Not that the past week was the best time to sight-see in Cincinnati, but for new Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, it was enough to sell him on the job.
"I didn't know a great deal about the whole situation there until I got a chance to fly up there and visit with Walt Jocketty, Dusty Baker, Bill Bavasi, Cam Bonifay and Dick Williams," Price said on Saturday. "Everyone seemed to be very consistent in their ideas and the direction for the organization. It's an impressive group of people."
Price said he's also excited about the young arms not only with the Reds - Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Homer Bailey and Micah Owings - but also the talent inside the organization.
"I see a lot of young talent, that's important," Price said. "There's youth in the organization, the rotation and in the bullpen. There's a good mix of power arms. And there's a lot (of talent) coming in the system. It's always nice to see kids come in the system. It says a lot about the organization. I think I came into a great situation, not waiting two or three years until the primary prospects. There are guys who are ready to become big league pitches."
Price was the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2006 until May of this past season when he resigned after the firing of manager Doug Melvin. He also served as the Mariners' pitching coach from 2000 until 2005.
Price was named Baseball America's Major League Coach of the Year in 2007 with the Diamondbacks and in 2001 was named Pitching Coach of the Year by USA Today's Baseball Weekly.
Price was also featured in the book Guiding Lights: How to Mentor-and Find Life's Purpose .
"We're very excited to be able to hire someone with Bryan's background and history of success," Jocketty said in a statement released by the team.
Price replaces Dick Pole, whose contract was not renewed at the end of the season.
Price resigned in Arizona after Bob Melvin was fired in May and replaced by A.J. Hinch. He spent the rest of the season as a minor league pitching consultant for the Phillies. Price said a good relationship with a manager is essential. Price was in demand from other teams, including the Marlins, according to published reports, and said the people -- including Baker -- was what pushed him toward the Reds
"Getting a chance to Know Dusty a bit on my trip to Cincinnati, it was a big part of my decision to come to Cincinnati," Price said. "The manager-pitching coach relationship is huge, if it's not going to be a positive situation, it's not worth doing. I hadn't spent much time with him before, but I've always admired him from afar."
As the Diamondbacks' pitching coach, Price remembered watching Cueto's big-league debut early in the 2008 season.
"It was the third game of the season, a day game on a get-away day and he gave up a solo homer to Justin Upton," Price remembered when asked about Cueto's game, a seven-inning, one-hit performance. "He was terrific, what was impressive about it was the command he had of three pitches as a young guy making his debut. It's hard to find guys like that."
And that talent, as well as Volquez, Bailey and others is what Price said has him excited about working with the Reds.
"I'm a hands-on guy, I like to be involved, I like to talk about pitching and work on it," Price said. "When you have a savvy group, you feel like you just let (pitchers) do what they already know how to do. I like the mixture, it's good to have a Arthur Rhodes and Coco Cordero, real professionals, in the bullpen. There's a good makeup, the more I get to know these guys and get to know these guys and their makeup and make calls to them and get working with them, the relationships will develop. You don't just show up and people immediately trust you. I think they will learn I just want the best for them."