Bus carrying Phillies minor league team almost plunges off a bridge

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This is scary: a bus carrying the Williamsport Crosscutters — the short season A-ball team of the Phillies — nearly plunged off a bridge in New York:

The Williamsport Crosscutters were on their way to the team hotel in Brooklyn when the bus driver got lost, drove over the Verrazano Bridge and wound up on the Fingerboard Road overpass above the Staten Island Expressway. The Staten Island Advance reports that the bus – trying to get back on the expressway – collided with an SUV shortly after 11 p.m. and dangled over the edge of the overpass, with just a guardrail keeping the Susquehanna Trailways bus from plummeting onto the highway below.

Luckily everyone was OK and the Crosscutters’ game against the Brooklyn Cyclones is going on as scheduled today. You hear something like this, though, and you can’t help but think of the crash that killed seven members of the Bluffton University baseball team and travelling party.

It’s not totally clear who or what is at fault here, but it’s worth noting that, based on some experience I have in this area from back in the legal days, the stock of drivers and operators of charter buses is uneven at best in this country.

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.