Bryan Price was introduced as the Cincinnati Reds new manager Tuesday, and with that comes questions about what's next.
Price started his Tuesday press conference for his managerial job announcement with this:
"Goal one accomplished, I didn't trip on the way to the podium," Price said.
Well, on to baseball then, Mr. Price.
Price said he wants to look at the postseason appearances in three of the last four years with optimism, but he isn't setting any long-term goals just yet. Price said he is just "happy and tickled" to be in the position he is.
"First order of business is having a better understanding and appreciation for where (the Reds) are," Price said. He went on to say this is a team that's "capable of doing more."
ON CHAPMAN'S ROLE
"I thought about whether I had a good suit before I got up here before thinking about the club," Price said of whether he was going to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation or not.
OK, so Price hasn't had a chance to blink since being hired, but this will undoubtedly be the most polarizing choice he has to make in the offseason. With Tony Cingrani waiting in Louisville, it's hard to imagine it will be easy to designate Chapman into the starting rotation, but a lot depends on what free agents stick around with the team through the offseason.
Price said Tuesday he hasn't changed his philosophy about pitchers getting better with more innings, but he did say he was dedicated to putting the best players on the field in the right spots to succeed. He leaves an open door for all possibilities with Chapman in 2014.
"I always reminded Joey Votto to line up his knuckles before he hit," Price joked Tuesday.
The dry humor is entertaining, but it is a huge issue that Price needs to tackle. He deflected the question by saying that he will choose the right athletes for the right spots, which hints at some potential offseason moves.
ATTITUDE IN THE CLUBHOUSE
When asked about accountability, and whether it was lacking in 2013, Price said "I think we have a lot of players with that type of character here already." Price went on to say that he wanted to make sure that all 25 players in the clubhouse were on board with that kind of culture.
"We have to be unified in that one goal: Play the best baseball we're capable of with energy," Price said.
Price used words like "unity" multiple times during the Tuesday conference, and reiterated on several occasions about his high standards for the team and his competitive nature. He said he wants to create an identity as a team that "no one wants to play us."
"We have got to be able to pull and pull for each other," Price said.
Price said he wants this team to give the fans the impression that they got their money's worth, day in and day out.
There are many players to be signed, but Price reiterated that he is not a big fan of matchup pitchers being used exclusively in those matchups. That hints at wider use of guys like Manny Parra, Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon, and potentially a broader look at the free agent relief market.
SPECULATION ABOUT 1ST-TIME MANAGING
Price approached the issue that he hasn't led a team before head-on Tuesday, saying that he is going to be a compilation of those who he has worked with to succeed, including Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella and Joe Maddon, among others.
"I've had a chance to watch a lot of good managers. We have to use statistical analysis to understand parts of the game, but you have to understand what kind of talent the team has," Price said.
DIFFERENT THAN DUSTY?
Price said bluntly he doesn't want to talk about his differences with Dusty Baker, and rather take what he learned from him and other managers to move the Reds forward.
FOR THE FANS: GET ON BOARD
Cincyshirts cooked up an appropriately punned t-shirt within 12 hours of the Price announcement, keeping Bob Barker and Price's legacies tied. Get your Price gear here.
What do you want to see Bryan Price focus on as the Reds new manager? Leave a comment in the section below.
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