Does Dusty Baker’s Firing Open The Door For The Mariners?
By Dan Hughes
Oct 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker (12) is introduced before National League wild card playoff baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Okay, I got your attention. But I’m not going to say what you think I’m going to say. You probably think that I am going to suggest that the M’s will try to hire Dusty Baker as their next manager. That’s not what I was eluding to with the heading.
My full question would be this: Does Dusty Baker’s firing open the door for the Seattle Mariners to hire Bryan Price?
Price has been Baker’s pitching coach in Cincinnati since October 2009. But prior to that, Price should be remembered by Mariners fans as our pitching coach from 2001 to 2006. He was Baseball Weekly’s Pitching Coach of the Year in 2001 after taking a pitching staff that had been near the bottom of the league and turning them around to a league-best 3.54 mark that year.
Price was happy in Cincinnati and wasn’t looking for other opportunities, presumably before Baker retired. Now that he’s been fired, he will surely be looking for another gig. He will surely be on the list for the Reds’ opening. But my feeling is that Price won’t want to continue with an organization that would fire a manager after three consecutive 90-win seasons.
Jul 30, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price (38) calls the bullpen during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
So, add Brian Price’s name to the list of potential managers. One I would definitely throw my support behind. But don’t think for a second that Dusty Baker is coming here. In fact, he will more than likely retire.
As for the list of potential managers. According to a live chat with Shannon Drayer on 710Sports.com on Thursday, the list includes: Chip Hale, Torey Luvollo, Brian Price and Jose Oquendo, but she added that Price was unlikely until Baker retired. That’s not a problem now.
But what about Joey Cora?
I love Joey Cora. When the Mariners lost to the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 ALCS, the picture of Cora crying is one of the most heartbreaking images in Mariners history. I’m not sure he’s ready for managing….I could be wrong. I wouldn’t mind having Ozzie Guillen come in and Cora be his bench coach like he’d done in Miami and Chicago. But I don’t see the M’s going for Guillen.
I see them being serious about Price and I hope they can bring him in.