Shaughnessy reported that during a NESN broadcast, Eckersley, who is very disliked in the Red Sox clubhouse, said "yuck" when Eduardo Rodriguez's poor stats from a rehab assignment were shown on the screen. When Eckersley boarded the plane for the road trip games, Price was waiting for him.
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!’’
The day after this incident, before much info was released, Price stated that "I stand up for my teammates. Whatever crap I catch for that, I'm fine with it."
John Henry, Tom Werner, Dave Dombrowksi and Sam Kennedy have all reached out to Eckersley since the incident, but no apology has come from Price or manager John Farrell.
Now, this is a REALLY bad look for Price and especially Farrell.
It doesn't matter if the whole team hates the man and his views, you don't talk to a Cy Young and MVP winner who also belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame like this. Along with saying “Some people just don’t understand how hard this game is,’’when directly talking about him is just a false statement. Its fine if you disagree with something Eckersley says, thats what he does, tells it how it is. But you must handle it in a far different way. Price should've pulled him aside on the plane or in the stadium and handle things privately. For the Red Sox going forward, they have to toughen up. Obviously Price has had his differences with the media, and using Eckersley's "yuck" comment was probably just a reason to curse Eckersley out for personal reasons. But this is Boston, you will get criticized if you don't perform well, especially after getting a $217 million contract. Also, David Price owes Eckersley a sincere apology. What he said crossed a line. And the Red Sox players who openly applauded Price's comments on the plane should also issue an apology. Now for John Farrell, this is your team and you are accountable. Farrell owes Eckersley an apology, even though its nearly a month too late at this point.