New details have emerged concerning the confrontation between Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and NESN announcer and former MLB pitcher Dennis Eckersley, when Price reportedly mocked and cursed out Eckersley on the team charter, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe.
The incident reportedly took place after Price learned Eckersley said "Yuck" after Eduardo Rodriguez's stats from a rehab start were flashed onto the screen.
Price then confronted Eckersley, per Shaughnessy's report:
"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."
Per that report, Price again told Eckersley to "Get the [expletive] out of here!" when the former MLB pitcher crossed into the section of the plane where Price was seated.
As Shaughnessy noted, Eckersley's "blunt, sometimes critical style" has rubbed many Red Sox players the wrong way. He added, "At Fenway, there has been clubhouse disgruntlement about Eckersley's style for some time."
Price's response seemed to have crossed a line, however. He defended his actions, saying in June, "I stand up for my teammates. Whatever crap I catch for that, I'm fine with it."
Precisely how the Red Sox addressed the situation remains unclear. Team CEO Sam Kennedy said, "We handled it internally in Toronto. David met with [president of baseball operations] Dave Dombrowski and [manager] John Farrell. It was dealt with at that level."
Per Shaughnessy, team owner John Henry visited with Eckersley privately off the air during a recent game, while chairman Tom Werner, Dombrowski and Kennedy have met with him as well in an effort to resolve the situation. But he also reported that neither Price nor Farrell have apologized to Eckersley following the incident.
"We have moved on and our focus is on winning games," Farrell said in his lone statement on the matter.
While players responding harshly to criticism from announcers and sportswriters is nothing new, Eckersley's opinions would seem to carry more weight, given that he is a Hall of Famer who won an MVP and Cy Young award in his long and decorated career.
Apparently Price felt differently.
And the star pitcher has had a contentious relationship with the media this season. As ESPN.com noted, Price "announced last month that he would no longer speak to the media on days when he doesn't pitch and also lashed out at a reporter from CSNNE.com earlier this season after a game in New York."