So, last month, word came out abut an "incident" on the Red Sox team plane involving David Price and Dennis Eckersley. There were no details of the incident itself, just that the two had words. For some reason, people immediately assumed Price was to blame. Who was he to not respect a Hall of Famer like Eckersley?
Then, yesterday the details came out. And, boy do they make Eck look bad.
It seems that Eckersley was making his way to the back of the team plane, and passed by Price. David announced Eck's presence with a snide comment "Here he is, the greatest pitcher who ever lived. This game is easy for him." He then told Eck to get the *bleep* out of here.
That's it. That was the incident. Well, OK. Actually later in the flight, Eck for some reason tried to go down the length of the plane again, and Price again told him to get the *bleep* out. So, Price mocked Eckersley, and told him to get out.
I know. I'm shaking in my boots just hearing about it.
Why did Price do this? Apparently because he didn't like the way Eckersley reacted to a poor rehab performance from EdRo. He felt he was being too harsh on the kid.
So, why did this become a story? Is it simply the media trying to protect one of their own? I've always found it interesting that the media has been able to convince fans that the worst thing a player in any sport can do is not be nice to the media. If a player doesn't make their jobs easier, they're a bad person. I'm really amazed at how often this actually works.
And, it worked here. People are actually taking Eck's side here. They're calling Price soft.
Sticking up for a teammate is soft?
You know what's soft? Saying things about a player on the air, and then whining when someone calls you on it. Because Eck can't take what he dishes out, he's not going to fly on the team planes anymore. (Or, at least that was the reason given at the end of the article. But, the start of the article said he hardly ever travels with the team anyway.)
People have been pointing out that Eck is supposed to tell the truth. If a player performs poorly, he's supposed to say so. He's not supposed to sugar coat it. If a player sucks, he should say he sucks. And, that's true. Television announcers don't need to be cheerleaders. But, that doesn't mean everyone has to like him for it. Price didn't demand that Eck be fired because he was mean. He didn't storm the NESN offices insisting it was him or Eck. He just called the guy out for the stuff he said. And the media went ballistic.
Clearly the Boston media is just beside themselves trying to be negative about a team that has been alone in first place for quite some time. Now that they can't make fat jokes about Panda, they don't know what to do anymore. How do you know the incident is really meaningless? In the story about it, they have to go back years to find another story about another player who dislikes Eck. Jackie Bradley Jr took his own innocent jab at Eck, thanking him for supplying motivation with his negative comments. The article even included the Instagram picture from years ago. (The article didn't include the fact that JBJ apologized immediately, years ago, even though he probably didn't need to.) The fact that we generally applaud players for turning negatives into motivation was apparently missed in this case. How many times have we heard the story of Paul Pierce reciting the names of players drafted ahead of him as he took jump shots. Don't most Red Sox fans adore Pedroia for playing with a chip on his shoulder? For turning all the "you can't" in to fuel for his determination? But, in this case it was decided that motivation was a bad thing. After all, the opposite wouldn't fit the narrative.
So, half of the article about the "terrible incident" doesn't even discuss the incident. Because there's nothing there.
Why would the incident even be reported in the first place? Was it because the players insisted the media write a story about the fact that they all hate Eckersley? Or, is it more likely a push from Eck? Or, at least a desire from the media to circle the wagon around one of their own. Then again assert that being mean to them will not be tolerated. That every player must simply take whatever crap the media piles on them, and can say nothing in return. A player must treat the media with kid gloves.
Because they're all so thin skinned.
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