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What A Bleeping Day: Reds Manager Takes Media To Task

Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, seen here during a home game, has apologized for the language he used in a long tirade.
Joe Robbins
Getty Images
Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, seen here during a home game, has apologized for the language he used in a long tirade.

More than 80 profanities in under six minutes. That's the statistic baseball writers are talking about today, after Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price aired his frustrations with both the media and his team's struggles Monday.

Price took vehement exception to journalists' attempts to report on the Reds' personnel moves and the status of All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had at that point missed six consecutive games.

Before Monday's game, Price said Mesoraco wouldn't be available. Then he was asked, again, about the slugger's status.

Addressing Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans, Price said, "Can I ask you a question? I don't understand what the importance is, for everybody to know if we have a player that's not here. We don't benefit at all from the other teams knowing that we don't have a player. You don't have to be a Reds fan — but it doesn't help us if our opponents know who is here and who isn't."

The Reds manager then warmed to his subject — and reeled off dozens of expletives as he questioned the dynamics of sports journalism.

"Has it always been this way?" Price asked reporters about their compulsion to share news about the Reds' players.

"Every f****** team that we f****** play has to know every f****** guy that's here and what they can and can't do? F*** me. It's a f****** disgrace. F*** I'm sick of this s***. It's f****** hard enough to win here — to have f****** every f****** opponent know exactly what the f*** we bring to the table every day. It's f****** horse****."

Summarizing his position, Price added, "I don't like it."

The tirade wasn't captured on video. As The Enquirer's Rosecrans reports, it came at the end of Price's daily pregame briefing:

"The television crews left and about 10 reporters remained in the room. That's when Price took his turn doing the talking.

"What followed was a five-minute, 34-second expletive-filled tirade. The final tally was 77 uses of the 'F' word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine)."

The manager apologized for his language Tuesday, saying via Twitter, "I used wholly inappropriate language to describe the media coverage of our team. While I stand by the content of my message, I am sorry for the choice of words."

It seems that the Reds' explanations for Mesoraco's absence have shifted. While Price said on Monday that he was away from the team "for family reasons," The Enquirer's Paul Daugherty reports today that Mesoraco seems to have a "hip impingement" — a painful condition that could require the catcher to undergo season-ending surgery if it doesn't improve.

Price launched into his tirade one day after his team was swept over the weekend by the rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds, 6-7, are currently one spot behind the Chicago Cubs in their division.

The Reds manager wasn't alone in letting the profanities fly in talking with journalists Monday.

When Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford encountered frequent critic Trib Total Media columnist Rob Rossi in a hallway after his team's playoff loss, he said repeatedly, "You're a (expletive) jerk," Rossi writes.

When Rossi explained that his job is to give his opinions, Rutherford responded, "Well, your opinion is (expletive)." He also reportedly told Rossi to go sell ice cream.

"As (expletive) as my opinion might be," Rossi later wrote, "it remains that Rutherford has botched an attempted retooling of the Penguins."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.