If for some reason you have been under a rock for the past month or so, perhaps you have missed this entire David Price fiasco involving Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley, and a handful of Red Sox players. Price got offended by some of Eckersley's comments regarding E-Rod's stat line while he was on his rehab assignment.
Eck's comment: "Yuck." Mind you, Eduardo Rodriguez went 3 innings and allowed 6 earned runs. So yeah, yuck. Any way, Price handled the situation like a total child, and completely disrespected one of the best pitchers to ever play the game (hence why he's in the hall to begin with). And the fact that neither he nor Manager John have apologized to Eck, and continue to dance around questions about the situation, lacks professionalism and class from 2 guys who have decimated reputations in this market.
However, adding to this recent saga is that on Friday morning, Dan Shaugnessy reported that Price's elbow is barking again, and a second DL stint this season my be in the foreseeable future for the 31-year-old left handed All-Star. Confirmed by Jon Morosi, when he reported that Price will in fact be placed on the DL.
What makes this story even more juicy is the timing. David Price is supposed to start tonight against the Kansas City Royals, big game for the Sox as they come off a 2-4 road trip, where Price got shelled in his one outing. And in the wake of all this Eckersley drama, all of a sudden Price's elbow is hurting again? Odd timing.
Now, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, Price did in fact have an MRI on his elbow on Thursday. But I still don't buy that this is more about Price being worried about his awaiting reception in his start than it is about actual arm health. The velocity was there for Price, he was sitting 94-96 in his last start, just missed location a few times and got burned by the long ball.
Price is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 starts this year, and has been very good in 9 of his 11 starts this year.
His ego is crushed, and he knows he'd get booed. He's just scared, and there's no place for pansies like David Price in the Boston Market. He HAS to go. Get this egotistical, clubhouse cancer out of Boston ASAP. Hell, I'll buy his plane ticket!
Day 1 is in the books for the New England Patriots, as they embark on a new season with hopes of winning yet another Lombardi Trophy. Expectations are undoubtedly high on this team after the offseason they had. The Patriots, as we all know, were able to win Super Bowl 51 and made significant upgrades on the defensive line, in the defensive backfield, and throughout the offense. Lets take a look at some storylines so far through day 1...
(Source: Maddie Meyer - Getty Images)
As of two days ago, the Bruins were in a stalemate with 3rd-Line center, Ryan Spooner, who was a restricted free agent coming off of a year where he netted just 11 goals and 28 assists in 78 games. The Bruins offered him $2 million, but Spooner was asking for $3.85 million.
Well, the stalemate is now over, as the Boston Bruins and Spooner settled on a deal for $2.825 million for next season.
Now it's not the Bruins fanbase was hoping to hear on this Wednesday morning, as RFA David Pastrnak still remains unsigned, but there are definitely some positives in bringing back Spooner on the deal he was brought back on.
For starters, if the Bruins do intend on keeping him this season, Spooner does provide a spark on the Power Play with his speed and puck handling skills. He has a pretty accurate shot on the Power Play, as he seldom misses the net when he is in fact shooting. On top of that, Spooner showed a bit of a clutch gene in the 2016-17 season, scoring 3 game-winning goals, including one at Belle Centre in Montreal.
The potential is still there for Spooner, which is what made him such a priority for the Bruins to retain, and something that could invoke a little bit of interest throughout the league as teams want to unload some heavy veteran contracts for younger, cheaper players who have a relatively high ceiling.
We've heard Spooner's name appear in rumors involving Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin of the Wild, and that was before Spooner was even under contract. Now that he's under team control, and under a pretty cap-friendly deal, the likelihood of a deal coming to fruition now greatly increases.
However, assuming Spooner is on the Bruins come opening night, he will likely be slated as the third or fourth line center, depending on where they see rookie Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson fitting in next season.
As the clock struck midnight last night, most Red Sox fans were watching their anemic offense and struggling pitching square off against the Seattle Mariners out on the west coast. Rumors started to surfaced that Eduardo Nunez, of the San Francisco Giants, was hugging his teammates and presumably traded. Ken Rosenthal, formerly of Fox Sports, was first to confirm the Red Sox were set to acquire the utility man after showing interest in him for the past couple of weeks. The Red Sox would be sending pitchers Shaun Anderson, who was pitching in High-A Salem, and Gregory Santos, who was representing the Red Sox in the Dominican Summer League.
