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Should Bryan Price be on the hot seat?

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The Reds lost their eighth consecutive game, dropping Sunday’s contest 3-2 to the Cardinals. The club is now 2-13 on the season, heading towards a fifth consecutive losing season under manager Bryan Price — and perhaps a fourth consecutive season of fewer than 70 wins.

There are whispers that Price is on the hot seat. Steve Mancuso of Redleg Nation wrote a good, level-headed column explaining why firing Price won’t solve the Reds’ woes. A big reason is that the club needs healthy players first and foremost. Currently, Eugenio Suarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Scott Schebler, Rookie Davis, Kevin Shackelford, Michael Lorenzen, and David Hernandez are all on the disabled list. The Reds are also dealing with lots of players not living up to their expected levels of play — chief among them is Joey Votto, who’s batting .250 with a .536 OPS. Adam Duvall has a .479 OPS; Billy Hamilton, .490. Starter Luis Castillo, who has great stuff, has given up 13 runs in 16 innings.

While firing Price and bringing in a new manager might help Alex Blandino get some more playing time and might help spur a call-up for prospect Nick Senzel, and some more new-school, optimized strategy may be employed, it won’t turn the rebuilding Reds into contenders overnight.

To his credit, Price has also been level-headed about his situation. He says he won’t overuse his players in an effort to keep his job:

Price’s ouster seems like an inevitability, but Mancuso is right — firing him isn’t going to fix all that ails the Reds.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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