The Reds will announce Bryan Price as their new manager at a 3 p.m. press conference. Not quite sure, but I think this means you can watch the PC on the Reds’ web site.

Nation, if you were at the press conference, what question would you ask (mostly serious questions, please)?

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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  1. What was your major at Cal? . . . Seriously, if it was economics or mathematics, I will be even more pumped.

  2. What his expectations are – anything short of “winning the World Series” will be insufficient.

  3. Question: Dusty Baker basically assigned starting pitchers to a specific catcher. Are you inclined to follow that strategy? How do you see Devin Mesoraco’s role in 2014?

  4. Question: How important do you think clearly defined “roles” are for players for them to be successful?

  5. Question: Over the past few years, it has often seemed that the hitting philosophy of the Reds was of two minds. On the one hand, Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo aggressively worked the count and saw walks as an important aspect of creating runs. On the other hand, hitters were encouraged to swing at fastballs early in the count and putting balls in play was prioritized over walking. How do you view these two philosophies and do you think it’s important for the hitting instructor to prioritize one over the other?

  6. Q – what do you perceive some of the untapped potential within the existing team to be?

  7. Q: Mr. Price, is your leadoff hitter and cleanup hitter for 2014 currently on the roster?

    A: ???

  8. Q: Do you feel adverse to hitting Votto and Bruce back-to-back?

  9. Q: Do you anticipate having complete autonomy regarding hiring of the coaching staff?

    I think Walt should have some input on the hitting coach decision. Dusty continually sticking with Brook Jacoby eventually became similar to his continually sending Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras into CF everyday.

  10. How do you intend to utilize Aroldis Chapman next year?

    • @Kyle Farmer: Most important question in my mind. Follow up: If the Reds do not intend to re-evaluate Chapman as a starter, are you in favor of placing him on the trading block?

  11. Q – do you view Chapman as a starter or a reliever in 2014/15?

  12. Question: How strongly do you believe in the Verducci Effect (that pitchers who dramatically increase their number of innings from one year to the next are at heightened risk of injury) and how would that come into play with any plans you have for converting Aroldis Chapman to a starting pitcher?

  13. Do you believe that Billy Hamilton will be an everyday player in Cincinnati next year?

  14. Question: If Aroldis Chapman does move to the rotation, who on the current staff would get a good look as your closer?

  15. Question: Can the Kris Medlen approach work with Chapman? Start him off in the bullpen, and slowly stretch him out over the course of the year so that he is starting by the end of the season, but still with a limited innings count.

  16. Question: Have you thought about who is going to be on your coaching staff?

  17. Question(if the Chapman conundrum isn’t answered): Do you believe in strict roles for your bullpen?

    Are you opposed to using Aroldis in a “fireman” type role to maximize his value?

  18. I feel like a lot of us will be disappointed with the actual press conference just because I don’t know if we are going to get definitive answers. Price doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that’s going to say something like “We wasted a lot of potential not batting our best hitters consecutively,” or “personal catchers for pitchers is a stupid idea and I’m not going to do it that way.” Maybe he will say those things and is able to say them in a more politically correct way than I can think of. I think we’re more likely to get answers along the lines of “We will evaluate during the off season/spring training, etc.” He may not have agreed with a lot of what Dusty did but he seems like a guy loyal enough not to go burning bridges publicly.
    Then again, maybe he comes out wearing a Brian Kenney “Kill the W” t-shirt, in which case that would be awesome.

  19. Do you believe it is possible for a team to abandon designating a “closer” and still succeed?

  20. Q: Will you name one of the players as a “Captain” to help with leadership in the clubhouse?
    ( I don’t think the Reds have had a captain since Larkin retired.)

  21. I fully expect the press conference to be the manager equivalent of “Gonna play ’em one day at a time.” and “Just gonna do what I can to help this team win.”

    I think we’re going to get some vague answers to some of the very specific questions above. Stuff along the lines of “We’re going to evaluate things this off-season.” and “We won’t know exactly what we have until personnel decisions are decided.” and “I’m going to do my best to maximize this team’s potential.”

  22. Question: What did you feel the biggest strengths and weaknesses were for the 2013 team as a whole, not just the pitching staff?

    (I think the answer to that one will be extraordinarily telling of ‘what he saw’ from his perch in the dugout).

  23. This question will never be asked, but I would like to know how committed the Reds are to Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier. Are these guys the left side of the infield for the next five years or more or just place holders until somebody better comes along?

