Price up for challenge of managing Reds
CINCINNATI -- After watching his team endure an injury-riddled spring training, Bryan Price made his debut as the Cincinnati Reds' manager Monday afternoon in a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals before 43,134 fans at Great American Ball Park.
The pomp and circumstance surrounding Opening Day in Cincinnati certainly wasn't new for Price, who served as the club's pitching coach for the past four seasons before replacing as skipper Dusty Baker last October.
"It's a situation that can be a little overwhelming if you allow it to be," Price said. "I'm going to embrace the moment and make it memorable for the right reasons. Going through this for the first time as a manager is special."
Baker led the Reds to two National League Central titles and three playoff appearances before being fired after a late-season collapse. Price now steps in for Cincinnati, which lost durable starter Bronson Arroyo and leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo to free agency in the offseason.
The roster was further diminished when the Reds opened the season with eight players on the disabled list.
"I never have trouble sleeping," Price said when asked about the missing talent.
His trial by fire began Monday as he makes do without his top starting pitcher, right-hander Mat Latos, who is still recovering from elbow surgery, and closer Aroldis Chapman, who is on the disabled list after being struck in the head by a line drive March 19.
Since Price's hiring, Reds players praised the new manager's preparation and communication skills. The transition period for Price should be reduced since he is a known commodity within the organization.
"This is a job that will challenge me," Price said, "but it will only make me better."