Recent controversy and this morning’s rumor notwithstanding, there is some good news to report on the Mets’ injury front: they’re trying new things to prevent more of them from happening:
When Mets players walked into the major-league clubhouse here for the
first time Thursday, there were large signs posted in the clubhouse
that read: “Prevention and recovery.”
It is more than just a hopeful slogan.
The Mets are modifying their training program this spring in an
effort to avoid a repeat of the injury-filled disaster of 2009. A team
spokesman told The Star-Ledger that the signs are meant to reinforce
what will be a bigger focus on baseball-related activities and more of
an emphasis on “rest and recovery.”
Players will be urged to save their energy for the field and not
exert themselves too much in the weight room. The emphasis will be more
on baseball skills, agility and flexibility than on building strength.
I’m no doctor, trainer or physical therapist, and thus I have no idea if the sorts of changes described here would have helped prevent the injuries to Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and the others, but after the year they had in 2009, any change is probably for the best.
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.