Rumors about Cincinnati Manger Bryan Price losing his job had been bandied about for the past three years, and Wednesday they finally came true. After four seasons with the worst winning percentage in baseball, .419, the club finally fired their skipper — before the end of the first month of the season.
Price piloted his team to a 3-15 record, the second worst start in the club’s 100-year history, and for Price, that proved to be the final straw. Eighteen games is not the record for a managerial change. Cal Ripken Sr. was fired after six games by the Baltimore Orioles in 1988, and Phil Garner was relieved of his duties in the same timespan with the 2002 Detroit Tigers.
BetDSI had Price as the +250 favorite to be the first manager canned. Bovada had him as the second pick at 3/1.
Price was summoned by General Manager Dick Williams and given his pink slip.
“At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track,” Williams said in a statement about his decision. “We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of baseball operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve.”
Doomed From Start
Price was on the hot seat almost from the beginning and had several factors working against him. The first was the team. They were ranked 28th out of 30 teams in batting and 29th in pitching.
A lot of the team’s offensive and pitching woes were not Price’s fault. The organization was in the midst of rebuilding and had either lost several high-profile players to free agency or dealt them away.
The biggest indication that Price was on a short leash was when the team only picked up his option instead of signing him to an extension. That is usually a vote of no confidence, and often means a manager is on the hot seat.
Who’s On Deck?
Jim Riggleman has been named the interim manager and will probably finish out the season for the Reds. The team is in no hurry to name a permanent replacement for Price, and posted this tweet on their official Twitter page. “Later in the year, the team will conduct a thorough managerial search for a permanent replacement.”
There are two strong candidates already in the organization. The first is legendary shortstop Barry Larkin. The 53-year-old has made it no secret that he wants the position and has been a special assistant to Williams. The Hall of Famer told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he would lobby for the job.
“I only want to be in Cincinnati,” Larkin said.
Another person in the front office is former Red Sox skipper John Farrell. He has a World Series Championship, is known for his work with pitchers, and relates well to players.
A dark horse for the job is former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Many contend he was given a raw deal in the Bronx and he could certainly step in and improve the struggling team.