Truthfully, this is a pretty good trade from Dave Dombrowski. Neither Santos nor Anderson were going to impact this team for at least five seasons, and they were not regarded very highly in the organization. Anderson was the #18 prospect, while Santos was unranked. On a team that does not have a lot of depth in their farm system, these players being ranked so low just shows you that they would probably never see a big league roster. Anderson had a 3.99 ERA while pitching in Salem, while Santos had an impressive 0.90 ERA in 30 innings in the DSL.
At first, I was hesitant to trade for Nunez, especially after how I saw Rafael Devers perform last night. However, Nunez can play pretty much any position around the infield. He has also been tearing up the base paths, recording 18 steals on the season. His versatility and speed will help him fit in with the Red Sox, as well as his approach at the plate. Similar to many players on this team, Nunez is hitting for a high average (.308 on the season) but cannot get the ball over the fence, with only four home runs in over 300 plate appearances. All in all, you can't be upset with this trade, especially after seeing the cost.
This move still does not address the major needs on this team. If the Red Sox plan to use Nunez the right way, and not expose him as they have done to other players, such as Brock Holt, then they are golden. Nunez is an immediate upgrade over Deven Marrero, but he is not much more than that. I do not think Nunez could be an effective everyday third baseman on a team that has aspirations of winning a World Series. The Red Sox still need an elite bullpen arm and the market is drying up. I also believe the Red Sox need some other type of option at first base, as Mitch Moreland has turned invisible. With the acquisition of Nunez, it would not surprise me if Boston put Moreland, and perhaps even Xander Bogaerts, who is hitting close to .150 since injuring his hand, on the disabled list.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three-or-so weeks, you are well aware of the fact that David Price unreasonably verbally attacked Hall of Famer and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley back in early July on a team flight.
It’s well known that the majority of the Red Sox clubhouse dislikes Eckersley because he’s apparently too harsh on individual players with his criticism. Price and a handful of teammates decided to virtually gang up on Eckersley as he was walking down the aisle of the plane, leaving Eck totally defenseless. When Price sarcastically cried out, “Here he is -- the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him! … Get the fuck out of here!”, his teammates surrounding him promptly applauded. Nobody stepped in as a chunk of this Red Sox team got a kick out of a veteran teammate bullying an innocent broadcaster just trying to make his way to his seat.
That leaves us the question: who here is to blame? The truth is, you can’t pin this on just one single person or a certain group of people. It’s everybody’s fault in some way for allowing this to happen and the following actions, or the lack thereof, that took place between the team and Eckersley.
Let’s look at each culprit and dig deeper into their role in this embarrassing fiasco, shall we?
Let us begin with none other than John Farrell, AKA Manager John. His personal role in this dates back to another one of Price’s temper tantrums back in New York after a start against the Yankees where he lashed out at three separate Red Sox beat writers publicly in the clubhouse. It’s Price’s own fault for having no self control, but Farrell’s place in that situation was how he responded to everything. He most notably said that accountability is a “two-way street”. Yes, that’s true. Very true, actually. That doesn’t make what your $217 million pitcher did was right, though, John.
That then leads us to the Price and Eck debacle. Price had no reason to confront Eckersley the way he did in front of the entire team. Eckersley tells it like it is while the Red Sox collectively take it way too personally instead of looking in the mirror and wondering how they can fix what they did wrong on the field. If anybody understands the game of baseball, it’s Dennis freaking Eckersley. Anyways, this is a perfect scenario for Farrell’s two-way street quote to come into play. Nobody within the organization has reportedly apologized to Eckersley; Farrell said that the situation has been “handled internally”. What? Where’s the accountability in a situation that screams accountability?! This is a unique situation that needs to be taken seriously. What Price did was unacceptable and downright indefensible. It’s been nearly a month and Eck has gotten no apology from anybody. Have no fear, though, everything has been handled internally! Everything is awesome!!
Remember when Dave Dombrowski was asked about Farrell’s job security and Dombrowski responded with the likes of, “he’s a players manager”? We get to see that whole “players manager” label firsthand in this situation. Farrell is pretty blatantly buddy-buddy with Price and handpicked players and doesn’t have the balls to tell them what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. He’s okay with his team constantly listening to what the outside is saying about them when just forty-five minutes down the road, Bill Belichick preaches to his roster to “ignore the noise”. Farrell is perfectly fine with his players plotting to humiliate Dennis Eckersley, who has been through hell and back on and off the field for his entire life. To call that pathetic would be a severe understatement.
Now, let’s look at David Price himself and where he stands in this. Obviously, what he did was disgusting and wholeheartedly unnecessary on so many levels. Like, dude, just...why? Who in their right mind would think it’s okay to act like a middle schooler and publicly embarrass somebody like that? We get that he doesn’t like it here in Boston, but that’s no excuse to let your pent up anger and frustration out on a target like that.
