It was so unlike Bryan Price as to be almost unbelievable. And I wouldn’t have believed it had I not watched it myself on-line.
During his daily pre-game media briefing Monday in Milwaukee, the normally docile and polite Cincinnati Reds manager exploded in a 5 ½-minute rant that included the use of F-bombs 77 times.
Price was, uh, a bit unhinged because of reports by the media that catcher Devin Mesoraco was not with the team Sunday. And from there is blossomed into a rant about the media reporting on his team’s injuries.
THE MAIN THRUST of Price’s ran was aimed at Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans, a guy just doing his job to the best of his abilities.
Price was upset that Rosecrans tweeted that he saw catcher Tucker Barnhart in the airport and that he was joining the team. Price was disturbed that the report got out before the team could inform catcher Kyle Skipworth that he would be sent back to the minors.
And it ballooned from there. Price, using F-bombs in nearly every sentence, couldn’t understand why everything involving the inner workings of the team had to be reported and that the information only helps the other teams and does not benefit the Reds.
And in the end, after his diatribe, Price basically threw the writers out of his office.
FOR ALL OF LAST year and the start of this season Price has been extremely cooperative with the media, has answered all their questions, has not lied. When asked, he answered.
But this explosion?
Some of it certainly has to do with frustration. The team had lost seven of its previous eight games and that, of course, wears on a manager, who has to meet the media before and after every game and explain his moves.
Some of it has to do with the fact Price is a neophyte in dealing with the media. He was a minor-league pitcher and didn’t have to face media scrutiny every day. And before he became manager of the Reds he was a pitching coach, a guy seldom confronted by the media.
WHAT HE APPARENTLY doesn’t understand, and during his rant he said several times, “I just don’t get it,” is that the independent media doesn’t work for the Reds. They are not beholding to the Reds. It is their job to report the news to the fans who pay for tickets.
Is it news that Devin Mesoraco isn’t with the team? Yes, it is.
Is it news that Tucker Barnhart is joining the team? Yes, it is.
Is it news that Billy Hamilton couldn’t play because his fingers are sore and he couldn’t bat righthanded? Yes, it is.
WHILE MOST OF US covering the Reds want the team to win because readership is better with a winning team, we are not fans and do not root, root, root for the home team. It is our job to report to the paying fans what is going on.
Are we there to hide injuries or missing players or the fact certain relief pitchers aren’t available that night? No, we are not.
Price has been nothing but forthcoming and direct and honest in his dealings with me and all of the media. And that is exactly the way a manager should be. It is part of his job description to deal with the media.
It is not our job to help the Reds beat the other team. We aren’t paid by the Reds and we don’t receive World Series shares. We are associated with the team because we cover it, but we are not part of the team.
I HAVE TO GIVE Price a pass on this one. He certainly is frustrated with his team’s play and he obviously doesn’t fully understand the functions of the media — those that are not under the umbrella of the team, like the radio and TV people and the team’s public relations staff which puts out its own blogs and videos.
Unfortunately for Price, his rant is out there for the world to see and mostly laugh about. But it is out there forever for all to see and will remain on his resume.
The only thing that disappoints me is that Price apologized for his use of 77 F-bombs in 5 ½ minutes, but he said he stands by everything he said about the media’s approach to covering the team.
Price is a highly intelligent man, a graduate of Cal-Berkeley, and a good baseball man. But he has to realize, and I’m sure he does now, that with social media these days everything a man in his position does or says is out there forever.
Hopefully, this all blows over quickly. Price is too good of a man, too dedicated to his job, to have an adverse relationship with the media who covers him and his team every day.