David Price is still on the outs with the Boston media, it seems. He reportedly confronted Hall of Fame hurler and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley during a team flight to Toronto on Thursday — his second such altercation after engaging in a heated dispute with Evan Drellich of CSN New England last month.
A report from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo shed little light on the situation, saying only that “the the team was disturbed by the second such incident between Price and a media member.” A closed-door meeting with Price, manager John Farrell and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was held prior to Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays, though none of the parties commented publicly on the specifics of the spat.
The confrontation took place just hours after Price’s latest start, during which the southpaw shut down the Twins with seven innings of six-hit, three-run ball for his third win of the season. He struck out seven of 27 batters, matching his season-best mark, and completed his first outing without issuing a single walk. Cafardo noted that Eckersley didn’t seem unduly critical toward the left-hander, but ESPN’s Buster Olney cited a source that said Price had taken offense at comments made during Eckersley’s postgame wrap.
Whatever the reason behind the tirade, the Red Sox seem to prefer to handle it internally. It’s a prudent move on their part, if only to help mitigate the frustration Price has been feeling — and frequently expressing — toward members of the media. While he may have a perfectly legitimate, if private, bone to pick with the media’s portrayal of his performance and persona, continued public outbursts like this one will do nothing but continue to paint him in a bad light.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.