Sportswriters stopped flying with ballclubs a quarter-century ago, but 10 ancillary team employees (two WEEI broadcasters and eight members of NESN) still fly with the Red Sox. NESN’s longtime color commentator Jerry Remy is recovering from cancer surgery and has not been with the team since June 21. Steve Lyons typically fills in for Remy on the road, but he has curiously disappeared from all NESN broadcasts, citing a “personal situation.’’I'm of two minds on this - the Boston sports media are generally a bunch of negative assholes. However, I have a hard time understanding just how offensive the word 'Yuck' is in terms of professional criticism, and it wasn't even directed at Price. David Price is the asshole here, not Eckersley.
Eckersley does not like to travel with the team. He’s a recovering alcoholic and seeks to avoid the trappings of the road. He’s also aware that many Sox players dislike his blunt, sometimes critical style. One would think that his Hall of Fame resume and 24 major league seasons (which included two divorces, getting released, career-threatening injuries, and being a stand-up guy after epic failures) would insulate him from the anger of today’s players. That would be incorrect.
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!’’
When Price was asked about it the next day, he said only, “Some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.’’
Monday, July 24, 2017
Shank On That Price / Eckersley Brouhaha
Looks like the details have finally come out, and Shank pieces it together: