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Transcript: David Price still critical of Dennis Eckersley

Rob Bradford
July 29, 2017 - 5:51 pm

David Price met with the media for just more thatn 10 minutes Saturday afternoon, addressing both his health and the controversy surrounding his incident with NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley. Here is a transcript of the interview:

(Regarding criticism)

I haven’t heard it, to be honest. My attitude is still the same. I want to help these guys win this year. That’s what we’re focused on doing.

(How does elbow feel?)

I feel good, honestly. It’s not the same that went on in spring training. It’s nowhere near the extent of what happened on March 2nd. I feel good.

(Will you talk to Eckersley?)

Yeah, we’ll speak when he’s here in person. We’ll definitely talk it out.

(How has Eckersley controversy affected the clubhouse?)

I don’t think that’s affected what we do in here at all. It’s not something that we talked about after it happened or any other time. I don’t think it’s affected us. We just haven’t played the type of baseball we’re capable of playing.

(Do you wish it hadn't happened?)

I could have handled it probably a different way, but ever since that’s happened, he’s been really good. He’s said a lot of positive stuff about everybody in this clubhouse. This is one band, one sound. We’ve got to have everybody on board. That’s that.

(Confident that elbow issue is a short-term one?)

Yeah. I’m way more optimistic than I was in spring training. If spring training was a 10 out of a 10, this is a 1. It’s not what it was in the spring. I’m confident that I’ll be OK.

(Is it the same area of the elbow?)

I think it is in a different place. Just going on how my arm feels in everyday activity, whether it’s brushing my teeth or just using my arm in everything that I do, in spring training that was very limited in what I could do. Right now, it doesn’t limit me in everyday activity. It’s nowhere near what it was then.

(How soon will you be back?)

I feel like I’ve missed five or six already. Today might be the seventh. I don’t think I’m going to be starting in three days, so yeah, I would have to say it will be more than 10 days. But yeah, we’ll play catch whenever it feels good. We did all the strength tests and the grip tests. My strength and my grip were both stronger than what they were in spring training before I came back. All the signs are really good. Just going to take it a day at a time, get all the treatment, and take care of it.

(How long until you start throwing again?)

I’ve probably averaged over 100 pitches since I came back. Before it happened in spring training, I hadn’t thrown more than 30 pitches in an outing, hadn’t even made an outing to that point. I had one live B.P. when it happened in spring training. My arm is built up to this point. It wouldn’t be a long process once I start throwing.

(Can the team get out of this slump?)

Absolutely. I still don’t feel like we’ve played our best baseball. We started playing really well before the All-Star break. That’s usually what happens. You start playing well and then you have four days off before your next game. We’ll hit our stride. We’ll start playing well, start doing all the little things extremely well like we expect to do. We’re in a good position right now. obviously we wish we were still in first place by however many games we were, but this is a very confident group. We’re all confident we’ll get back to it.

(Do you expect Dave Dombrowski to make moves before the trade deadline?)

That’s kind of what Dave does. That’s kind of what he’s known for. He’s always looking for ways to make the team better. I don’t think it matters if you’re in second place or  you’re in first place in your division by seven or eight games. He’s always looking for ways to make our club better. That’s one of the good things about having Dave around.

(Is this approach to the media working?)

Not too sure what you’re asking, but I know this clubhouse is a tight-knit group of guys. Everything that’s happened has not spaced us out or done anything of that nature. If anything, we’ve had discussions about it, we’ve rallied around it. I’m standing up for my teammates. That’s it. That’s that.

(How about how the fans feel about the controversy?)

That’s kind of the worst part about it. Fans hear what they say. They’re going to believe what they read and what they hear on TV. That’s not us. If Eck was around, he’d know who we are. He’s never in the clubhouse. Mr. Remy is always in here. Dave O’Brien is always around. Mr. Timlin, on the roadtrip, always in the clubhouse. He’s the one guy I’ve seen in my career that doesn’t ever show his face in the clubhouse. There’s a reason behind that. 

(What would you say to the fans?)

We’re plugging away. All the support that we get both here in Fenway and on the road, it’s tremendous. Whenever we come in or go out on the road for BP, just to see the amount of fans that we have above our dugout compared to wherever we are, it’s always at least twice as many fans. They support us really well. They hold us on a very high pedestal and that’s the same thing we do as well. This is a very tough game and we’ll rally together and get through this.

(How would you change how the media goes about covering the team?)

I don’t know, man, I don’t think that’s … that’s not my job. That’s what you guys do. I don’t know. I don’t have any constructive criticism.

(Do you actually think Eckersley has been overly-critical?)
No, that’s part of it. Every team that we play here, whenever they here, whenever they hear our broadcast, everybody in here is always getting text messages how the guy, he has to never be around. People know what’s going on. That’s just part of it. We’ll get through this. This isn’t going to hinder us in any way. It hasn’t caused us to play the type of baseball we’ve played. We just haven’t played good baseball and that’s that. Like I said before, this is a very hard game and it’s not always going to go your way. whenever you go through a stretch like this, everybody’s going to have to come together and we do and when we get through this, it makes us feel that much better at the end of the year.

(Are you going to apologize to Eckersley?)
Um, when he’s around, we’ll speak face to face. I’m sure you all will hear what’s said. That’s the way it goes.

(What was your take on Dustin Pedroia's meeting with the media Friday?)

It was good. You know, we talked before he addressed the media yesterday. And told him whatever he needed to say to take it off of him. This isn’t about him. He’s a tremendous leader, the way he prepares, the way he’s ready to play everyday through everything he’s going through with himself. That’s a guy that everybody in this clubhouse looks up to. And for people to say, whatever’s been said about him, they don’t know Pedey.

(Are you a leader?)

Absolutely. Yeah. For sure. And that’s, stand up for my guys. I talked to my dad this morning and he remembered whenever I got suspended in fifth grade for one day, for standing up for classmates. And that’s who I am, that's who I always have been and that’s who I’ll continue to be."

(Is this about criticism regarding yourself?)

"Honestly I don’t. I don’t go back and watch the broadcast after I pitch. I honestly can tell you that I’ve never heard Eckersley say a bad thing about me. I never have. So that had nothing to do with me whatsoever."

(Problem with Eckersley not being in the clubhouse)

"I mean if you’re going to say what he says, you know, come around. Just show your face. And if guys have a problem with it, they’ll pull him aside. Be like, that ain’t how it’s done. This is not the first time this has happened here regarding Eck. It’s unfortunate that it happened and it did and we’re going to get through it."

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