The Cincinnati Reds have endured their worst start to a Major League Baseball season since 1931, which prompted the team to give Bryan Price a quick hook.
On Thursday, the Reds fired Price, who was starting his fifth year as the team’s skipper following a 3-15 start to the season. The Reds had not changed a manager this quickly into a season since 1993 when Tony Perez was given his walking papers after just 44 games.
The last time a manager was fired during April was in 2002. Four managers were fired in April of 2002, including the Tigers’ Phil Garner following the team’s 0-6 start, which matched the quickest ever firing of a manager in the history of Major League Baseball.
Price has managed the organization’s rebuilding process that relies on rookies more than any other club in baseball. In each of the past three seasons, Cincinnati has lost 94 or more games, while always finishing in the National League Central’s cellar.
The organization has been patient with its coaches in this rebuild, but following the worst start in 77 years they decided to make a change.
General Manager Dick Williams said that the club felt it had to act at this point and could not afford to wait any longer. For some, he added, it seems quite early, but there have been many opportunities to observe the coaching staff and see the team get off to a start the organization had hoped for, but it did not take place.
Cincinnati’s Jim Riggleman, the team’s bench coach, will become the interim manager. This is the fourth time during his coaching career in the majors that he has been promoted during the regular season.
Riggleman has also managed the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals. Riggleman is expected to be one of the candidate’s for the team’s full-time job, which Williams said will be chosen later this season.
The Reds also fired Mack Jenkins, who was in his second season as the Reds’ pitching coach. Pat Kelly, the manager at Triple-A Louisville will become bench coach, while Danny Darwin will become the new pitching coach moving from Double-A Pensacola.
The firing of Price took place on an off-day for the Reds who have lost two straight games 2-0 to Milwaukee, which is the first time they have been shutout in straight games in three seasons.