David Price Needs To Stay Quiet Or Apologize

Most everyone in Red Sox Nation knows about the spat between Dennis Eckersley and David Price. Eckersley called Price out on his failure to backup first base. Then Eckersley referred to one of Eduardo Rodriguez’s rehab starts as “yuck.” Apparently Price didn’t appreciate it and confronted Eckersley about it. Everyone has a right to take issue with criticism. For now though, David Price needs to stop commenting on the incident and focus on pitching.

This incident has turned into one big mess. Price swore at a Hall of Famer in front of theDavid Price Needs team. The Red Sox sort of shrugged it off. Lacking a backbone, John Farrell did little to address the issue. In typical flip flop style, Dustin Pedrioa allegedly applauded Price while he swore at Eckersley. Then he said he didn’t and decided to be a leader by talking to Price about the incident. Some media sources say one thing. Other media sources say another. To be fair, this isn’t entirely Price’s fault. The Boston media shares some of this blame. They waited a while to drudge this up long after it was all over. That’s like disciplining your dog three days after it crapped on the carpet.

David Price Needs To Focus On The Game

Here’s what really burns me about this whole incident. Price is acting like a diva. His $217 million salary is going to his head, he’s can’t stay off the DL, and he’s going around talking smack. For a hot minute it looked like Price realized the error of his ways. According to ESPN, Price admitted he could have handled the incident “probably in a different way” but that’s not where it ended. Speaking to reporters for the first time since we went on the DL again, Price told reporters, “If Eck was around, he’d know who we are. He’s never in the clubhouse,” Price said. “He’s the one guy I’ve seen in my career that never shows his face in the clubhouse.”

Price messed up big here. He messed up big a month ago when he initially slammed Eckersley. But now he’s adding fuel to the fire. What’s even worse is that this incident is distracting him from the game. David Price needs to stop talking about how tough he is, and needs to focus on getting back into the game.

Price Is As Much Of A Diva As Pedrioa

The other issue I have with this entire incident is that both Price and Pedrioa are acting like self-centered and arrogant jerks. They’re not only making themselves look bad, but they’re setting a horrible example for the youth of America. In this day in age, people are less likely to take responsibility, and more likely to blame others. Instead of recognizing their faults, they own up to it in a pathetic way. They don’t think before they speak. As a teacher, I see this often, especially in student athletes. They’re popular and think they can get away with disrespecting others. Then they throw a fit when they’re confronted.

Prince thinks he can disrespect a Hall of Famer with more experience on the mound than Price will ever have. Pedrioa only encourages it because he likes Price and wants to look good sticking up for him. Pedrioa won’t do that for every teammate though. If he and Price really have an issue with Eckersley, they can seek him out instead of Price saying “Just show your face.”

Price started this. It’s up to him to finish it and retain some of his dignity.

Diva Pedroia Is Not The Red Sox Leader

I used to think that Dustin Pedroia was the heart and soul of the Red Sox. He hustles and he focuses on the game. He used to lead his team. His recent comments, however, have made me think twice about him. I’m seeing Pedroia less as a Red Sox leader and more of a diva.

Almost everyone in Red Sox Nation knows what transpired between David Price andred sox leader Dennis Eckersley. It’s old news now. But for those who don’t know, Price took issue with Eckersley’s constructive criticism. Price confronted the Hall of Famer and 1992 MVP on an airplane and, using expletives, tore into him. It’s bad enough that Price thought he could drop his composure and tear down a Hall of Famer. It’s even worse that Pedrioa reportedly applauded Price’s confrontation.

A real leader would have pulled Price aside, told him to bite his tongue, and wait for the right opportunity to confront his critic. A real leader wouldn’t have let someone like Price tear into a legend like Eckersley. Pedroia’s applauding of Price’s confrontation isn’t the characteristic of a good leader. It’s the characteristic of an arrogant and pompous diva.

A Red Sox Leader Keeps The Peace and The Team Focused

Unfortunately, the Red Sox are struggling right now. In fact, the team took a nose dive right around the time the drama between Price and Eckersley began. If that wasn’t bad enough, Pedroia took issue with the Boston media for their views on the incident and the idea that there is no Red Sox leader: “For whatever people say from the outside, ‘Oh, we don’t have a leader.’ I’m standing right here, been here for a long time,” Pedroia was quoted in the Boston Globe. “We’re in first place. So that’s it. Write what you guys want. Here I am. You don’t see anybody else standing up here do you? Nope.”

First of all, Pedroia is not a leader. He threw Matt Barnes under the bus last April when he tried to take Manny Macho’s head off. He didn’t stand up for Barnes, or anyone other than himself. Yes, Barnes shouldn’t have thrown at Machado, but instead of coming to Barnes’ defense, he separated himself from him. Now Pedroia wants to step up and look like a leader with the whole Price/Eckersley thing. It seems like Pedroia waits for others to act, and then uses those opportunities to look like a leader. He won’t pull the trigger, but he’ll take credit for the shot. He just doesn’t take credit when it’s not due, he acts like he earned it outright. He’s like a student who puts in little effort and still expects an A.

A Red Sox Leader Inspires

Son of Massachusetts and the 6th President of the US John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Pedroia’s actions aren’t inspiring. They’re self-centered, narcissistic, and void of any real meaning. I’m also not seeing the Red Sox doing more. What I am seeing are players who are failing to carry the team consistently. They’re making the rookies do all the heavy lifting, and they’re not carrying their own weight. As a result, the Red Sox relinquished first place to the Yankees over the weekend. It was theirs to lose.

