By: Jake Perda
In the wake of the specifics of the David Price-Dennis Eckersley confrontation being revealed, there are a different few things that we could look at. #1. David Price is the definition of an over-sensitive, thin-skinned, panzy. #2. The fact that he had teammates applaud his blasphemous actions is simply sickening. #3. The fact that no apology has been issued from any player is a direct reflection of the poor job that has been done by John Farrell and the rest of the Red Sox upper management. The list is endless. But at the end of the day, it all goes back to one overlying issue. The Red Sox have an extreme lack of leadership.
Of course, with the retirement of David Ortiz, it was hard to tell who was going to take over as THE GUY in the Sox clubhouse. It seemed like the obvious answer was Dustin Pedroia, but it has since been confirmed that it’s not in his nature to take over a team. There is a ton of merit in leading by example, but someone needs to step up and take responsibility for keeping this team under control. Unfortunately, the only person who has seemed to make an attempt at stepping into this role has been David Price, and it has been for all the wrong reasons….
David Price has seemed to try to rally the clubhouse with an “Us against the world” mentality. Normally, this would be a good thing. Look at the Patriots. “New England against the world” has been a rallying cry for years. HOWEVER, including every member of the local media and even the fans in the people who you are out to spite is not a good look. And the fact that there are teammates who supported and applauded Price’s actions highlights the lack of a steadying force in this clubhouse.
You may be asking yourself, isn’t John Farrell supposed to be that steadying force? The simple answer is, of course, yes. Yes, he is. But as he’s proven time and time again, John Farrell is afraid to be do or say anything that might create a strain in his relationship with his players (aside from misusing them à la Travis Shaw and Brad Ziegler). Dave Dombrowski has explicitly said that John Farrell’s value as a manager lies in his management of the players, yet it appears that he has no control over what they do. He has done nothing to discipline Price or any of his players following this situation, nor has he even been able to get them to issue any sort of apology. At the very least, they should be putting out a bullshit PR-friendly apology to try and save face. Instead, they’ve done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. For John Farrell and all of Red Sox management, this is a total embarrassment.
The reason I’m so concerned with the leadership of this team is because of how young they are. This roster is chock-full of young, talented players who hopefully will make up the foundation of this franchise for years to come. The last thing I want is for Betts, Benintendi, Bogaerts, and even Rafael Devers to think this is an acceptable way of solving their problems with the media. It doesn’t help that Jackie Bradley Jr. has already been known to have this type of attitude, but only thing worse than 2 guys with shitty attitudes is 25 guys with shitty attitudes.
If this team is going to win moving forward, there needs to be a culture shift. And if that’s going to happen, this team needs a leader. It’s clearly not going to be John Farrell, and it can’t be David Price, so who’s going to step up? Dustin Pedroia? Chris Sale? That remains to be seen, but if we go the rest of season without someone taking responsibility for this team's actions, I can’t see this team going very far when the pressure starts to build.
Photo: (The Boston Globe)