COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — I’ve never really found it hard to take sides in the David Price-Dennis Eckersley dust-up. Price is a talented baby who feels he is being a good teammate and a tough guy when he rips Eckersley. A bewildered Eckersley, who never wants to talk about it, just shrugs his shoulders and wonders about his nonsensical nemesis in the Sox clubhouse.
“He’s my new Kirk Gibson,’’ Eckersley said with a laugh Saturday in Cooperstown, N.Y. “Everywhere I go people are asking me about David Price, telling me what he said about me. For years, I carried the Gibson thing around. Everybody was droppin’ a Gibson on me. Now I got this. I don’t get it.’’
No one understands it. But let’s get one thing straight: This is not a back-and-forth feud. This is Price — twice in three years — going out of his way to attack Eckersley. Eck has never fired back and he’s not firing back now. He initiated none of it and studiously avoids the topic. I tried to get him to talk about it again Saturday with no luck. Eck just wants to enjoy his life, his grandchildren, and his broadcast career. He’s recovered from alcoholism, broken marriages, and surrendering one of the most famous home runs in World Series history. A few mean words from a petulant millionaire lefty can’t hurt him.