  24. Q1: What is your philosophy on how bunts should be utilized in today’s baseball?

    Q2: Do you believe in a team having an aggressive base stealing philosophy.

    Q3: We (as fans) have seen an awful lot of jogging down the first base line on plays that could have potentially been safe if they had run immediately . What will you do as manager to remake this team into a full effort, hustling type of team? …..A follow up and sort of related question to that would be… Do you have any plans on how to address the frequent mental lapses the Reds suffered last season, commonly known as “TOOTBLANS”?

  25. Who are your top 3 choices as a bench coach?

  26. You guys are asking a lot of leading questions, I think the opposing lawyer would object. I think the one I’d want to ask would simply be “Where do you see this team being two years from now with you managing?”

    That question would just get dodged with a lot of “Well you never know how things will go..” though so meh.

    I’m happy with the Price choice simply based on the few things I’ve seen and read about him. In the end though it will probably take an entire season before I make up my mind. Not a decision based on the win-loss record at the end of ’14 but rather the lineups I see, the bullpen usage, the staff he surrounds himself with and his attitude towards the local media.

  27. What qualities do you see necessary for any of your coaches especially the hitting coach?

  28. Q. We were told that upper management felt there was a need for a change. What are you hoping to bring in that regard and what might that look like on the field of play?

  29. Also: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    Speaks to mental agility your honor. And possibly a penchant for chewing toothpicks, which may be cause for reconsideration.
    “I’ll allow it.”

  30. Having observed Dusty Baker’s managerial style since 2010, in what ways do you contrast your style from the former skipper?

  31. I just don’t want a Baker 2.0. I still think there is going to have to be a shakeup in the coaching staff “at minimum”, aka Jacoby has to go, if not Speier also. As well as, possibly a player or two, even if just for the sole purpose to show the players there is going to be accountability. I do agree BP should go; I don’t think we should have signed him at that amount for that many years in the first place. Choo is going, at least right now, so I don’t count him. Maybe one more regular, also.

  32. I keep waiting to hear a question from someone at Redlegnation. Do we have anyone at the press conference to ask Brian a question???

    • @MrRedlegs3900: The Reds organization gives little to no support to the blogger community. When asked about some minimal support a couple of years ago (helping us contact former Reds to see if they’d be willing to do interviews with us), we were told, “we only cooperate with blogs that are affiliated with the newpapers”. “We’re affiliated with the Cincinnati Enquirer and ESPN’s Hotspot.”…..”Well, the answer is still no.”

  33. My question would be, Bryan why dont you have any plans to fix the Reds?

  34. Bryan why are you so boring during the press conference? You are putting me to sleep.

  35. I like what I’m hearing, myself. I said before, I almost really don’t care if they go 0-162, their style of play has to change. They’ve been just too lifeless with Baker.

    • @steveschoen: Im not sure what you were hearing. I heard a guy with no plans at all.

      • @gschiller13: You aren’t going to get any listing like, “I’m going to do this and this and this.” The dude just got hired. He may know what he would like to do with, for example, the hitting, but he has to make sure he gets the right hitting coach in there.

        Thus, you have to listen to the words. He talked of wanting to be more agressive. He talked of wanting to be a relentless club, who other teams don’t want to play. His talk of using the pitchers differently, aka Chapman.

        Don’t look for a list, dude. It’s not there. Look at the statements.

        • @steveschoen: Right on… it’s not like football where a guy is know for “X” kind of offense or “Y” style of defense, blah blah blah. After that, in baseball… everybody has the same spoken spring training plans: Focus on the fundamentals, blah, blah, get in shape, blah, blah.

          The proof will be in the pudding, and I’m ready for some pudding. Yum.

          This conference is more about the good news of not hearing anything cringe inducing.

  36. “You have to use statistical analysis to understand themes” “I don’t understand the match-up theme. Lefty on lefty reliever and righty on righty reliever.” Greatest thing I have heard in quite a while.

    • @MrRedlegs3900: Also, when Price said, regarding Champman, “I believe that a pitcher gets better with the more innings that he throws.” Things are going to be okay!

    • That was fantastic. I don’t know that the old guard press and announcers are going to like him, but I’m guessing he and Votto will get along.

  37. “You have to put your best reliever out there in situations and trust that he will get the job done, regardless of match-ups”

    I’m loving this interview.

    • @MrRedlegs3900: There was nothing to love about this press conference at all.

      • @gschiller13: What did you want or expect from the press conference?

