General manager meetings start today in Chicago

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Today is the start of the annual general manager meetings in Chicago, which are not to be confused with the far more interesting, action-packed, and media-driven winter meetings that begin next month in Indianapolis.
Bruce Miles of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald has a preview of what the GMs will be up to for the next 72 hours:

With a nod toward the tough economy, baseball’s general managers will give up opulence and luxury for practicality when they convene for their annual meetings, beginning today at O’Hare.



Instead of resorts, golf games and lavish dinners, the GMs figure barely to see the sunshine as they hole up at the nation’s hub airport for a quick gathering that will end at about noon Wednesday. In addition to the regular business discussions and undoubtedly more talk of instant replay, the GMs figure to mix in a little trade talk.

Asked what he expects to happen at the GM meetings, Cardinals boss John Mozeliak said: “My expectation is that this will be much more about MLB business.” Perhaps, but things have gotten off to a very fast start this offseason and it would be surprising if there aren’t at least a couple big moves hammered out over the next few days.

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.