Pedroia is an amazing player. He’s an MVP, an All-Star, and he is partly responsible for their last two World Series wins. That doesn’t mean he can pick and choose when to be a leader though. Either be a leader or shut up.

Red Sox Management of Players is Lacking

With more details about the confrontation between Dennis Eckersley and David Price emerging, some are wondering who’s in charge in the front office. The Red Sox management is suffering from a credibility problem. Reports about the lack of respect John Farrell gets have circulated for months. It didn’t seem like anyone could control Pablo Sandoval at all. Sandoval did want he wanted when he wanted.

With new details about the Eckersley and Price confrontation comes questions aboutred sox management where Red Sox management was in all this? Anyone Red Sox fan worth his salt knows who Dennis Eckersley is. A former Cy Young Winner, MVP, and Baseball Hall of Famer, Eckersley currently works as a broadcaster with the Red Sox. Eckersley recently made comments about Price’s pitching in a game a few weeks back and Price took issue. Using taunts and “F” bombs, Price slammed Eckersley.

First of all, who does Price think he is? Eckersley called him out for not covering first base in a game a few weeks back and he was absolutely right to do so. Price messed up and Eckersley called him out for it. So instead of learning a lesson, he decided to insult a Hall of Famer because he thought that’s how he’d retain his dignity.

Classy.

By the way, Dennis Eckersley is also a recovering alcoholic who has endured more pain in his life than most ballplayers have. Price probably knows this, and still acted like a self-entitled jerk towards him. But what about Red Sox management? Why’d they let Price get away with this?

Red Sox Management Could Learn A Few Things About Leadership

Years ago I was teaching at an all-boys military school down in Virginia. Veterans of the Marines, Army, and other branches of the military taught there. One day during lunch a former solider told me a story about what it means to command. He was telling me about a video that went viral showing a man dressed in a Sergeant Major’s dress uniform attending a funeral. He clearly wasn’t in the Army, but he was pretending to be for attention. In the video, three real Army soldiers asked the impersonating Sergeant Major where he’d served and what medals he’d earned. The soldiers wanted to make an example of the impersonator. The poorly groomed uniform, or the way the impersonator stood, wasn’t what gave it away though.

What gave him away was the way the impersonator handled the questions. “A real Sergeant Major would NEVER put up with that kind of questioning. If he had been real, he would have reamed out those soldiers for even questioning him.” In other words, a real leader doesn’t let subordinates push him around.

But that’s exactly what’s happening to Dave Dombrowski and John Farrell. David Price confronts a Hall of Famer and nothing’s really done about it. Why didn’t Farrell confront Price immediately and demand he apologize to Eckersley? Yes, it’s childish, but that’s exactly how Price acted.

Dombrowski and Farrell need to step up their aggressive leadership. They’re getting pushed around and the rest of the team is suffering for it.

The Red Sox Announcer Dilemma

The only thing about as inconsistent as the bullpen this summer is who we hear in Red Sox announcer booth. There are a multitude of former Red Sox alongside Dave O’Brien in the NESN booth this season. Most fans are annoyed with the constant changing in commentators. They need to keep just one other signature guy in the booth already. Who should NESN stick with and why?

During home games this season, Jerry Remy is still the Red Sox Red Sox Announcerannouncer voice fans commonly hear. Since 1988, Remy has been a part of Red Sox broadcasts. In my experience, there is one major skill he lacks: the ability to analyze baseball well. To me, that is a key skill to have in the baseball analyzing business but hey, he’s still there.

Nary has he enriched the broadcasts since I’ve been watching this team. Still, the Red Sox and NESN have had plenty of opportunities to part ways with him and haven’t. I don’t want to bring his personal life into a discussion about his broadcasting, but the legal problems with his son as well as legitimate health concerns could be reason enough for Remy to leave on his own.

The ‘Other’ Red Sox Announcer Stand-Ins

Next in the Red Sox announcer pecking order is Steve “Psycho” Lyons. Lyons had three stints as a player in Boston between 1985 and 1993, his first and last Major League stops. He is most known for being traded for the great Tom Seaver as well as dropping his pants while on first base during a game. After a completely bogus firing from Fox nearly a decade ago, Lyons eventually brought his talents to the NESN booth. Originally, he was on the pre and post game shows, which he still is when not color commentating. Psycho brings a great analysis of players on and off the field for fans to better understand the game.

Finally, Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley emerges as the best Red Sox announcer NESN has. “Eck” is by far the best man in the booth. While I think Lyons is good, it’s really not a close race as far as I’m concerned. Even in a “contract year” for all intents and purposes, Remy doesn’t compare. I’m not one for commentators with a stupid schtick, but Eck can back it up. His constant muttering of “cheese” and “hair” to describe the game actually makes him enjoyable. In fact, in the past week I’ve heard Eck refer to both a home run and a contract as a “Johnson”.

Eckersley seems to know exactly what the pitcher is doing, what the manager’s thoughts probably are and the hitter’s expectations. His extensive knowledge of baseball makes for an incredible broadcast. Even with a hairstyle grossly out of fashion, Dennis Eckersley should absolutely be in NESN Red Sox announcer permanently.