Getty Images

Some light is shed on David Price’s rant at Dennis Eckersley

27 Comments

Last Thursday Red Sox pitcher David Price confronted Hall of Famer and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley during a team flight to Toronto. The circumstances of the argument were not clear at the time and at least one report said that it was a “back and forth,” presumably about some critical comments Eckersley made on the air about Price.

Today Rob Bradford of WEEI.com sheds a bit more light on the situation. It doesn’t reflect well on Price.

When asked about it yesterday — Price only talks to the media on days he starts — Price said he was “standing up for [his] teammates,” and that “whatever crap I catch for that, I’m fine with it.” Some with the Red Sox, however, found Price’s “standing up” to be pretty uncomfortable. And it sounds it:

While initial reports suggested the incident involved a back-and-forth between the two, those familiar with the situation point out that it was Price who did all the talking, with the pitcher waiting for Eckersley before pretty much putting the analyst on stage for the sake of the teammates Price thought he was standing up for.

Price is kind of an odd duck. On the one hand he’s always been pretty publicly self-critical of his performance and at times downright self-effacing, as when he tweeted some lighthearted stuff which acknowledged his postseason struggles last winter. Lately, however, he’s been seen to pick fights with media members — Eckersley here, Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com a few weeks back — due to what he considered to be critical comments. Is the former behavior an act and is he, in fact, thin-skinned, or is something else going on?

No one not in Price’s head can fully answer that question, but it’s hard to see why Price believes putting individual members of the media on blast in such a fashion is a good idea. For one thing, it’s unreasonable for him to think that either he or his teammates are above criticism at times, at least as long as it’s focused on baseball and not personal attacks. For another it, inevitably, leads to more criticism, not less, which seems to be . . . not what Price wants.

It’s Price’s life and career and he can do whatever he wants with it, but the list of guys who have taken the sort of media relations approach he’s taken of late and done well by it is short. The list of guys who have managed to pull it off in Boston is non-existent.

Brewers reliever Josh Hader in hot water over racist, homophobic tweets from 2011-12

Getty Images
13 Comments

Brewers reliever Josh Hader didn’t have a good night. He gave up four hits and a three-run homer to put the National League in a big hole in the All-Star Game. That’s the kind of thing that has to stick with you.

Oh, and he was also revealed to be a SUPER BIG racist, misogynist and homophobe. That’s gonna stick with him too, and may land him in trouble with Major League Baseball.

Someone decided to dig through Hader’s Twitter history this evening and when they did they found some ugly, ugly stuff in there from back in 2011-12.* Hader was found to have used the n-word, liberally. He said “I hate gay people.” He said some super misogynistic stuff about wanting a woman who will cook and clean for him, among other pretty damn vile things. There were multiple references to cocaine. He said “I’ll murder your family” to one person and made some total non-sequitur tweet simply saying “KKK.” You name a social media etiquette line that one can cross and Hader not only crossed it, but he totally and gleefully trampled over. If you want to see that vile stuff you can see it over at The Big Lead, which screen-capped it. I presume Hader has deleted them by now.

The news of Hader’s old, unearthed tweets bubbled out as the All-Star Game was going on, and reporters met Hader in the locker room right afterward for comment. Hader owned up to them — there was no “I was hacked” excuses offered here — saying that the tweets were a sign of immaturity when he was 17 years-old. He said he plans to apologize to his teammates, saying they don’t reflect on him as a person now. His quote: “No excuses. I was dumb and stupid.” Which, well, yes, obviously.

That may not be the end of it, however:

These tweets are old, Hader may be a different person now and people can do a lot of growing up between 17 and 24. But Major League Baseball is not happy tonight, I can assure you, that an ugly social media incident blew up during its biggest showcase of the regular season.

Will Hader be disciplined? Hard to say, given that Hader wasn’t even drafted yet when those tweets were made and given that MLB’s social media policy was not even in place then. But it would not shock me at all if more comes of this than Hader merely apologizing to his teammates. Stay tuned.

*There are several putative Hader tweets floating around Twitter right now of a more recent vintage. Hader has locked his account, however, and they cannot be confirmed, and many people who were able to access his account before it was locked said those tweets were not there before, with the suggestion that they were Photoshopped. We are neither in the position to — nor do we have the inclination to — verify which of Hader’s tweets are legitimate and which are fabricated. We know, however, that there is more than ample, awful stuff that he has owned up to and we’ll leave it at that for now.