In the midst of a losing tenure, manager Bryan Price is paying the price by losing his job. The Cincinnati Reds fired Price on Thursday; after nearly five years as manager.
Price leaves with no winning seasons while managing the team. With the Reds failing to qualify for the MLB Postseason. The 2018 Reds are off to their worst start since the Great Depression. With a 3-15 record as Price’s managing tenure ends. The Reds currrently hold the worst record in Major League Baseball.
By many measures Price’s tenure can be reasonably declared a failure. Price leaves the Reds in worse shape than they were when he became manager. Though some of the reasons for that aren’t Price’s fault. Over the last five years the Reds have shed plenty of talented players. Many of those players left as nationally renowned All-Stars.
With players leaving ranging from pitchers Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. To Brandon Phillips and Todd Frasier leaving the Reds over the last five years. They didn’t leave strictly because of Bryan Price. They left because they were brought on by teams with more money. Most of those teams are contenders, some in bigger markets.
The blame there goes more towards the Reds rebuilding process. Which in a way looks more like the Reds being cheap at times. Though in regards to Price, he wasn’t helping when it came to the Reds rebuilding. He managed an often frustrating pitching staff; occasionally wasting a good start or a lead. Ironic for a manager whose expertise going in was pitching.
Jim Riggleman is taking over as manager with 144 games to go this season. Riggleman was previously the manager of the Reds AAA affiliate in Louisville. He’s previously managed the San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners. Over the last three years he’s been the Reds third base and bench coach. He’ll take the reins of a team that currently looks lifeless.
With Riggleman taking the job there are a few questions that come to mind. He takes the job with no guarantee of holding onto it after the season. He’ll get a chance to prove himself with over half a season to work with. The optimist can perhaps hold out hope for this season though. That perhaps Riggleman can lead the team to finishing better than dead last.
This was frankly a good time to give Price the boot. At least when it comes to potentially salvaging this season. A season that many already see as one that can’t be saved. Firing Price later in the season would’ve put the Riggleman and the Reds in a difficult spot. Firing Price in July or August would risk sending a bad signal.
Basically declaring that the Reds were throwing in the towel. Potentially zapping any confidence Reds players or Riggleman might have. Giving Riggleman the potential impression that he’s just there to fill time. Now the Reds have the opportunity to take a different approach. To finish the season with some dignity and give Reds fans a little hope. That perhaps the Reds rebuilding process wont collapse into a heap of rubble.