May. 08, 2018
How Much Longer Could Bryan Price Possibly Remain Manager of the Cincinnati Reds?
Bryan Price, if it were up to me you'd be gone already. So far, the team your managing is 2-13, has lost eight straight games, has the worst record in the MLB, and they seem uninspired most nights. This week alone, I went to two of the Reds four games in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Thursday night I watched a Reds team who led 4-3 allow ten straight runs, and wind up losing 13-4. Then on Sunday, I watched the Reds bats go cold for seven innings before a pair of Home runs made the game interesting, but alas, it was too late and the Reds lost 3-2. To be frank, there's been nothing exciting about this Reds team so far this season, the best thing I could possibly say is "well at least Homer Bailey doesn't suck as much as he did in recent years." My apologies to Scooter Gennett, whose off to a fantastic start.
However, Price has made numerous bad decisions this year that likely costed the Reds a chance to win 2 or 3 more games. Six days ago the Reds had quite the battle with the Phillies going into the 8th inning. The score was 2-1 Phillies, but the game was within reach for the Reds clearly. That was until Bryan Price threw rookie reliever Tanner Rainey into an awful spot. Price decided Rainey's first ever experience should in a one run game in the eight inning. Rainey got into some trouble, but still had a chance to make it out of the inning without giving up a run, as he had two outs in the inning. After a Bryan Price decision to intentionally walk Phillies Right fielder Nick Williams, Second baseman Scott Kingery came to the plate with the bases loaded. On the second pitch of the at-bat Kingery smacked a Grand slam and effectively ended the Reds night by making it a 6-1 game. I
If that wasn't bad enough, Price didn't learn his lesson. Two days later at the game I attended, Price decided to take out Amir Garrett who allowed no runs and got the Reds out of a jam to end the 5th inning, keeping the game tied at 4 at that point. This decision, for no reason at all because Garrett was highly unlikely to bat that inning (and he didn't). Bryan Price's choice of replacement? Austin Brice. The leadoff hitter that inning, St. Louis Cardinals Shortstop Paul DeJong hit a Home run on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. However, Brice was able to keep the damage to just one run. With the Cardinals now leading 5-4 as they came up to bat in the top of the 7th inning, Bryan Price decided to turn the ball over to a relatively inexperience reliever in Zach Weiss. Weiss allowed back-to-back Home runs to begin the inning, then Price brought in Tanner Rainey, who managed to walk in two runs and allow three more after that. At that moment it was 12-4 Cardinals, and I left the game because I had better things to do than watch this dumpster fire.
Yesterday the Reds found themselves with a chance to win the game in the bottom of the 9th, but managed to blow it. After Adam Duvall led off the inning with a Home Run to cut the reds deficit to one (the Cardinals leading 3-2), Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart made it to first base on an infield single and was awarded Second base upon review due to interference by the Cardinals First baseman. The Reds had an excellent chance to the game, a runner on second with no outs in the bottom of the 9th. With Jesse Winker brought in to pinch run for Barnhart, the next batter up simply had to move Winker to third. That batter, Alex Blandino failed trying to put down a bunt two straight times and then struck out swinging. Then the next batter Philip Ervin managed to strike out looking on three pitches. This left the game completely in the hands of one of the Reds worst hitters, Billy Hamilton, Hamilton managed to hit a ball on the screw to Left field. Unfortunately, the ball hung up for a little too long and the Cardinals Left fielder Harrison Bader made the catch, winning the game for the Cardinals 3-2 and sending the Reds to 2-13 on the season.
My problem with this sequence? Price forcing Blandino to bunt with no outs in the bottom of the 9th. I know people will argue that moving Winker to Third with only one out makes the chance of a sacrifice fly being hit to tie up the game a lot more likely, but the Reds had the weakest part of their lineup up. The Reds simply couldn't afford to give up an out in the bottom of the 9th, yet they did, one thing led to another and the Reds cruised to their eight straight loss.
As if there already weren't enough reasons to not like Price as a manager, he contradicts himself with these talks of the Reds being a "rebuilding team." In recent days, Price has commonly put veterans Phil Gosselin and Cliff Pennington at Third base to fill the void left by Eugenio Suarez's injury. This doesn't make sense when Blandino is 25 years old, and needs to gain big league experience. Blandino, the Reds first round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft may be in the Majors, but Price has prevented him from gaining any regular playing time. Hard to find out what you've got in a young guy if you don't play him. Add this to a long list of things Bryan Price has done wrong so far this season, a season where Price's decisions have factored into the Reds abysmal 2-13 start to the season.
Please Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, Dick Williams or whoever is in charge of making the hiring/firing decisions for the Reds staff, do the right thing and fire Bryan Price. The Reds staff has former/potential managers already on it. They have John Farrell (former Red Sox manager) as a scout, and Jim Riggleman (former Cubs and Nationals managers) as the teams bench coach. Former Cincinnati Red and MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, who worked with the team during Spring Training, has exprsssed interest in managing in the MLB and will only do so in Cincinnati. Any of these three would be an viable candidate to fill the void left at manager if Bryan Price is fired. For every fan like me who attends plenty of games, there's ten fans who refuse to until Price is fired. Please Reds, do this before you lose the support of this city and their loyal fans.
A pissed off Reds fan.