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BOSTON — David Price ignited an old feud Wednesday with Red Sox TV analyst Dennis Eckersley after the Hall of Fame pitcher commented about a confrontation between the men in a story by The Boston Globe this week.
Two years ago, Price confronted Eckersley on a team flight after Eckersley was critical of a player’s performance on air. On Wednesday, Price called it “trash” that Eckersley discussed the incident during an interview for a lengthy piece on the former pitcher’s life and career.
“I didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never,” Eckersley told The Boston Globe Magazine about the incident. “I don’t really give a (expletive) one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”
That was the only time Eckersley was quoted about the run-in.
About three hours before the scheduled first pitch of the Red Sox-Blue Jays game at Fenway Park, Price let loose about Eckersley to reporters in the home clubhouse.
“The fact that it was two years ago, over two years ago now. The fact that he wanted to move on and since then he’s went on the radio and talked about it, done it again,” Price said. “In 2017, I addressed it, told you guys in front of the camera I wish I handled it differently. I did it again in 2018 in spring training on Day One. Said the same thing.”
Price said a meeting was arranged for he and Eckersley in 2017, in which Price planned to apologize. He said Eckersley backed out of that meeting.
Price also criticized a recent MLB Network documentary about Eckersley’s career.
“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,” Price said. “If anybody everybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won’t need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates. I will have former coaches — they can all vouch for me. He didn’t have that. To me, that is, that’s all you need to know. That tells the entire story right there.”
Chad Finn, the Boston Globe columnist who wrote the Eckersley profile, tweeted in response to Price’s comments that he cut numerous interviews from his story — including Jim Rice, Buddy Bell and Tony La Russa — because “there was so much universal praise for him that it got redundant.”
Price is in the fourth year of a $217-million, seven-year deal he signed as a free agent before 2016.
Eckersley was not scheduled to work Wednesday’s game.