Report: David Price told Dennis Eckersley ‘get the f— out of here’ on team flight
Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price had a verbal confrontation with Dennis Eckersley on a team flight late last month, and more details have emerged about the exchange.
Longtime Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy says he spoke with six people who witnessed the incident between Price and Eckersely first-hand. Eckersely, a Hall of Famer who pitched for the Red Sox for eight seasons, had apparently made a negative comment on the air about one of Boston starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab starts. Price decided to confront the broadcaster over it.
Shaughnessy described what happened in detail:
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!”
That story has several surprising elements. For starters, Price has been viewed as someone who can’t handle the constant pressure the Boston media heaps on players. It seems unlikely that he would confront Eckersley over the “yuck” comment unless the frustration had already been building.
Also, it’s interesting that Price’s teammates applauded. As Shaughnessy notes, Eckersley is more outspoken than some others who cover the Red Sox. Two years ago, Jackie Bradley Jr. surprised Eck when he asked the former pitcher to pose for a random photo with him. Bradley later used the photo to call Eckersley out on twitter.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. (@JackieBradleyJr) August 9, 2015
While most Red Sox fans have assumed Price was being thin-skinned when he went after Eckersley, it would seem Eck is not popular in Boston’s clubhouse. Even one Red Sox legend recently said he can understand why Price is having issues with the media in Boston. In this particular case, perhaps Price — who does seem overly sensitive — was speaking on behalf of his teammates.