PRICE SAYS EVERY MANAGER, every coach, tries to implant that message into every player’s mind because, after all, it is called respecting the game and respecting yourself.
“That’s what we preach, but in the game, all over the game, you just go, ‘Geez Louise, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Wiliams have to be rolling over in their graves right now,’ to watch some of the things that happen where the game isn’t played at the same level as it was played years ago.”
Price said the baseball attitude filters down from real life, from society’s mores and attitudes today.
“We expect less of ourselves than at any other point in time in the history of man. We expect less of ourselves as opposed to more.”
And where does this come from, where did Price’s observations germinate?
“I really admire a hard day’s work and I learned that from my dad,” he said. “Give a hard day’s work every day. So when I see that, when I see (Dodger) Chase Utley run to first base, when we had Chris Heisey here and I saw him run every single ball out real hard and on every pop-up he was at second base when the ball came down, I admire that. But it is a missing energy effort, an effort that is missing in society today. No accountability.
“So it can’t be at all like ’76 because the game is not played that way any more and it is unfortunate,” said Price.
THE CHICAGO CUBS come to town Monday and right out of the bag the Reds get to face Jake Arrieta. When the Reds last saw him well, they didn’t really see him, he pitched a no-hitter against them.
And how do you approach a pitcher who is 11-and-2 with a 1.73 earned run average and owns a no-hitter against you the last time you tried to put bat on ball against him?
“Anyone with any pride at all would want to face him again,” said Price. “We’ve had games in the past where we’ve given him really good games. We’ve beaten him at times and made life more challenging for him than we did recently.
“He certainly is one of the best starting pitchers in the game right now and I would like to think everybody here is chomping at the bit to get another opportunity to beat him. That’s the beauty of the game — beat the best there is and try to beat Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta. It is quite an accomplishment when you do beat them.”
CALL IT A SLUMP or a drought or a struggle or whatever, but the cold hard facts say that over his last 61 plate appearances, going into Sunday’s game. Joey Votto had one extra base hit, a double.
On June 7 he had a home run and a double, but since then over 61 plate appearances he has one double, 13 walks, 13 strikeouts and one RBI.
“I know with two strikes, when Joey chokes up, he is really focusing on putting the ball in play,” said Price. “Beyond that, having been around him the last 6 1/2 years I know he is always trying to find ways to get better. He is a battler and right now he is just battling to find the comfort zone he found the second half of last season.
“He didn’t have a prolific full season last year, but it was one heck of a memorable second half for him last year,” Price added. “I can’t help him in any way, shape or form other than to keep putting him in the lineup. He is working hard to find his way.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “On Friday and Saturday the Reds had four hits in both games. Pete Rose had 73 games during his career in which he had four hits by himself.” — Joe Danneman, WXIX-Fox 19.
Those 73 four-hit games, by the way, are the most for any player since 1954. And the second best is Paul Molitor with 62.