— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 24, 2017
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 24, 2017
The Red Sox are the talk of the town, not because the team is leading the American League East in the early parts of the second half of the season, but for some comments made by team members about media members.
The first to come out was the Dennis Eckersley vs. David Price verbal confrontation that happened on a team charter a couple weeks ago.
From Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe:
“For Price, the tipping point came when he learned Eckersley said “Yuck” when Eduardo Rodriguez’s poor stats were flashed on the NESN screen after a rehab start in Pawtucket June 29.
On the day of the episode, Price was standing near the middle of the team aircraft, surrounded by fellow players, waiting for Eckersley. When Eckersley approached, on his way to the back of the plane (Sox broadcasters traditionally sit in the rear of the aircraft), a grandstanding Price stood in front of Eckersley and shouted, “Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!’’
The specifics of the story are just coming out about the matter, and man, they don’t bode well for David Price’s image.
The general take on this story seems to side with Eck, who was simply reacting to a horrendous pitching line in a rehab stint in AAA Pawtucket.
I tend to agree with those on Eck’s side. It’s ridiculous that players, especially $200 million salary players like Price, have such thin skin to the media. Eck is not only allowed to say what he wants to say about the Sox, he is paid to do so. It drives me NUTS when NESN announcers use “we” as part of the team so clearly. Eck at least keeps it real in the booth, and shouldn’t have to worry about what he says from the players.
Price later commented, “some people don’t understand how hard this league is” which is absurd given Eckersley is a Hall of Fame pitcher in BASEBALL. If anyone, he would understand.
Obviously Price can stand up for his boys, but acting like this just makes him look like an immature and insecure child.
As for the second story, the Boston Red Sox PR team took direct shots at their radio affiliate for some of the comments made on shows on the network.
DigBoston, a fairly unknown news/opinion website in Boston wrote a story about racism, Boston, and Baseball. Although I disagree with the concept of the story, it did get the Red Sox to comment saying,
“None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox,” said Zineb Curran, senior director of corporate communications for the Red Sox. “We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line. At times, we feel the same way.”
Strong words to radio network which just recently signed a contract through 2023 to air every Red Sox game in exchange for millions of dollars.
Britni De La Cretaz, who’s three stories on the site are a bit whiny (in my opinion), brought up the WEEI comments to the Red Sox by writing in her piece,
“The WEEI morning show, however, is well known for the right-wing views of its hosts and has a reputation of trafficking in conservative talking points and lambasting people of color, as well as women, gay people, and trans folks. Indeed, the hosts’ personal Twitter accounts, as well as their show’s account, regularly share articles from Breitbart News. WEEI did not return multiple requests for comment for this story, but according to the station’s website, “both [Minihane and Callahan] are very good at keeping listeners tuned in with unique and creative content and typically mock the ordinary … sports talk segments.” According to WEEI, this makes them “arguably the best sports talk show in the market.”
I don’t identify with all of the morning show’s takes (or any at times), but to say the problem with the morning show is you disagree with their opinions is simply wrong.
Not only should the Red Sox not comment about their media partners like this, they should know who they are getting into business with. The show was like this when the Red Sox signed the contract, which gives them no reason to complain like this. It makes it look like the Red Sox speak out of their proverbial mouth.
Kirk and Callahan clearly state their show is not just about sports, but is about the trending topics of the day. The people that disagree with their opinions make the show what it is, and has led it to be the number one show in Boston.
If the Red Sox don’t want to be associated with this banter, they shouldn’t have signed the contract. Their PR comment late last week is disrespectful to the network and the fans of the show, who are dominantly Red Sox fans.