CINCINNATI — Maybe it was because his team’s Sunday play against the St. Louis Cardinals was 50 Shades of Ugly, but Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price was in no mood for frivolity during his post-game media session.
In fact, without being pushed or asked, Price brought it up himself that he and the Reds are angry and vengeful over a slide into third base perpetrated by St. Louis outfielder Jason Heyward, a slide Price called dirty and unnecessary. And Price promised possible retribution when the teams meet next week in St. Louis.
In the eighth inning Heyward ripped a run-scoring double into the right field corner and he tried to stretch it to a triple. When he slid into third he made physical contact with Reds third baseman Todd Frazier.
“I thought that was a bad slide, a dirty slide, and I didn’t like that,” said Price. “He is not a dirty player but on that play I thought it was a bad slide, a dirty slide. It affected Frazier and I’m not happy about that, nor are any of our players. We hope they’ll use that as fuel in our upcoming series against them in St. Louis. It probably wasn’t intentional but it came across as a late slide with a high spike and that’s not good baseball. It shouldn’t happen without a response on our part.”
SO, CARDINALS, TAKE fair warning — unless Price cools down by the time the Reds arrive in St. Louis after stops in Chicago and Milwaukee that begins Monday night.
Price had many reasons to display wrath after his team lost in 11 innings, 7-5.
His team stranded 15 runners. His team had chances to score go-ahead or winning runs in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings but failed misterably. His team (Brandon Phillips, Tony Cingrani) failed to put down sacrifice bunts. His bullpen was atrocious.
Still looking for a viable option in the eighth inning, Price sent Jumbo Diaz to protect a 5-3 lead. He gave up a two-run home run to Jhonny Peralta. He sent Kevin Gregg to the mound in the 11th of a 5-5 game and he gave up a two-run game-winning home run to Matt Carpenter.
PRICE WAS EJECTED from the game in the eighth inning and he saw a call reversed against him in the eighth inning. It was a sunny, pleasant afternoon, but it was gloomy and not pleasant for Price.
In the eighth inning, a Diaz pitch was in the dirt near Jon Jay’s foot. He tossed away his bat and ran to first base. Home plate umpire Kerwin Danley did not signal that Jay was hit by a pitch. Nor did any other umpire.
Price came out to protest the non-call. And he protested and protested and protested with Danley. Finally, crew chief Joe West came to the home plate area and Price vehemently stated his case with West. Eventually, after about five minutes, West ejected Price, “For delaying the game. That’s why he was ejected. For delaying the game,” said West.
Said Price, . “If nobody called it, why were they awarding Jay first base?” Price was angry that he had to use a challenge to see if Jay was hit, “When it should have been the Cardinals challenging that he was hit because there was no signal by any umpire.”
IN THE SAME INNING, after Price was ejected, the Cardinals had runners on first and second with no outs. The batter bunted weakly in front of the plate. Catcher Devin Mesoraco pounced on the ball and tried to tag the runner. He thought he missed. He then threw to third for a force play and Todd Frazier fired to first in time for a double play. And that’s the way it was called.
But wait? St. Louis manager Mike Matheny asked for a challenge/replay. After a four-minute delay, the call was reversed. They said Mesorcao tagged the bunter and he was out. That eliminated the force at third base. So the runner was put back on third, giving the Cardinals runners on second and third with one out instead of a runner on second with two outs.
PRICRE IS NOT happy with the umpires or the replay system.
“The ambiguity of the umpires trying to get everything right every time (with replays) to me clouds it,” said Price. “The replay just clouds it. You can deal better with a missed call by an umpire rather the ambiguity of replay. And I know that’s sour grapes of my part because I’m pissed off because we didn’t get the calls.
“And we didn’t even get a replay on the play Saturday at home when they said Mesoraco missed a tag at home plate,” Price added. “The umpire crew did nothing about a review, which they have an option of doing. They chose not to do it.
“I just don’t like where this replay system is and I don’t think the umpires do, either. I’m not a big fan right now,” said Price.
PRICE ALSO ADDED that it made it worse because it is the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Look, since I’ve been here there has been, well, I don’t want to say bad blood because the bad blood was in 2010 (the Brandon Phillips-Yadier Molina shoving match that evolved into a full-scale brawl). But the Cardinals have beaten us a lot in the time I’ve been here, so to be able to turn the tables on them would mean a lot.”
Instead of taking two of three in the first series of the year against the Cardinals, the Cardinals took two of three and have won 11 of the last 13 series against the Reds.