David Price’s time in Boston has been defined more by controversy and disappointment than success. That troubling trend apparently continued on the team’s flight from Boston to Toronto late Thursday, where it’s reported Price engaged in a heated exchange with Hall of Fame pitcher and current Red Sox television analyst Dennis Eckersley.
According to the Boston Globe, the incident was confirmed Friday by team sources. It’s also noted that members of the team’s brass were “disturbed” by the incident as it continues a trend of unacceptable behavior by Price.
When asked before Friday’s game, Eckersley gave the standard no comment. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and team president Sam Kennedy were similarly tight-lipped as they are presumably in the process of collecting and sorting out the details.
Some have speculated the incident stems from Eckersley calling out Price for forgetting to cover first base on a play during Thursday’s game against Minnesota, which Price won by throwing seven innings of three-run ball.
If that were true, Price’s motives would be questionable at best as Eckersley’s criticism was considered fair and honest. “I’ve done it. It happens,” the Hall of Fame pitcher concluded.
Of Price not covering first, Eck said, "He's just watching. Look at that. That is a major, major mistake. … I've done it. It happens." https://t.co/n9tL5dgAqE
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) July 1, 2017
The matter is expected to be handled behind closed doors, but there’s already been enough buzz created that the media and the fans are going to demand more answers. That’s especially true now that a pattern of discontent and confrontational behavior has been established on Price’s side.
As the Globe story notes, Price is known to have confronted Comcast Sports New England baseball writer Evan Drellich earlier this season. That was over a series of critical but fair tweets that were considered harmless by most.
Price has also taken issue with Red Sox fans, going on record to state he’s had numerous racial taunts directed at him at Fenway Park. In that instance, he’s had the backing of other MLB players who say they’ve heard similar taunts in Boston.
That Price has now reportedly taken issue with Eckersley, who’s won a World Series title, been elected to the Hall of Fame, and who’s earned the respect of the fans and his peers, has left many to question Price’s mindset and overall demeanor.
Has Price always been justified in speaking out, particularly in his confrontations with members of the media? Or might it be that he’s overly sensitive and easily distracted?
The jury is still out on that issue, but it’s one both Price and the Red Sox might have to be more up front with moving forward.
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