Red Sox

David Price doubles down on criticism of Dennis Eckersley: 'I just think it's trash'

David Price doubles down on criticism of Dennis Eckersley: 'I just think it's trash'

BOSTON -- David Price is not backing down.

Two years after his airplane confrontation with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley permanently tarnished Price's reputation in Boston, the left-hander explained why he fired back at comments the broadcaster made in a recent Boston Globe profile.

Requesting to address the assembled media at about 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Price said that he offered to meet with Eckersley shortly after the 2017 incident and that he planned to apologize, but Eckersley didn't show.

Asked why Eckersley's comments bothered him, Price very calmly unloaded.

"The fact that it was two years ago, over two years ago now," Price said. "The fact that he wanted to move on and since then he's went on the radio and talked about it, done it again. In 2017 I addressed it. I told you guys in front of the camera that I wished I'd have handled it differently. I did it again in 2018 in spring training on day 1, I said the same thing.

"We had a meeting set up in 2017, here at the field, got here early. Hour and a half, two hours after I get here, they come and tell me that he's not coming. We had a meeting, he backed out. I was going to tell him. I apologize, I didn't handle it the right way, and it continues to come up. There's no reason for it. Honestly, I just think it's trash."

Price went on to praise Eckersley's Hall of Fame career before suggesting he was not a popular player.

"I saw his special on MLB Network. It was cool," Price said. "The one thing that definitely stood out to me, he had zero former teammates in that interview. Not one, talking about him. It was him, talking about himself.

"If anybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won't need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates, I'll have former coaches, they can all vouch for me. He didn't have that. To me, that's all you need to know. That tells the entire story right there. My teammates will vouch for me. My coaches will vouch for me. He doesn't have that. So he has to vouch for himself."

With the Red Sox on the outside of the playoff standings looking in, now seems like a bad time to address old grievances, but Price explained why he fired back.

"I'm going to stick up for myself at all times," he said. "I don't care what backlash I get, negative attention, I'm fine with that. I'm going to speak up for myself, I'm going to stand up for myself, and he either needs to move on or we can meet. He says he wants to move on? Stop talking about it. That's the way I feel about it.

"That's absolutely what disappoints me the most. He wants to move on, but he continues to go on the radio or do interviews about it. If you want to move on, move on. We're two grown men. We can meet. Ain't nothing going to happen. I yelled at you. I'm sure everybody in here's been yelled at. It was unfortunate that it happened, I wanted to tell him that face to face, and he chose not to show up. So that was that."

Price was asked if Eckersley's comments criticizing the boisterous celebrations of Toronto's Marcus Stroman, one of Price's closest friends, were somehow directed at the Red Sox left-hander.

"I don't know. Have you seen videos of Dennis Eckersley pitching?" Price asked. "You've seen the stuff that he did when he struck somebody out? Really? Shooting them with a finger gun? Stuff like that? Come on. Stroman's out there yelling, 'Yeah?' No. He needs to wake up."

At the end of the day, Price wants Eckersley to stop referencing the incident. It should be noted that Eck's comments were relatively benign in the lengthy Chad Finn piece:

"I don't plan on saying a word to him, I don't plan on seeing him, never," Eckersley said. "I don't really give a (expletive) one way or another. I don't think he really cares one way or the other."

On that point, Price agreed.

"I don't care," he said. "Say he doesn't want to talk about it, like he said, he wants to move on. You want to move on, you move on. I've already tried to reach out to him. If he wants to meet, we can meet. I'm fine with it. I'll apologize to him face to face. This is my third time now in front of the media. I'm sure he'll speak about it again.

"That was two years ago," Price added. "Two years. Close to 800 days. Come on, dude. I wish I would've handled it differently, absolutely. This is the third time I've said that in front of you guys. That feeling hasn't changed. It happened, I dealt with it, I moved on. He obviously hasn't."

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Diamondbacks hire long-time Red Sox scout Gary Hughes

Diamondbacks hire long-time Red Sox scout Gary Hughes

The Red Sox are working toward cleaning out their front office by firing Dave Dombrowski and letting go of executive Frank Wren and scout Eddie Bane, and now it appears they've lost a long-time scout to Arizona. 

According to Bob Nightengale, the Diamondbacks have hired veteran scout Gary Hughes to work with Mike Hazen and the Arizona front office.

