In his first lengthy public comments on his confrontation with David Price, Hall of Famer and Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley tells WEEI he was "humiliated" in the airplane incident with Price and his Red Sox teammates.
"I was humiliated, to be honest with you," Eckersley told Rob Bradford on the "Bradfo Show Podcast." "As far as talking about this, I've never said anything [since the incident]. You're the first person I've really talked to about this. I don't want to make it anything more than it is."
Eckersley, 62, the Hall of Fame pitcher now an analyst on NESN's Red Sox telecast, and Price, the Sox oft-injured left-hander, were involved in a verbal confrontation on a team flight in late June in which Price, surrounded by his teammates, called out Eckersley for what Price perceived was negative commentary on telecasts.
Eckersley told Bradford he's not going to talk to Price again.
"Ultimately this comes back to the dude doesn't like me," Eckersley said. "I get it. It's cool. Let's move on. . . . Why would I want to talk to him, you know? He's not the first guy that doesn't like me. I get it."
The ex-Red Sox pitcher who went on to become a Cy Young and MVP-winning closer with the Oakland A's, Eckersley said he's very familiar with being a player and watching his team's telecasts from his days in Oakland.
"I used to watch three-quarters of the game before I went to the bullpen. I remember thinking to myself if I ever do this, and it was just a thought, I want to make sure I know this game's not that easy. You don't want to get up there and just starting popping off....You can't sit there and say [to yourself], 'Careful here, careful there. You don't want to hurt somebody.' A lot of these players think they want their mom and dad up here calling the game."
Ultimately, Eckersley said, it doesn't really matter what the players think of his commentary.
"I can't worry about 30 guys in that clubhouse," he said. "The people I'm trying to talk to are the audience."
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