This Red Sox team is very young from top to bottom, with guys like Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, Deven Marrero, the majority of the bullpen and now Rafael Devers to name a few, headlining this 2017 roster. This is a young team who is just learning their way around this game. What kind of a lesson is a veteran pitcher like Price teaching them? He’s making it seem like what he’s frequently doing is okay. It’s totally fine to lash out like a child at a reporter when you don’t agree with what they said instead of speaking to them one-on-one in private and not making a putrid, national scene.
Price is widely recognized and praised for being one of the best teammates in all of baseball, by former and current fellow ballplayers alike. He’s always been an easy guy to talk to and ask questions to. He’s obviously a standup guy and isn’t uptight. Although, something is different here in Boston. He wants to get out of here, and apparently this is his way of telling the Red Sox just that. By making a fool out of himself for no good reason at all. Price didn’t do anything like this last season when he had a fairly disappointing first year in Boston. Now, in 2017, he’s surpassed everyone’s light expectations coming off of that elbow scare and has pitched as well as he has while donning a Red Sox uniform. Only now is he acting like a gutless dirtbag to the media. It just does not add up.
The team itself plays a part in this act as well, unfortunately. The report acknowledges that unnamed Red Sox players applauded when Price shouted at Eckersley. Many are curious to know which players did in fact clap, as am I, but the mere fact that anybody on this team supported Price’s scene is disappointing. Knowing that nobody stepped in to stop or even question Price’s wrongdoing is unsettling.
This is, of course, an overall young team, and that’s understandable. I wouldn’t expect a guy like Benintendi or Betts or who have you to step in and do something. I would expect a guy like, say, Dustin Pedroia or maybe Chris Sale or Hanley Ramirez to at least say or do something as it’s going down. Pedroia almost seems like an outsider this season, or something along those lines. He’s one of the very few players on this sensitive team with balls and who possesses a leadership mentality. That should not mean that Pedey should feel like he can’t step in and put his teammates in line when something like this happens. Pedroia has dealt with a lot of criticism since the Manny Machado incident back in April when he seemingly threw his team under the bus when Matt Barnes threw at Machado a day after the slide occurred. This team obviously doesn’t have a true leader, and that’s seriously concerning.
Red Sox ownership has a Farrell-esque role in this, too. Like Manager John, ownership needs to step in and talk to Price about this. Somebody with authority needs to get it through Price’s brain that his actions are completely unacceptable and widely frowned upon. Ownership are the ones paying him $31 million a year. They shouldn’t feel like they can’t approach their star pitcher and lay down the law once and for all. In fact, they kind of can’t feel that way. They are literally the people who employ him, and they won’t even at least attempt to talk to him, or the entire team, for that matter, about this.
A situation like this needs to be addressed and an apology needs to be issued. The funny thing is, though, they’ve waited too long to apologize to Eckersley, so now the team has completely played themselves and if they issued a formal apology to Eck, say today, it’d look totally fake and meaningless. Congratulations, guys. Huge round of applause for being too afraid to act like the top dog you are and failing to inform your roster in any form that ganging up on a nationally respected Hall of Famer is actually bad.
Last but not least, I unfortunately have to include Eckersley in this conversation and his place in this tsunami. I’ve actually seen a few Twitter folk say that they hate Eck and think he’s too hard on the players. To that, I respond with: grow up. Eckersley is the best thing to happen to NESN since the Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy days. Eck is the only person at NESN who isn’t afraid to tell it like they see it, criticize players when they make a mistake and he’s the lone person there with any form of personality. Now, when Eck isn’t in the booth, I’ll typically put my headphones on and listen to music because the broadcast is so insufferable. Albeit, when Eck is in the booth, I’ve got the volume up so I can hear his insight while simultaneously having a handful of chuckles throughout the game because he truly livens up a game no matter the score.
Eck did nothing wrong here. For as long as he’s been involved in television, he’s called it as he sees it. Just like a proper analyst should do. Fans want to hear a former player’s insight on a certain play because most likely, that former player has been in a situation like the one that’s just occurred on the field and we want to hear their opinion. Not only does the viewer want to hear what he has to say, but the players on the field themselves should, too. If Eck says you did something wrong, you definitely did something wrong. As an athlete, you should want to fix that mistake so it doesn’t happen again. Instead, this particular team can’t take such criticism and makes Eck out to be the bully, when in reality, they’re the bullies here.