Later today the Reds will be holding a press conference to name former pitching coach Bryan Price as the new manager for the team. I am looking forward to the press conference in order to see some of the things that are said about him and said by him in response to questions coming from the media.
Price has seemingly been the front runner to replace Dusty Baker before Dusty Baker even had his job in jeopardy. When the job became available, he was on the top of the list at just about every point in time from every media source that I ran across. When I thought about who would be the ideal manager for the Reds, first and foremost I wanted it to be someone who wasn’t afraid of new ideas in baseball. It seemed that the previous manager, and several still working in Major League Baseball are very skeptical about anything that wasn’t done in the 1970′s aside from their usage of a closer. My next item on the list is to have someone who knows how to properly handle a pitching staff. The other big thing is the ability to place the players in the best opportunities to succeed. There are quite a few things beyond that, but those were my biggest “wants” from the new manager.
After reading this from Bronson Arroyo about Bryan Price, he appears to have my top requirement.
“He’s as organized as anyone in the game, he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game, things that other people buy into that I don’t feel are relevant. Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or they way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”
As the former pitching coach, we have all been able to see with our own eyes how well he was able to mold the pitching staff into one of the best ones in baseball over the past few seasons. So Price again gets a big passing grade on my second requirement.
The third part has yet to be seen and we won’t know much about it until some point during the 2014 season. Placing players in the best position to succeed can mean a bunch of different things. Where to bat them, when to rest them, when to use someone off of the bench, when to sit them/start them against a specific pitcher or type of pitcher, how to match up the bullpen against the opponents, how to shift the defense against opposing hitters and a whole slew of other things. With Price never having managed a team at this level, we won’t know about how he handles any of those things until later in the season.
Some other important things for Price to decide as a manger will be the coaching staff that he will bring in or retain. The Reds will need a new pitching coach. Dusty Baker openly talked about how the front office was looking to let go of Brook Jacoby, so you can’t imagine that he will be returning. Will the other coaches stay? There will be some big decisions to be made by Price and the front office on who to bring in that will best fit the new direction of the organization.
What do you think about the hire?