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Pedroia on Price incident: ‘It bothers you when stuff’s not true’

Dustin Pedroia spoke Friday afternoon and said of the Red Sox, ‘There nothing that’s going to divide this team.’Jime Davis/Globe staff file

When details emerged earlier in the week about an episode on a team flight between Red Sox pitcher David Price and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley, a group of teammates reportedly cheered on Price as he berated the Hall of Fame pitcher for his criticism of Eduardo Rodriguez.

Dustin Pedroia was reportedly linked to the incident. The Sports Hub cited a source close to Eckersley indicating Pedroia was among the teammates backing Price’s behavior. WEEI, citing a different source who witnessed the incident, refuted that claim.

The drama has brought the Sox’ clubhouse leadership into question and Pedroia spoke for himself before the Sox faced the Royals Friday night at Fenway.


“It bothers you when stuff’s not true,” Pedroia said. “But obviously, I’ll do anything for my teammates — stuff like that — but that’s it. We’re moving past this. This was a month ago. We all love each other, we’re in here together. There’s nothing that’s going to divide this team.

“For whatever people say from the outside, ‘Oh, we don’t have a leader.’ I’m standing right here, been here for a long time. We’re in first place. So that’s it. Write what you guys want. Here I am. You don’t see anybody else standing up here do you? Nope. Fact. There’s your source — from the mouth.”

Price was scheduled to start Friday night, but was scratched and placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to July 25) with a left elbow inflammation.

Price’s run-in with Eckersley was his second incident this season. He had a previous blow-up with a reporter from Comcast SportsNet. Team officials had expressed concern that Price might be booed when he took the mound Friday.

But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and manager John Farrell both said placing Price on the DL had nothing to do with his off-field issues.


“No, none whatsoever,” Dombrowski said. “You can’t put a guy on the disabled list unless you get medical clearance from the commissioner’s office. So let’s just pretend someone wanted to put a guy on the disabled list for a reason, the commissioner’s office checks and gets doctor’s reports and you have to send in doctor’s certifications and all of that. So no, not at all.”

Although several top-ranking Red Sox management members have apologized to Eckersley, no team member has done the same. Farrell has had conversations with Eckersley since the incident and said they maintain a “positive professional relationship.”

Dombrowski said, “John Henry’s apologized to him, Tom Werner’s apologized to him, Sam Kennedy’s apologized to him, I apologized to him. So I think probably the highest ranking officials in the Boston Red Sox organization, and we’ve all reached out to him. So that’s up to individuals and what they decide to do.”

Pedroia said he spoke with Price one-on-one after the incident.

“In this clubhouse, we have two rules basically. It’s pretty easy. It’s just [be] on time and be professional,” Pedroia said. “And after that incident, obviously we talked about it and that’s it. We kind of moved on from it. I’m sure he’s going to have a conversation with Eck whenever he sees him.

“He hasn’t seen him since that. So that’s it. All the other stuff, it’s a distraction. We’re trying to play baseball and win ballgames. So it was kind of an argument between two guys and two grown men, and he’s passionate about what he does, he’s emotional. So that’s it.”


Pedroia also acknowledged that Price could have handled the matter differently.

“I’m sure that’s why they’re going to talk,” Pedroia said. “We play so many games, there’s so many things that go on in baseball that you get emotional. You have tough nights, you lose a 16-inning game or whatever, there’s a lot of things that go on. Stuff happens, man. That’s it. That’s life. So move on, go forward and continue to try to do your job the best you can.”

Although Eckersley traveled with the team to Texas and Tampa Bay a week after the incident, he and Price didn’t speak. Eckersley is in Cooperstown this weekend for the Hall of Fame festivities.

Eventually, Pedroia said, Price will meet with him to clear the air.

“We’re grown men here,” Pedroia said. “I’m not disciplining my 6-year-old son. These are people that really care about what they do and that’s it, man. They’ll have a conversation when they see each other.

“David’s a man. He’s going to do it face-to-face. He’s not going to do it over the phone or text message. When he sees them, they will have a conversation.”

Julian Benbow can be reached at