The 2019 Boston Red Sox have much bigger problems than David Price vs Dennis Eckersley.
But while we’re all talking about it again, let me be clear: I think Price is dead wrong in that battle.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Price stood in the Red Sox’ clubhouse and told reporters that Eckersley’s latest comments about their 2017 plane encounter were “trash.”
Eckersley was asked about that plane encounter by Chad Finn for a Boston Globe feature story this week. To which, Eckersley said, “I didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never. [Broadcasters now board the plane before players.] I don’t really give a [expletive] one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”
While those comments from Eckersley aren’t really anything to take personal, Price didn’t like them one bit. And he used an MLB Network documentary to fire back at Eckersley on Wednesday.
“He had an unbelievable career,” said Price. “Twenty-five seasons. He’s a Hall of Famer. I saw his special on MLB Network. It was cool. One thing that definitely stood out to me, he had zero former teammates in that interview. Not one talking about him. It was him talking about himself. If anybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won’t need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates, I will have former coaches, they can all vouch for me. He didn’t have that. And to me, that’s all you need to know. That tells the entire story right there. My teammates will vouch for me, my coaches will vouch for me. He doesn’t have that.”
Let’s be clear. Eckersley didn’t go out of his way to talk about Price. He was asked about it. But it seems Price is still upset about Eckersley’s critical style as one of NESN’s color commentators for Red Sox broadcasts.
Price had choice words for Eckersley on the team plane back in 2017. Since, both Price and Eckersley have both continued to do their job. But Price is once again taking it to a new level, once again going after Eckersley. And he’s dead wrong for it.
It’s an awful look for Price, who probably should’ve been named the 2018 World Series MVP. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. This is also the same Price who criticized the legendary David Ortiz back in 2014 — before they were teammates — saying that Ortiz thought he was “bigger than the game.”
Right now, for the 2019 Red Sox, there’s something a whole lot bigger than Price’s insecurities and stupid comments about a 64-year-old color commentator, one of the best color commentators in the business, by the way.
These Red Sox need pitching. And with the July 31 MLB trade deadline creeping up, I’m not here to tell you that Dave Dombrowski now needs to trade Price because he’s creating potential distractions. I’m here to tell you that these Red Sox need Price to recapture whatever it was he had on the mound in October.
Dombrowski has already acquired a starting pitcher in Andrew Cashner in a trade with Baltimore for two minor leaguers, but that isn’t a guarantee to work out. And Nathan Eovaldi is expected to return soon, but he’ll be going to the bullpen. And the more Chris Sale takes the mound, the more it feels like there’ll be some kind of injured-list stint for him in the near future.
The Red Sox need Price — not planning his own MLB Network documentaries for when his career is over, which he will definitely refuse to be a part of. They need Price taking the rotation, and the entire team, on his back once again.
If not, their current Wild Card hunt might be finished before we even get to September.
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