If you’re a fan of baseball and happened to be sifting through the Twitterverse Monday night, you likely came across a piece of audio gold courtesy of Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price.
The skipper went off the rails crazy during his pregame press conference, unleashing 77 F-bombs and then some on beat reporter C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. If you have not heard it yet, the five-minute, 34-second rant is pretty remarkable; downright hilarious even.
While some may find comedy in the excessive profanity Price verbally puts on display, uttering phrases like “Your job is not to sniff out every f****** thing about the Reds,” the real humor lies in the manager’s complete lack of understanding for what it is the media does.
The whole thing came about after the Cincinnati Enquirer had accurately reported that catcher Devin Mesoraco was not available for Sunday’s game. Price was upset with the report because the information was helping the Reds’ opponents – or as he put it, “How the f*** does that benefit the Reds? It doesn’t benefit us one f****** bit.”
I’m sorry, but come again Bryan?
No reporter in that press conference cares one bit if the information they provide hurts your ball club. Regardless of what Price may think, the media does not exist to serve the Reds organization. They exist to disseminate the truth, which is exactly what the Enquirer did. When Price directly asked Rosecrans how the information on Mesoraco benefited his team, the seasoned reporter kept his cool and replied, “I don’t know that that’s my job.”
It is not his job. Price should know it is not his job, yet in the middle of his outburst he uttered an almost near-perfect definition of what a beat reporter is supposed to do… and then lost his mind because they were doing it.
Reporters like Rosecrans are supposed to “sniff” out the details, get the facts and then relay them to the public. Mesoraco could have been used in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals as a pinch-hitter in a key spot, but ultimately was not. As Rosecrans pointed out to Price, a fan is going to want to know why.
It is the reporter’s job to find out. If Price is upset that that information is out there, that is his prerogative, but he has no right to lash out at the media for doing their jobs. Keep in mind, asking about the status of a player’s availability is more than commonplace.
With all the money and resources college and professional sports teams put into media training and relations these days, it is absurd that Price went off like this, regardless of whether he just lost his cool or actually went into the presser with this distorted misconception of the media.
At 6-7 the Reds are off to a mediocre start and happen to be playing in one of the more competitive divisions in baseball, the National League Central. The questions are only going to get harder for Price should the team struggle in 2015.
With the Cards, Cubs and Pirates all more talented, chances are Cincinnati will.
Hopefully, the second-year manager learns a thing or two about the media and how to handle them before the questions start getting real.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.