Bryan Price will be back to manage the Reds next year.
Try to hold the party horns and confetti.
Reds general manager Walt “We just need to make a few tweaks” Jocketty made it official on Saturday, when he announced he would bring back Price for Year 3.
Price went 76-86 in his first year, 2014. On Sunday, the Reds limped home with a final record of 64-98.
The good news was they didn’t lose 100.
On the other side, the 98 losses were the most since the 1982 club lost 101.
And unless there are major changes made this offseason, expect more of the same in 2016.
The offense ranked 11th in the league in batting average (.248), 12 in runs (640) and 10th in on-base percentage (.321).
The pitching wasn’t any better. The staff ranked 12th in ERA at 4.33.
There were a few bright spots with Joey Votto (.314, 29 HR, 80 RBI, 142 walks), Brandon Phillips (.295, 12 HR, 70 RBI) and Todd Frazier (.253, 35 HR, 89 RBI).
But the outfield was a bigger nightmare than anything you’ll see in a haunted cornfield this month.
Jay Bruce, coming off a .217 year in 2014, hit .225 and struck out 144 times. You have to take those numbers with his 26 homers and 87 RBI.
Center fielder Billy Hamilton, who successful arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder last week, stole 57 bases, but struggled to get on base. His on-base percentage was .274 (28 walks) and hit only .226. Next year will be a critical year for Hamilton’s future.
Left field is anyone’s guess next year, with Marlon Byrd long gone and no one clearly taking over the position since he was traded.
Money, or lack there of, dictated the Reds had to trade ace Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake near the trade deadline.
That leaves next year with only two sure starters in rookies this year Raisel Iglesias (3-7, 4.15 ERA) and Anthony DeSclafani (9-13, 4.05) to blend in with Homer Bailey, whenever he returns from Tommy John surgery.
After that, the hope is that former Royals Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb will make the rotation. One-time starter Michael Lorenzen is another possibility.
This team needs two starting outfielders and two quality starters to even think about getting over the .500 mark. Bullpen help is needed, as well, especially if Aroldis Chapman is traded.
And the really bad news is Jocketty isn’t the man to guide them to the promised land.
Jocketty and owner Bob Castellini put this mess together. They also handed out huge contracts to the likes of Bailey, Votto and Bruce.
Jocketty also oversaw years of lackluster drafting. Where are these superstar outfielders we keep hearing about in the farm system?
Since Castellini isn’t going anywhere, the only true hope is that Jocketty decides to retire or is pushed out the door.
In spite of what Jocketty says, this team needs a mountain more than “a few tweaks.”
The Reds need a complete overhaul.
And they need a new engineer pushing the buttons along the way.
Spartans head to Findlay
In a key battle in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference this Friday, Lima Senior (5-1, 2-1 TRAC) travels to Donnell Stadium to meet Findlay (5-1, 2-1 TRAC).
Findlay is coming off its first loss, a 21-7 decision to Toledo St. John’s.
Last year the Spartans breezed by Findlay, 56-17, but Findlay running back Emmanuel Mogolu ran for 122 yards on 11 carries. Against St. John’s Mogolu had 22 carries for 71 yards.
LCC game moved to Saturday
LCC’s (3-3) football game this weekend against Columbus Ready was moved from Friday to Saturday night at Upper Arlington High School.
Big win for Bath
Just when it looked like St. Marys’ Wing-T offense would steamroll its way to the playoffs, Bath’s defense held St. Marys to 172 total yards and 68 rushing.
On the other side, Bath’s Kaden Sullivan had 28 carries for 176 yards to help the Wildcats run for 307 yards.
Drew Adams coaching at Army
Elida High School graduate Drew Adams is an assistant basketball coach at Army this season under head coach Zach Spiker.
Last year Adams was the director of basketball operations at American. In 2013, he was an assistant coach at Creighton.
From 2008 to 2012, he was an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Chicago.
Adams, the son of UNOH head coach Chris Adams, was the captain of the 2007 University of Chicago basketball team.
Army went 15-15 last year.
Reach Tom Usher at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Lima_Usher.