It seems every Reds season we have to call for the manager’s head at least once or twice no matter how things are going. While the Reds were making the playoffs we called for Dusty Baker’s head every other day it seemed. I’ll be honest and say even I was for getting rid of Dusty. It bugs the hell out of me though to see so many people calling for Bryan Price’s head. Did they even see the pitching staff we had to work with the past couple seasons? No way we were going anywhere. So this is my defense of a man who actually on more than 1 occasion has shown he might be better than Dusty Baker.
Price actually changes his lineup. Doesn’t sound like much does it? Trust me when I say it is. When Billy Hamilton would start struggling Price would drop him to the 9 spot with the pitcher batting 8th. This was a move invented by the managing God himself Tony LA Russa. It essentially lets him still bat leadoff, and if he gets on now 2 players have a chance to move him around. If he doesn’t get on then the Reds would still have the top of the order coming up. I will say this now I don’t believe Dusty had ever tried anything like that. Price has shown that he values OBP unlike his predecessor, and actually knows how to build a batting order.
Price’s bullpen skills have immensely improved. I know I ton of people gave the man flack for bad bullpen management, but outside of not using Chapman for 2 innings I don’t think he made too many terrible moves. No one could have used last season’s bullpen very well. So far this season (granted it’s very early) Price brought in the extra bullpen help he thought he’d need, and has pushed all of the right buttons. The only down side so far has been Robert Stephenson who has struggled. Hell the man even used Michael Lorenzen as a pinch hitter and he hit a home run. Price has turned into bullpen Nostradamus. The bullpen last night pitched 7 perfect innings to help out Brandon Finnegan who suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone if his life depended on it. Price is a pitching guru, and people seem to forget that. He doesn’t leave guys in for too long, and he knows his bullpen is MUCH improved.
Don’t call for Price’s head. Remember this is still a rebuild. Price has shown that he is far more knowledgeable than other managers in this league. He is aggressive on the base paths, knows his pitchers, and is smart with his lineups. Looks at how the Nationals have been doing since they have gotten Dusty Baker. That team’s roster is stacked from top to bottom and they still have issues. I believe Bryan Price probably would have won a World Series or at least taken the Nationals to the NLCS by now with that much talent. With this young of a Reds team, all you can do is trust the process.