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Jose Bautista: Rangers lack leadership “when it comes to playing baseball the right way.”

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Jose Bautista had a lot to say after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Rangers, which included two benches-clearing incidents. Bautista, who was hit by a Matt Bush fastball, slid late into second baseman Rougned Odor in an attempt to break up a double play. Odor swung at Bautista, landing one punch clean on the outfielder’s jaw.

After the game, Bautista said to the media, which included MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm:

No matter how dirty his slide was — and it appeared to be plenty dirty — Bautista shouldn’t have been punched, because that’s not the way grown adults handle disputes. That being said, Bautista dropping a “play the right way” is hilarious. It’s the “play the game the right way” crowd (which includes Hall of Famer Goose Gossage) that loathes Bautista for his ALDS bat flip last year. Gossage, in March, said Bautista is, “a f—ing disgrace to the game.”

Furthermore, Bautista acting like the good guy for not actually injuring Odor is terrible. You don’t get a trophy for doing the bare minimum for being a decent human being. Bautista’s motivation for not injuring Odor should be that competitors in a children’s game want to prioritize each other’s safety above all else. At the end of the day, these grown men should remember they’re wearing pajamas chasing baseballs around in the grass, not warriors battling to the death in the coliseum.

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.