      • @gschiller13: I’m not sure if that was sarcasm or not, but there were plenty of positives that came from the press conference. Price spoke over and over about a need for accountability, he spoke about his wish for Chapman to progress as a pitcher by giving him more innings (whether as a reliever or starter, this is definitely a good thing), he spoke about his belief that the best relief pitchers should pitch regardless of “match-ups”, and finally he addressed the need to involve statistical analysis when looking at the team.

        Bryan hit on many of the points I wanted to see. Although the conference was a little too short it definitely was encouraging to hear.

      • @gschiller13:

        There was plenty to like. And WJ admittedly saying, “They have holes to fill.” The work is just starting.
        Bryan Price did acknowledge Sam LeCure was there. I think that puts LeCure’s after season remarks after Dusty was fired in context too.

        • @MrRedlegs3900: @WVRedlegs: I’m with you guys. MLbnetwork cut it off after the Chapman question but I liked what I heard from Price. I also liked how he said things: not flashy but thoughtful and intelligent.

  38. Castellini said something that wasn’t your usual “the former manager was a great guy” statement. He said that no thought was even given to replacing Dusty, until they had a meeting with him (just after the season ended, I presume) and during the course of that meeting, the decision to replace Dusty was made quickly.

    What happened during that meeting ? My guess: Dusty put the end of the season failure strictly on the players and/or WJ. No blame for him and his coaches. After his dismissal Dusty talked about defending Jacoby, it could have happened in that context.

    Also Castellini mentioned the “guy who’d been here for 6 years” without even mentioning Dusty’s name. It was left to Price to make the obligatory tribute to Dusty.

  39. Oooo, he wasn’t quite specific with that staff question at all. Hmmm. . .

  40. Press conference highlights:

    –this multi-million dollar corporation didn’t do their due diligence and conduct a thorough search.
    –no one asked if he had any conditions prior to his hiring (such as naming coaches).
    –Sure sounds like we got a couple guys in the clubhouse who aren’t with the program. Phillips is obvious, but Chapman wouldn’t suprise me either. I almost wonder if Price alluded to that when talking about Chapman as a SP.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: On your first point, I think they looked at this as something liek a free agency move. If they waited, Price was going to interview with other clubs and his price was going to go up – and they might run the risk of someone making him an on the spot offer he couldn’t refuse. They had their guy, they pulled the trigger. I don’t care that they didn’t interview a bunch of other guys they were never going to pick.

  41. I was as happy as I expected to be with that. Best answer regarding Chapman:

    “I was on record last spring as saying that I believe pitchers get better the more innings they pitch. That hasn’t changed.”

    Even if Chapman stays in the pen, I expect him to get a LOT more work with Price in charge. No more closer nonsense. I also liked the part about not getting too worried about situational relieving. All in all a very refreshing change from Dusty Ball.

    • @eric nyc: I too liked his reply to the Chapman question. It was really the same thing he’s been saying for years. Starting or not, we will see more innings from Chapman.

  42. Mo Egger thinks like me, that its a very borign and uneventful hire. Not good not bad, just blah.

    • @gschiller13: What would you have considered eventful? I mean I get that this isn’t the flashiest thing in the world, but I dont’ know what some people wanted. An ex-player with no managerial experience? Tony LaRussa who has already said he doesn’t want to manage anymore? Riggleman? I just don’t know who was out there. Price seems like the perfect fit for the new metrics-focused crowd around here.

      • @eric nyc: This person wanted Paul O’ Neil, ’cause he’s won stuff before. As a player. And gets angry, so he must care.

        • @Matt WI: In the other thread I floated the idea of O’Neil as hitting coach. He really studied Don Mattingly’s approach in NY. I remember seeing some piece on him a few years ago where he learned from Mattingly to stand almost directly behind home plate while he was on deck to get a view of the pitcher’s delivery with the guy batting in front of him. He took a very methodical and studious approach to hitting – just like Votto. And he could help bring that added fire that Price may lack. McGwire worked out well for the Cards.

    • @gschiller13: So who was your choice or what could you have seen in the introductory press conference that would have changed your mind about price?

    • @gschiller13: Too which we might reply… the $3.5 million dollar man brought us a pretty “blah” team this year too. Splash ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    • @gschiller13: Dude, the Good Lord never comes in riding on a white horse and saving the day. But, the move to get rid of Baker was needed. Just simply the style of play had to change. And, it wasn’t going to change with Baker still there. Could it stay the same with Price? Sure. But, odds are, Price will push for something different.

      There’s still more to do, dude. Moving Baker out and bringing in someone competent is just one move that was necessary.

