All it took was one extended interview, one that lasted about three hours, for Walt Jocketty and the rest of the Cincinnati Reds' front office staff to know that Bryan Price was the right man for the job. On Tuesday, Price was named manager of the Cincinnati Reds and becomes the 61st skipper in the franchise's history.
Bob Castellini sat with Jocketty and Price yesterday afternoon as they introduced the new manager to the media at Great American Ballpark. The three met October 12 out in Arizona and first discussed the possibility of Price becoming the head man.
"I think everyone in the room that day was as convinced as Bob and I were in the first meeting that he was certainly the guy that stands out," Jocketty said in the news conference Tuesday. "Once we had the meeting with Bryan, we felt there was no reason to go any further. He convinced us this was the right time and right place for him to lead this club."
Bob Castellini felt the same way-
"Bryan is exceptional, and we've been with him long enough to know how exceptional he is," Castellini said. "And he also can communicate very, very well, and he knows baseball very well and he loves the game and he loves the Reds. And if we hadn't kept him here, he would have gone elsewhere, I'm sure."
Price has spent the past four years as the Cincinnati Reds pitching coach and his first 10 seasons as a member of the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was on an extended list of candidates for the position which was then narrowed down to a select few that would be interviewed.
"To be honest with you, I was convinced that Bryan was our guy just because of our past association I've had with him and just how he addressed everything that we talked about," Jocketty said. "I think to bring other people in just for the process of going through interview, to me, I wouldn't want that. … I didn't want to get people's hopes up."
The three men sat and answered questions for about 40 minutes in front of the media. Most questions were answered as expected- but one theme that Price continued to talk about was accountability.
“If you’re able to unify a group and not just expect the coaches and manager to hold the players accountable, but for the players to themselves accountable,” Price said during the barrage of questions. “I think we have a lot of players here with that characteristic already or you wouldn’t see us pushing for division titles.”
Price has helped the pitching staff become one of the better groups in the National League. They had the fourth-best ERA this past season and led the NL in strikeouts. In 2012 they ranked third in ERA and each member of the rotation started in at least 30 games.
As far as supporting staff in concerned, no names were revealed at the conference Tuesday but there is expected to be some returners.
"I'll have some recommendations; he'll have recommendations," Jocketty said. "We'll work together on selecting a staff and try to put together the very best staff that we can."
Price will have a few months to make changes. Following Spring Training, Price will manage his first game as Reds manager against a familiar foe- the St. Louis Cardinals.
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