BOSTON (CBS) — A reported confrontation between David Price and Dennis Eckersley on a Red Sox team plane remained mysterious weeks after the news surfaced. Now, more details have emerged from the incident.
A new column by the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy details Price’s interaction with Eckersley, which happened on a flight from Boston to Toronto last month. Shaughnessy talked to six people who witnessed the incident and a handful of others who were close to the situation.
Price reportedly stood in the middle of the team plane “surrounded” by teammates waiting for Eckersley, who was sitting in the back of the plane with other team broadcasters. When Eckersley made his way onto the plane, Price sarcastically yelled, “Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!’’
Price followed that up with “Get the [expletive] out of here!’’ when Eckersley tried to speak. He repeated that when Eckersley walked past the players in the middle of the flight. Several teammates reportedly applauded after Price’s initial outburst.
It was reportedly a premeditated decision for Price to confront Eckersley on the plane in front of the team. The tipping point was a NESN broadcast in which Eckersley remarked “Yuck” to a graphic depicting the stats from a recent rehab start by Eduardo Rodriguez.
As a result of the incident, the Red Sox reportedly changed their policy about boarding planes. Team broadcasters now board first in order to avoid potential conflicts caused by walking past players. When asked about the confrontations a day later, Price said, “Some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.’’
Eckersley does not travel with the Red Sox or appear in the clubhouse as much as he did in the past, reportedly stemming from a “stunt” by Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox center fielder asked to take a photo with Eckersley back in 2015, for reasons unknown at the time. He then tweeted the photo with the caption “Huge thanks to @Eck43 for saying all the things I ‘can’t’ do these past few days. People like you is what drives me :)”.
According to the report, neither Price nor John Farrell have offered an apology to Eckersley for the incident. Farrell reportedly said, “We have moved on and our focus is on winning games.”
Price went 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his first three starts since the incident, before taking the loss with five earned runs in five innings on Sunday in Anaheim.
Shaughnessy Discusses The Incident On Toucher & Rich: