuck” remark as the “tipping point” for Price.
So here’s what went down on the plane—Price was standing near the middle of the team aircraft with several players surrounding him, waiting for Eckersley to come on board. When he did and approached the back of the plane to seat, Price stood in front of him and yelled, “Here he is—the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!”
When a surprised Eckersley tried to respond, Price fired back with, “Get the (expletive) out of here!”
What’s even more shocking is the fact that many teammates applauded this.
Price yelled “Get the (expletive) out of here!” a second time at Eckersley later on during the flight as he walked toward the front where general manager Dave Dombrowski was seated; Shaughnessy didn’t mention if there was applause that particular time.
The day after the flight when details of what was said were still unknown to the media, Price was asked about what happened. All he said was, “Some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.”
How can a guy who makes over $30 million a year be this thin-skinned? One has to believe the Red Sox had no idea it’d be this bad. Price is completely allergic to criticism, even when it doesn’t regard him. Who knew one little “Yuck” about a teammate’s ugly rehab start would drive a 31-year-old completely over the edge! And shame on the teammates who applauded him.
Would Price have confronted Eckersley alone? I seriously doubt it. Yeah, he’ll take someone like Evan Drellich aside in the clubhouse and scream in his face, but the Eck? Don’t see that happening. Price has to make sure his boys are there to back him up first! On the team flight! Really says A LOT about this team.
To make matters worse, three sources close to Eckersley have confirmed he is yet to receive an apology from anyone (as of Boston’s recent home series vs Toronto as Shaughnessy reports). Not Price, not manager John Farrell, no one. In a completely Farrell-esque response as to why this is the case, he said, “We have moved on and our focus is on winning games.”
Unsurprisingly, Eckersley isn’t on Boston’s current road trip and you can imagine why. Instead, former Red Sox relief pitcher Mike Timlin is providing the color commentary alongside Dave O’Brien for NESN telecasts.
What a headache this team is becoming. Grown men getting paid millions to act like children. Way too sensitive to criticism. No real leader. Is Price that leader? After all, his teammates—some of them anyway—applauded him verbally berating a Hall of Famer. That shows they’re on his side, which is as troubling as anything.
To quote Shaughnessy from his column: “It’s nonetheless fascinating that highly paid professionals can be so easily chapped by commentary that is far from harsh or scathing.”
Right on the money Dan, couldn’t have said it better. These are rich, professional athletes who have everything in the world. You should be able to handle a little criticism. The overall reaction to this criticism though has been unprofessional and awfully discouraging.
Time for this team to suck it up.
Props to Shaughnessy for releasing that column. Fans wanted to know exactly what happened, and he delivered. Shaughnessy said that while in Anaheim for Boston’s recent three-game set, he spoke with six people who witnessed the situation unfold. Gotta believe those six people don’t want any part of this drama, and weren’t applauding Price.
Price had three good starts in a row following the initial incident, going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA (two ER in 20 IP). On Saturday, he took a loss allowing five earned runs in five innings to the Angels, and Shaughnessy’s column was released the next day.
How will Price respond on the mound after these recent developments? Will he keep lashing out at the media? Will his performance continue to falter? We can only see what happens from here on out. One thing’s for sure though, he hates it here in Boston and it’s obvious. Dombrowski probably regrets throwing him that seven year, $217 million deal. I would if I were him. What a joke of a contract. Price has an opt-out clause after 2018, but you gotta think that many fans would prefer him to get out of town sooner than that. One headache is already gone—Pablo Sandoval—what will Price’s fate be?
As for Eckersley, hopefully soon he receives the apology that he deserves. Everyone knows by now that he says it like it is. Good or bad, he’s a straight shooter, and has been for NESN since 2003. So he said “Yuck”, big freaking deal. There’s no way that’s deserving enough to be humiliated and berated on the team plane the way he was by Price and his wolfpack.
And for the team as a whole? As a fan, you just have to hope they’ll start acting like professionals. A reality check is certainly needed. With the Trade Deadline quickly approaching, will significant moves be made? Will the manager get fired? Lots of questions right now for a team that has all kinds of problems, on and off the field.
The Red Sox remain in first place in the AL East (two games ahead of NYY) with a 55-46 record, but are just 5-7 since the All-Star break. Boston has dropped three in a row, including a 4-0 loss last night to Seattle which was their ninth offensive shutout of the season, the most in the majors (were held scoreless just six times in 2016).
Drew Pomeranz takes the hill for Boston tonight at Safeco Field opposed by Felix Hernandez, as Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers is set to make his major league debut at third base. An era begins! Hopefully the era of immaturity on this team will start to subside, though.
