An altercation that occurred during a June trip to Toronto between Red Sox pitcher David Price and Hall-of-Fame RHP Dennis Eckersley, which previously went unreported has recently come to light. While many people are criticizing both Price and Red Sox manager John Farrell for not issuing an apology to Eckersley, I believe they are acting in the best way possible.
The incident between Price and Eckersley happen on June 29th when Eckersley got on the Red Sox plane headed to Toronto. Price had previously been upset with the way Eckersley, now a commentator for NESN, was talking about the Red Sox, specifically Eduardo Rodriguez’s pitching. Price promptly told Eckersley to “get the f— out of here.” After the incident Farrell and the rest of Red Sox organization told reporters that they were dealing with the incident internally. Price met with both Farrell and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy.
John Farrell handled the incident in the right way. He is the team’s manager and therefore he is supposed to support his players, not publicly shame them. Farrell met with Price to discuss the situation and that’s that. The relationship between manager and player needs to be strong for a team to succeed and there needs to be trust. There’s a reason Bobby Valentine failed with the Red Sox and the public disagreements with his players was a big one.
As for an apology to Eckersley, that’s not for Farrell to do. Eckersley has been harsh with his Farrell’s players, not creating an environment in the media to support them. NESN is the Red Sox’s official network and while they can show frustration and critique the team, there is no reason to be rude. Essentially, as the Red Sox’s official network they are the Red Sox’s PR. Besides, Eckersley should know, especially as a past player himself, that pitching is tough and that his comments were not the way to act.
Be patient and back up your team, don’t kick them when their down.