Hazen is a part of Theo Epstein's tree of baseball executives, and Nightengale notes that much of the Diamondbacks' staff has Boston ties and raves about Hughes' scouting ability. 

The Red Sox hired Hughes in 2012 and he's been with the club ever since. He also had past stops with the Cubs, Yankees, Expos, Marlins, Rockies and Reds. Losing him will surely hurt the Red Sox moving forward. 

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How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

With a loss to the Rays and an Indians win over the Phillies, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a season following their World Series championship. 

Boston has won 4 titles in the last 15 years, a mark no other team has matched in the same time frame. But the last two times the Red Sox have won it all, they failed to make it past September the following season. 

After winning the World Series in 2013 with a magical bearded run following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox finished with a 71-91 record, which was good for last place in the AL East. They followed up 2004's championship with a first-round sweep to the eventual champion White Sox and then fell to the Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008. 

Fortunately for the Red Sox, it's become pretty common for a World Series hangover to last an entire season after the fact. Boston is now the 10th team since 2000 to miss the postseason after hoisting that World Series trophy. 

Of course, we know what those teams did after they won it all, but what happened the year after they failed to get back? How many bounced back vs completely faded away?

2004 ANGELS

The Angels followed up their first championship in franchise history with a letdown year in 2003. They finished 77-85 and finished third in their division. However, they returned to form in 2004 and took back the AL West crown. The addition of Vladimir Guerrero certainly helped. The 29-year-old superstar won the AL MVP in his first season with the Angels, hitting .337 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. The Angels would eventually get swept in the ALDS by the eventual champion Red Sox.

2005 MARLINS

The Marlins shocked the world by beating the Yankees in the 2003 Fall Classic, but finished third in the NL East the season after. Things didn't get much better for them in 2005 either. Sure, they had a better record, but they once again fell to third place and would eventually trade Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit and send ace Josh Beckett to the Red Sox. This is probably the path the Red Sox want to avoid. The Marlins have been one of baseball's worst over the last 10 years. 

2007 WHITE SOX

After winning the World Series in 2005, Chicago went 90-72 the following season. A strong showing, but the AL Central was a powerhouse that year. The Tigers and Twins made the postseason over them. The year following, the White Sox went 72-90 and haven't been a real threat in the American League since. 

2008 CARDINALS

St. Louis won its first championship since 1967 in 2006, but missed the playoffs the next two seasons after. Cardinals fans wouldn't be disappointed for long though, as they won another title in 2011 in an epic series with the Rangers. 

2012 GIANTS

Ah, the Giants. Kings of winning a World Series, missing the playoffs and then bouncing back to win another. The Giants missed the postseason after winning it all in 2010, but then came back the following year to beat the Tigers in the World Series. Few will forget Sergio Romo striking out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to close out the series for San Francisco. 

2014 GIANTS

Look who it is! It's the Giants yet again! The 2014 run was how Madison Bumgarner became one of the best big-game pitchers of all time. He carried the Giants staff on an incredible workload to lift the Giants to their third championship in five years. They're the only team close to the Red Sox' level of success since the turn of the century. 

2015 RED SOX

The Red Sox were terrible in 2014, and while they weren't as bad in 2015, they still finished last in the AL East and below .500. Fortunately they would win the next three straight division titles to go with a World Series in 2018, but sometimes the reload takes a bit longer than you'd want from a team that was able to reach the pinnacle of their profession. Age most certainly played a factor for Boston here. 

2016 GIANTS

Everyone assumed the Giants would bounce back for the fourth time and win another World Series after missing the playoffs in an odd-numbered year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and the Giants would miss the playoffs for the second straight season. They have not been back to the postseason since. 

2017 ROYALS

The Royals took down the Mets in 2015 to finally get their World Series championship after falling to the Giants in 2014. The next two season would not be kind to the Royals, where they missed the playoffs both seasons with a record around .500. Kansas City is now one of the worst teams in baseball, but at least they got one. 

2020 RED SOX?

The Red Sox have a lot of questions to answer regarding their roster with Dave Dombrowski officially out as President of Baseball Operations. J.D. Martinez can opt-out of his current deal for a pay raise, and Mookie Betts' extension weighs over the franchise's head too. After a season like 2019, Boston needs to upgrade their pitching staff, but they might not be able to if they want to commit resources to their best players. Boston could be in trouble moving forward. 

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