August 2, 2017

The whole brouhaha over Red Sox star pitcher David Price’s abusive treatment of Red Sox Hall of Famer and NESN broadcaster Dennis Eckersley on the team plane sveral weeks ago was getting a lot of play in Beantown while I was in town for Goodboys Invitational week, and deservedly so. In my view, Price has always been a world-class a-hole, and why the Red Sox thought reeling him in for big bucks was a good idea is beyond me. Hard to say who looks worse in all this – Price, manager John Farrell (who has refused to apologize to Eckersley for the incident), or the team itself. I was just starting to get around to kinda liking and following this team, but hearing Farrell’s pathetic attempt to downplay the issue and then hearing seond baseman Dustin Pedroia defend Price’s actions has turned me off. I’m betting others feel the same way. Chalk this up as a true PR fiasco for the ball club. And just when the Patriots are starting training camp. Great timing, Red Sox.

One marvels at the way Farrell and the Red Sox have handled this incident and compare it with the way coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots organization not might, would have. I can guarantee you it would have: a) been handled in house, and b) resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. In Belichick’s mind, no one is bigger than the team and he allows nothing to distract the team from their one and only goal: getting to the Super Bowl. Obviously, the Red Sox don’t have the guts or willingness to hold Price accountable for his conduct. And it’s been that way from the very start with Price’s treatment of the media in general. Maybe he thinks he’s above it all, but as a member of the Red Sox organization it’s hard to see how this reflects positively on their brand. Perhaps if David Ortiz was on the team things would have turned out differently, but it’s clear the Red Sox clubhouse is sorely in need of a grown-up who can play the role of leader. David Price’s surly sourpuss act isn’t doing them any favors, and it will be interesting to see the reception he gets the next time he takes the mound once his DL stint is over with.

I’m guessing that the end result of this will be that Farrell gets fired at the end of the year. The Red Sox very well might make the playoffs, but it’s hard to see them going deep with the way the Yankees and Astros have positioned themselves. Actually, it’s hard to see how Farrell comes out of this as manager next year; he’s hardly an indispensable piece of the puzzle. He’s a lousy in-game manager, and any manager who loses control of the clubhouse (as he clearly has) is just laying the foundation for bigger problems down the line. I’m guessing the Sox know this, but there’s no way they’re going to let their manager go at this point of the season.

Just because you’re winning a lot of ball games doesn’t make you winners. In this media-conscious day and age it’s all about the brand, likeability, and the bottom line. The Patriots organization understands that better than anyone. I just wish the Red Sox did.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 18:37 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. Eck was honored the other night with a video montage (ongoing process to honor former Sox players). He got a heartfelt standing O from the fans. No question where they stand on this issue. I agree, what should be a very likable team has gone the other way due to a few rotten eggs. Sox need to make a change.

    Comment by Goose — August 3, 2017 @ 9:24 am


  2. Good point Shank/Goose:
    The fans won’t stand for Price unless he wins!
    Whatever happened to the good old Red Sox like
    Evans, Rice & Lynn!

    Cubby

    Comment by Ron Cubby Myerow — August 3, 2017 @ 4:43 pm


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