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This is not the first time Dennis Eckersley and Jack Morris haven’t seen eye-to-eye

05.03.13 at 12:50 am ET

On Thursday, a form of ex-pitcher-on-ex-pitcher crime took place, when Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley ripped longtime American League opponent Jack Morris for comments the latter made as a Blue Jays broadcaster suggesting that Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was using an illegal substance to doctor the baseball. Eckersley suggested that Buchholz’s command of a wide range of pitches served as a rebuttal to the notion that he was using a foreign substance, and suggested on NESN that Morris’ claims to the contrary were “clueless.”

‘€œWhen you throw a spitball, the ball falls off the table, and you know it right away. The hitters didn’€™t complain, but Jack Morris is. I think Jack Morris should zip it,’€ Eckersley said on NESN. ‘€œI feel sorry for Buchholz to even have to deal with this. I’€™m styling here, and you’€™re taking away from me, a guy that can’€™t even make it to the Hall of Fame yet, and he’€™s chirping over there ‘€” zip it.’€

(More of Eckersley’s comments are here.)

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Eckersley and Morris have had a public — and personal — disagreement.

In 1992, when Eckersley’s Athletics played Morris’ Blue Jays in the ALCS, Morris denounced Eckersley’s conduct on the mound — most notably, his enthusiastic fist-pumping after a strikeout of an opponent — as “Little League stuff.” Prior to the following game, Eckersley and Morris spoke on the field. Eckersley offered the following account of the conversation in 1992, as recounted by numerous reports — including this one from The Associated Press — at the time.

“Who is Jack Morris, anyway?” [Eckersley] fumed. “Mr. Etiquette?”

Eckersley met Morris before the game, although it wasn’t exactly a meeting of the minds.

“I said, ‘What’s the story?’ ” Eckersley said. “Jack said, ‘I used to be like that, but I learned.’

“Well, I respect Jack Morris as a pitcher, but that’s all,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter what everybody else said, but Jack’s was the one that bothered me the most. He’s a competitor, so he probably understands — yet he buries me. Cheap shot.”

And, Eckersley added, he wouldn’t stifle his emotions on the mound just to satisfy Morris.

“I said, ‘I do what I do to get me going, and at the time, that was a big out,’ ” Eckersley told Morris. “I said, ‘I could sit here and apologize to you, but I could go out today and do the same thing.’ “

NOTE: This post initially described Morris as the 1984 Cy Young winner. That characterization was inaccurate, as Morris’ Tigers teammate, Willie Hernandez, claimed the 1984 Cy.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Dennis Eckersley, Jack Morris,
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