What a giant waste of time David Price has become.
In an epic display of thin-skinned, tone-deaf, self-centered and stubborn-to-a-fault rambling, Price partook in a clubhouse interview before last night’s game that took the cake in a crowded field of contenders for athletes who behave like children.
On a day when Price could have extended an olive branch to Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and offer an ounce of humility and contrition for berating and embarrassing him on the team plane for having the gall to be critical — “Yuck!” Eck uttered on-air when he saw a yucky linescore on a rehab start by Eduardo Rodriguez — Price instead doubled down on his eyewash act.
He’s a leader, you see. An unrepentant leader.
And if Eckersley were around the clubhouse more often before and after games — which is all Price really wants, after all — then Price would not have had to wait to see him on the airplane to deliver his message.
I’m sure he’s right — as long as there were teammates around to hear him and see him defend their honor, then Price is always there to get in the face of the offender.
One-on-one direct communication on the side with no audience, the way adults are supposed to deal with adversity and disagreements?
What’s the point of that?
Don’t ask Price.
That would be a waste of his time and ours.
“If Eck was around, he’d know who we are — he’s never in the clubhouse,” said Price. “Mr. (Jerry) Remy is always in here. Dave O’Brien is always around. Mr. (Mike) Timlin, on the roadtrip, always in the clubhouse. He’s the one guy I’ve seen in my career that doesn’t ever show his face in the clubhouse. There’s a reason behind that.
“If you’re going to say what he says, you know, come around — just show your face. And if guys have a problem with it, they’ll pull him aside. Be like, ‘that ain’t how it’s done.’ This is not the first time this has happened here regarding Eck. It’s unfortunate that it happened and it did and we’re going to get through it.”
Courage, David, courage.
Price will eventually get around to telling Eckersley that he “could have handled it probably in a different way.”
Don’t commit, David.
And don’t even hint that you might apologize to Eckersley, either — that wouldn’t play well in the clubhouse.
“Standing up for my guys,” said Price, after describing himself as “absolutely” being a leader on the Red Sox. “Talked to my dad this morning. He remembered whenever I got suspended in fifth grade for one day for standing up for classmates, and that’s who I am. That’s who I always have been and that’s what I’ll continue to be.”
Hooray for the fifth-grade Price, who I bet truly was a stand-up classmate.
But professional athletes do not get the “stand-up teammate” label when their actions resemble a schoolyard bully whose sole response is the knee-jerk variety: lashing out in anger.
If they did, owners John Henry and Tom Werner and presidents Dave Dombrowski and Sam Kennedy would not have had to seek out Eckersley and apologize for Price’s actions and words.
What kind of leader doesn’t understand how spectacularly his strategy has backfired when the four most powerful people in the organization are put in damage control mode?
If Price were not so vital to the team’s fortunes the next two seasons (at least), the team would have handled his indefensible tirade against Eckersley much more harshly. But, much like the Red Sox needed to treat Manny Ramirez with kid gloves in order to keep him happy and in the lineup even when he was behaving poorly, the Red Sox need to keep Price around and on the mound.
Price’s act is getting old, quickly, and his peckish, narcissistic effort to defend it yesterday rang hollow and sad.
It’s not rare to find an athlete who is sensitive, but Price’s beef with Eckersley is above and beyond the norm.
It’s telling that Price believes his outburst worked.
“Ever since that’s happened, (Eck)’s been really good. He’s said a lot of positive stuff about everybody in this clubhouse,” said Price. “This is one band, one sound. We’ve got to have everybody on board. That’s that.”
That’s not that, of course, but when Price was asked if his strategy might not be working or pertinent to winning ballgames, he played dumb.
“Not too sure what you’re asking, but I know this clubhouse is a tight-knit group of guys,” said Price. “Everything that’s happened has not spaced us out or done anything of that nature. If anything, we’ve had discussions about it, we’ve rallied around it. I’m standing up for my teammates. That’s it. That’s that.”
For someone who has embraced the role of media ombudsman in addition to being a starting pitcher, Price sounded like somebody who had never thought about how to ask nicely when it comes to finding somebody to snap him out of his funk.
“That’s not my job, that’s what you guys do,” said Price. “I don’t know. I don’t have any constructive criticism.”
Change your strategy, and your tune.
Because that ain’t how it’s done....Read more