According to published reports by the Cincinnati Enquirer the Reds will announce Bryan Price as its new manager.
Although Price has no management experience anywhere, his good work with the Cincinnati pitching staff has earned the 51-year old former minor league pitcher a great deal of respect.
Price was the pitching coach in Seattle and Arizona. He became available to replace Dick Pole as the Reds' pitching coach when he resigned in Arizona in protest to Bob Melvin's dismissal as manager of the Diamondbacks after the 2009 season. Price went to work for Baker in Cincinnati and the Reds' won two division titles in three years and made the playoffs last season, winning 90 plus games three times in four years.
The Reds' assistant pitching coach Mack Jenkins, who has been with the Reds all season and coached many of the current staff in the minor leagues, could step right in as pitching coach.
The Reds' main perceived problem was the offense, however, the Reds' lineup under Baker was third in the National League in runs scored in spite of its projected cleanup hitter missing due to injury for four months.
Reds' fans demanded that Baker, who has a laidback style, be replaced by someone with a more fiery personality. Price, who like Baker is from Northern California, has a similar personality. He is calm and patient.
After the Detroit Tigers were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, its manager Jim Leyland resigned. Leyland and Baker were ranked one and two on the wins list for active managers.
While in Cincinnati last season, Leyland bristled at fans complaints about his lineup. Baker went through the same criticisms. A look at the statistics for last season showed that Leyland's lineups not only produced 93 wins, the Tigers were second to the Red Sox in runs scored, on-base-percentage and slugging percentage. The Tigers hit two fewer home runs than the Reds Sox during the season in spite of playing in cavernous Comerica Park, while the Red Sox played in cozy Fenway Park.
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press by John Lowe, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski approached Baker about being a manager in Montreal's minor league system 26 years ago.
Perhaps more than anyone else available to the Detroit Tigers, Baker has two stand-out qualifications to manage them next season: He has considerable experience at managing both championship teams and the biggest of stars.
Baker today expressed interest in the Tigers brand-new managerial opening after Jim Leyland announced his resignation today.
“I’ve always respected Dave Dombrowski and what Dave has accomplished,” Baker said. “I have the ultimate respect and friendship for Jim Leyland. I’d be flattered and honored to be given such an opportunity.”