David Price's history with Dennis Eckersley and Boston media, in his own words

Darren Hartwell

Good luck summing up David Price in one word.

The 33-year-old left-hander has been the Boston Red Sox's best pitcher this season, carrying an otherwise awful rotation with a 7-2 record and 3.16 ERA entering Friday's start against the Baltimore Orioles.

But he's also been one of their biggest distractions, most recently re-hashing a 2017 beef with NESN broadcaster Dennis Eckersley and doubling down Wednesday in a fiery media session.

Indeed, there's always been two sides to Price since he signed a seven-year, $217 million contract with Boston in late 2015 and decided not to opt out following the 2018 season. 

With the veteran hurler again making headlines for his comments instead of his pitching, here's a timeline of his history with Eckersley and the Boston media ... in Price's own words.

December 5, 2015: A day after signing his massive deal with the Red Sox, Price is asked about his postseason struggles, which include just two wins in 14 appearances to that date.

"I think I was just saving all my postseason wins for the Red Sox. I know good things are going to happen for me in October; it just hasn't been the case thus far. ... That time is coming for me, and I hope it's in 2016."

October 11, 2016: Price addresses the media after the Red Sox are swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.

"I need to get (the monkey) off my back. And until I do, it's going to be a topic of conversation and I'm fully aware of that. If you don't like it, pitch better. ... I want to make these fans love me and I've got six more years to do it. I'm excited about it.''

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March 7, 2017: Entering his second season with Boston, a defiant Price suggests Red Sox fans just want to see results.

"The only thing I have to do is pitch good. People don't care about what I do or the type of person that I am. That doesn't matter."

June 7, 2017: Just over a week following his first start of the season after dealing with elbow issues, Price says he's done speaking to the media on days he doesn't pitch.

"I'm the same me. I don't talk to the media every day like I did last year and I guess I get blown up for that. But I was honest with everything they asked me last year and I get blown up for that. So they did this to themselves. Talk to me on the day I pitch and that's it. There are no more personal interviews."

July 2, 2017: The Price-Eckersley feud begins, as Price explains why he confronted Eckersley on the Red Sox team plane over a negative comment the NESN broadcaster made about Eduardo Rodriguez.

"I was just standing up for my teammates. Whatever crap I catch for that, I'm fine with it."

July 29, 2017: Price takes another shot at Eckersley, suggesting the Red Sox legend is ducking him.

"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."

September 29, 2017: Price assesses a difficult season that saw him appear in just 16 games due to injury.

"This has been the most trying year of my career."

May 28, 2018: In a bizarre media session, Price mocks his detractors who believe he can't pitch through pain.

"You know me. I'm the softest guy in this clubhouse. If it bothered me, I'd be out of the game. ... I'm soft, period. It's not a joke. I'm soft. ... No. I'm soft. It's cold. Can't pitch. My hands tingling. Can't do my job. That's it."

June 27, 2018: Sticking with the same theme, Price sarcastically suggests he'll miss a start due to Fortnite after reports that he may have developed carpal tunnel syndrome from playing too many video games.

"I don't think I'll be able to go, so I don't think so. Yeah, Fortnite."

July 11, 2018: In another defiant interview, Price says he has no plans to opt out and has no issue with Boston.

"I've never said I've hated Boston or had a problem with the fans. That's a perception that's put on me through you [media] guys. That's what that is. ... So write what you want to write."

October 29, 2018: Price finally finds postseason redemption in helping the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series ... and promptly takes a victory lap.

"I hold all the cards now. And that feels so good. That feels so good. I can't tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You've played that card extremely well. But you don't have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good."

April 18, 2019: After the Red Sox scuffle out of the gate in 2019, Price surprisingly lays out a doomsday scenario for Boston if it doesn't turn things around.

"If we don't start playing better, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, maybe myself, we could get traded. We're, what, 30th in minor league systems? We're dead last. ... It will be tough for a while here."

July 17, 2019: Price catches wind of a passing comment Eckersley made to The Boston Globe's Chad Finn about "never" wanting to see the Red Sox pitcher -- and fires back on Twitter.

"Because ECK needs attention!! Same as every broadcast...hahah 8 pitches are thrown and he's sitting there talking about something he did 30 years ago (with zero mention of what's going on)"

July 17, 2019: Price is asked why he resurfaced his 2017 incident with Eckersley and stands by his comments.

"The fact that it was two years ago, over two years ago now. The fact that he wanted to move on and since then he's went on the radio and talked about it, done it again. In 2017 I addressed it. I told you guys in front of the camera that I wished I'd have handled it differently. I did it again in 2018 in spring training on day 1, I said the same thing.

"We had a meeting set up in 2017, here at the field, got here early. Hour and a half, two hours after I get here, they come and tell me that he's not coming. We had a meeting, he backed out. I was going to tell him. I apologize, I didn't handle it the right way, and it continues to come up. There's no reason for it. Honestly, I just think it's trash."

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David Price's history with Dennis Eckersley and Boston media, in his own words originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston