Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of game one of the 2012 NLDS. Photo Credit: Kelley L. Cox. US Presswire

Food for Thought: The Winter of My Discontent Turns an Early Corner

A few days ago I shared the stages of my remorse vis-a-vis the sudden demise of the Cincinnati Reds 2012 season.  The three stages I mentioned:  Denial, Anger, and Rationalization have suddenly been transformed into an emotion I did not expect this Halloween night.  I have skipped over a lot of wasted time navigation stages I will not enjoy and landed in one I did not expect until say…March.  I have found Hope.

It came like a thief in the night.  Word that Bryan Price was being interviewed in Miami was an unwelcome, though unsurprising, development.  Learning later from John Fay that he had pulled his name from consideration sent my imagination wandering.  I will give you an opportunity on this night of terror to step into my convoluted mind and see if the logical progression I followed makes any sense to anyone else.

First, we start with the premise that Bryan Price is on top of his game.  He took a very average pitching staff in 2011 and molded them into the most complete staff from top to bottom in baseball in 2012.  He supported Johnny Cueto‘s development into a staff ace.  He helped Mat Latos settle in and begin to live up to the trade that brought him here.  He weathered the losses of Bill Bray, Nick Masset and worst of all, projected closer Ryan Madson and still sent the best bullpen in baseball to the mound.  His performance this year will be hard, maybe impossible, to duplicate.  So the question remains, why stay?  The obvious answer involves chasing a ring but I do not think that is what motivates Mr. Price.  What if Price has the ultimate gold ring in his sights?

My premise is this:  What if the goal Bryan Price has for 2013 is to win a World Series ring on the arm of the Cuban Missile?

Price created a phenomenon of Aroldis Chapman in 2012.  For months at a time Chapman was the most electric, dominating pitcher in the game.  He had a couple of hiccups here and there but there is no question Aroldis instilled fear when he took the mound and fired up his blazing fastball.  So could Price be motivated by the challenge of transforming Chapman into a dominant starting pitcher?  I do not know the answer, but I have Hope.

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