David Price’s anger at Dennis Eckersley understandable yet misguided

BOSTON, MA - JULY 20: David Price
BOSTON, MA - JULY 20: David Price /

There has been a lot of talk about Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price’s outburst at NESN broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley.

While boarding the team plane to Toronto on June 29th, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price reportedly insulted NESN broadcaster Dennis Eckersley.

Eckersley, a Hall of Fame pitcher, does a great job of giving the viewer an inside look into the mind of pitchers on the mound.

While NESN color-commentator Jerry Remy is recovering from recent lung cancer surgery, Eckersley has filled in.

What was said

According to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, Price, surrounded by teammates, waited for Eckersley to board the team plane before standing up and yelling at him. Price was said to be upset by Eckersley’s take on Eduardo Rodriguez‘s stat line while recovering in Double-A.

"“Here he is – the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is so easy for him!” said Price as his teammates applauded behind him."

Before Eckersley could respond, Price cut him off by cursing at him and telling him to “Get the **** out of here.”

When asked about the fight the next day, Price said:

"“Some people just don’t understand how hard this game is.”"

Boston Red Sox
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 08: David Price /

The Red Sox have told reporters that they are handling the situation internally. Eckersley has not recieved an apology from either Price or head coach John Farrell.


Eckersley, while helping fans to understand what is going on in player’s heads, has also been pretty straight-forward to the point of blunt with his comments.

Occasionally, these comments have angered Boston Red Sox players who feel that Eck is being too harsh on them. As Price said, they feel like he doesn’t know how hard it is.

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That’s more than arguable though, as a Hall of Famer, Eckersley certainly knows what it’s like to be on a big-league mound. The game has changed since he retired, but it can’t have changed that much.

What players are forgetting is that Eckersley is even more blunt about his own playing days. Often, when Dave O’Brien, NESN’s play-by-play commentator mentions an impressive moment from Eckersley’s playing days, he brushes it off as not being as impressive as O’Brien makes it out to be.

Without knowing anything about him apart from his own accounts, Eckersley must have been a pretty mediocre and lucky player.

My view

Reading that players were frustrated with Eckersley’s criticism surprised me. As a former (little-league) pitcher myself, I loved hearing Eck’s takes on how the game went and how players could improve.

Getting to know what it’s like brings me closer to the game that I love but am nowhere near good enough to experience in person.

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If I happened to hear that he said something critical about me during a game I would take it like a coach’s opinion and work on it. This guy is a Hall of Famer after all.

I completely understand Price’s feeling that he needed to stand up for Rodriguez and his other teammates.

What I don’t support is how he stood up to Eckersley. In no way has anything Eckersley said deserved such a harsh response. I also don’t understand why he and the other players are taking his commentary so harshly.

Yes, Price is already on edge thanks to Boston media’s opinion of him and his performances in Boston, but even that shouldn’t be rattling him.

When it comes down to it, Eckersley has never shown an ego or anything that would make him appear to believe he is “the greatest pitcher who ever lived.” Players shouldn’t be taking his comments as personally as they have been.

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As a Boston Red Sox fan, I hope that we do not see this again and that Price and Farrell eventually apologize for what is an embarrassing situation.