  43. I watched on mlbnetwork, which cut it off after the Chapman question. I’ll have to catch the rest later. I certainly liked Price’s statement re Chapman that a pitcher needs to throw innings to develop as a pitcher. He couldn’t be expected to say “Chapman will be in the starting rotation.”

    His opening statement about “preparation” and “unity” were cliched but relevant. We watched this team play a lot of games last year where they were not prepared. And we’ve been hearing since the end of the season that unity – among the players, between the players and manager, between the GM and manager – may have been a bigger issue than we were aware.

    • @pinson343: You did really get the feeling that this hire was more Walt’s decision. I’m sure Bob was a huge part of it and is ultimately the guy who pulls the trigger, but it always felt like Walt was forced to accept Dusty and now it feels like he’s got a guy that HE chose. That should make for a much smoother relationship between the dugout and the FO.

      • @eric nyc: Bob C.’s statement about “no thought was even given to replacing Dusty, until the meeting” to me means he saw something at the meeting that he hadn’t seen before. I think what he saw was that WJ and Dusty were not on the same page at all.

        • @pinson343: That was easily the most interesting statement in the entire event. Would have loved for someone to follow up on that and ask him to elaborate.

          • @Steve Mancuso: Eh. I think you guys may be reading a bit too much into that. Struck me as Bob wording his answer a little poorly. I think all he was trying to say was basically “We didn’t decide to make a managerial change until after we had a chance to sit down and talk to Dusty.” It’s basically “I didn’t decide to fire him while I was sitting in the stands in Pittsburgh.” Even if that IS when he made the decision, he was just trying to save Dusty some face by saying they at least sat down and talked to him first.

  44. It’s just astounding none of the esteemed media asked about the retention/dismissal of the coaches. I guess asking vague questions about coaching philosophy and managing the 2015 All-Star game was more important. *facepalm*

    • @Sultan of Swaff: A question about the retention/dismissal of coaches would have gotten the usual “we’re going to study that” reply.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Would or should they talk about who is staying and who is going in a press conference. Should that really be the way it is handled. “Why yes I know Jacoby is watching this at home so I just want to let him know we aren’t retaining him” Yeah that’s professional.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Chris Welsh asked something about it on camera. Price in essence dodged it very well, saying something like, “It is important to have unity with the staff so that what we communicate to the players is consistent and true.” (not saying at all there were mixed messages amongst the coaching staff; what I caught was the “unity” with the staff; this is nowhere near a true quote, only trying to remember). Take it for what it’s worth.

  45. Even though we may have liked this, important thing to remember is this is just one move. Price could just as easily fall flat on his face (I don’t think he will). But, there are other things that will probably be going on. I am expecting Jacoby to be gone, if not Speier as for the coaching staff; we are already going to need another pitching coach. I still think at least one regular player will be gone (not including Choo), also, to try to impress on the players that there will be accountability, that the old regime is gone, that you will need to step up.

    I do believe this is going to be a good step. But, it isn’t the only step needed.

    • @steveschoen: I think there will definitely be some player moves, but there’s no need to blow this thing up. Whatever you may think about BP and his “antics” or “attitude” this is a team that won 90 games last year while grossly underperforming. Conservatively, I’d say Dusty cost us 3-4 games all by himself and I think you can easily say the 2013 team had the potential to win 100 games given that and the injuries. A change of management at the top and better utilization of the players already under contract could very well be enough. We’re not starting from scratch. Considering we’re likely going to be losing Choo and Arroyo no matter what, I don’t think we need to go out of our way to do much more. If someone comes knocking with a reasonable return for BP and we can make a move for that Cuban kid, maybe. But otherwise I’d like to see what Price can do with what’s already here.

  46. I listened to Johnny Gomes on ESPN Radio at lunch time with SVP. I liked Johnny Gomes the player, but not as a starting LF. The way he talked about playing the game fundamentally sound with some fire and passion. SVP asked him if Boston had a Fight Club in their clubhouse, would he be the last man standing? He was a bit modest and then said yeah maybe.
    If Johnny Gomes and Boston win the WS and Gomes decides to retire, I would want him on Price’s coaching staff. Hitting coach, base coach, bench coach, it doesn’t matter, just have him in the clubhouse.
    Or maybe let Heisey go and bring back Gomes as a back up OF.

  47. One of the reporters asked point blank who the next pitching coach would be. Both Price and Jocketty answered it exactly as you would expect.

    Price said the coaching staff was under discussion.

    Jocketty said the first step was to hire the manager. Next they are going to talk about the staff.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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