Red Sox Take Game 2 in 2018 MLB World Series
Last night in the 2018 MLB World Series, it was game 2 between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After 9 1/2 innings, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2.
it was David Price (BOS) going up against Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) on the pitching mound.
In six innings of the world series, David Price had an ERA of 3.00 with 3 hits and 2 runs and zero home runs.
On the LA Dodgers side, Hyun-Jin Ryu was the pitcher for the Dodgers. He only lasted 4.2 innings with 6 hits and 4 runs but zero home runs.
Game 3 is set for Friday, October 26, 2018 at 8:06 on Fox
Yankees, Red Sox Negotiating London 2-Game Series
The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are closing in on an agreement to play a two-game series in London in June 2019, according to Bloomberg’s Janet Perkins and Scott Soshnick.
Reportedly the games will be held at London Stadium, which played host to several events at the 2012 Summer Olympics, if a deal is made official.
The stadium can hold up to 65,000 fans for sporting events and if a deal is made official it will continue MLB’s trend of playing regular season games in other countries such as Japan, Mexico, Australia and Puerto Rico over the years.
The Yankees and Red Sox are easily among the top MLB franchises in terms of global recognition and their storied rivalry and rosters of elite players will be an easy draw for the series as MLB looks to penetrate the European market.
It could also present quite the online betting opportunity for both US and European betting sites, especially as the series kicks off. When it does, this LVbet bonus code could come in handy, especially if it will be the first time you try your hand at something like this.
“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make,” Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics. MLB has not played any games in Europe before, however, the Red Sox have played overseas in the past, including to Japan before the 2008 season.
“It’s a shorter trip than to California, right?” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone, who has never been to London, commented. “Let’s get the royal family out there. Maybe the queen can make an appearance.”
“It’s following the leader — the N.F.L.,” said Allen Adamson, a branding expert and an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. “It’s good for the Yankees, it’s good for Boston, and an attempt to inject some topspin into the sport, but I don’t think it mitigates the need to revitalize baseball in the United States.”
Adamson added: “It would be more interesting to play in Havana.”
The Yankees are in a business partnership with Manchester City F.C, so they are very familiar with the European sports landscape and the audience, and fans, that attend events across the pond.
MLB is trying to follow in the NFL’s footsteps, as both are chasing the NBA who have spearheaded the efforts to globalize their game.
The Waiting Game Continues For The Red Sox And JD Martinez
The Boston Red Sox haven’t made any significant roster moves this offseason with Spring Training less than a month away. Sure, they’ve revamped their coaching staff and have a new manager, but as far as players go? No new names; essentially the same roster as 2017.
A good way to describe Boston’s offseason would be the sound of crickets chirping.
However, things could change at any moment for the Red Sox and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. He’s waited this long; he can wait a little longer. Everyone knows that there’s only one man Dombrowski’s after; and that is- of course- free agent slugger JD Martinez.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney this afternoon, the Red Sox have offered Martinez a deal “in the range” of five years at $100 million.
Source: Boston's offer to J.D. Martinez is in the range of five years, $100 million.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 17, 2018
At the start of the offseason, Martinez’s asking price was reportedly in the range of $200 million; Boston’s offer is half of that.
Boston needs a power bat in their lineup, and Martinez fills that void. The Red Sox finished fourth-to-last in the majors and last in the American League with 168 homers in 2017, a year that saw MLB set a new record with 6,105 dingers; it was also the first time since 1993 that the Red Sox finished last in the AL in homers. A total power outage!
Long story short, Dombrowski needs to acquire Martinez. Considering he’s yet to make a move to respond to the New York Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton, the pressure is starting to build up for Dombrowski to show Martinez the money.
Martinez, 30, recently said he’s willing to wait until Spring Training to sign a deal with a new club.
The 6’3” Martinez bashed 45 homers in just 432 at-bats in 2017- one every less than 10 at-bats to go along with 104 RBIs. Not even a full season! His slash line was .303/.376/.690 split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Had Martinez finished with enough plate appearances to qualify, he all but certainly would’ve finished first in MLB in slugging percentage and OPS.
Those type of numbers in a contract year? Nothing but basic economics; that’s how you get PAID!
If Dombrowski doesn’t land Martinez- and assuming no blockbuster trade will be made before the season starts- it will be a wasted offseason for the Red Sox. They’ll have the same mediocre lineup which isn’t good enough to win in October. There will be no Stanton, no Carlos Santana, or no Eric Hosmer for that matter. Those three weren’t good enough for Dombrowski this offseason, and so Martinez is what’s left- not counting other current free agents like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Todd Frazier- none of whom are on Dombrowski’s radar.
The time is now for Dombrowski to make a move. And by move, I mean sign Martinez. He’s in the prime of his career, made for Fenway Park, and made to give a lackluster Red Sox offense a spark that it so badly needs.
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