A story of bouncing back
Had it been the regular season on Friday, new Reds manager Bryan Price might have been really been put through an emotional grinder in his game vs. the Mariners. The Reds blew an early 8-0 lead but still managed to come back for a 10-9 victory. Fortunately, it was only a Cactus League game and not a day where everything counted.
When asked he might handle a blown lead and bad loss in the regular season on Saturday morning, Price recalled a crushing Reds loss in 2010 at Atlanta, which was probably the one of the toughest losses the team has taken the past four years.
On May 20, 2010, at Turner Field, the Reds blew a 9-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth for a 10-9 walkoff loss. The end came on pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad’s grand slam against Francisco Cordero. The ball actually bounced off of left fielder Laynce Nix’s glove and went over the fence. Just a brutal loss. What then-manager Dusty Baker did next was something I hadn’t previously heard about.
“I think the best thing that happened there was we flew to Cleveland after that game and he had a mandatory meeting at the lobby bar,” Price said. “Everyone had to get a drink and we had to say ‘OK, that one is over with. We go back to work tomorrow.’ We beat Cleveland the next day, which kind of got the bad taste out of our mouths – the bad taste that was left over that the alcohol didn’t kill.”
By everyone, Price said Baker had players, coaches and staff fill this lobby bar.
What did now manager Price learn from the experience?
“You don’t want to get used to [losses] but you have to be resilient enough to get past them,” he said. “And they do happen. Anyone that’s been around the game long enough know that those happen. It stinks when they do but you can’t let them stay with you. Winning the next day makes a difference. It was a great idea. It was ‘let’s not let this carry over to tomorrow. It sucked but we’re beyond it and it counts as one loss.’ Let’s go back out and be ready tomorrow. … I thought it was a really good idea by Dusty to do that.”