Larry Bowa gambled and lost

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I missed this when I was doing the recaps, but the ending of the Dodgers-Rockies game was pretty nifty. Well, if you were a Rockies fan or if you like to rag on third base coaches and stuff.

Bottom of the 10th, two down, Dodgers down by a run. Reed Johnson was on first base when Scott Podsednik’s hit one to center that dropped in front of Dexter Fowler, who was playing Podsednik somewhere just south of Modesto. Fowler picked it up however and, rather than getting all macho about it and trying to nail Podsednik at home himself, did the smart thing and relayed it to the guy with the better arm. Troy Tulowitski threw a bullet home and nailed Johnson by several feet, ballgame over.

Joe Torre defended Larry Bowa’s decision to send Johnson, saying that the Rockies had to make a perfect throw.  They did make a perfect throw, of course, but given how much room they had to spare in tagging Johnson out, they probably would have gotten him with a merely good one.

Hindsight, I suppose. I think it would be really hard to be a third base coach. My instinct would probably be to send guys more often than guys currently get sent, and they’d get nailed a lot, most likely.

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.