You may recall that some vacancies were created in MLB Baseball Operations yesterday.Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng is leaving the franchise to become senior vice president of baseball operations with Major League Baseball.
Most people know Ng as the first woman to be seriously considered for GM jobs in MLB. Three that I can remember: the Dodgers, the Mariners and the Padres. And, interview or not, her name usually gets mentioned when there’s a vacancy. She has worked with the league before too. Well, sorta: she worked in the American League office before the individual leagues were abolished as actual administrative entities.
I think the most interesting thing about this is that, going into baseball operations, she’ll be back with Joe Torre who worked for her in both New York and L.A. Torre is “Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.” Ng is “Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations.” Does an Executive trump a Senior? I tend to think so, but I’m not sure. My corporate-fu is weak.
No matter who’s the boss, however, I get a kick out of seeing former Dodgers working for MLB. It’s like Bud Selig is operating his very own refugee assistance plan for those fleeing the McCourt regime.
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.