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Cleveland Browns: Kizer to start season opener vs. Steelers

Published: Sunday, August 27, 2017 @ 5:25 PM


            Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) throws against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (7) throws against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will start the season opener against Pittsburgh, the 27th different QB to start for Cleveland since 1999.

Kizer showed coach Hue Jackson enough in Saturday’s exhibition start against Tampa Bay to secure the job. Kizer was given the assignment earlier this week by Jackson, who picked the second-round pick over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler.

Jackson made Kizer’s Week 1 start official on Sunday, saying he “earned the right.”

Kizer played the entire first half against the Buccaneers, completing just 6 of 18 passes for 93 yards and an interception. But he showed the poise Jackson was hoping to see from the former Notre Dame standout.

The Browns have been cycling thorough quarterbacks at an alarming rate, and their inability to find the right one has resulted in annual ineptitude.

Cleveland started three quarterbacks while going 1-15 last season.

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Hartman: Firing Bryan Price shows winning might actually matter to Cincinnati Reds

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

Bryan Price reacts to loss to Cubs

Turns out losing games actually does have consequences in Cincinnati. 

That’s reassuring, I guess. 

RELATED: What’s a manager worth, anyway?

The Cincinnati Reds firing Bryan Price might not make them better, but at least he will no longer be able to make them worse. 

I wanted Price to work out as the team’s manager, and I don’t want to celebrate anyone losing their job. 

He seems like a good man who knows baseball. I hope he lands on his feet, and I believe he will. 

But he had to go. 

Dusty Baker (Price’s predecessor) did some great things to help close the door on a decade-plus of losing, but he had taken the Reds as far as he could with his managerial style (good) and lineup-building foibles (bad).

Price, the architect of a great pitching staff under Baker, made as much sense as anyone to get the job four years ago. 

He stumbled out of the gate with a flawed team, but he showed some progress as the manager even as the roster got worse and injuries multiplied. 

Certainly making a change after last season would have been justified, but sticking with him wasn’t the worst idea, either, considering he had not really had much to work with and there was reason to think the Reds would be better this season. 

With a 3-15 record, they are not, of course. 

» MCCOY: Groundhog day for Reds, who lose 2-0 again

So far, this has looked like one of the worst Cincinnati teams ever, in fact, and Price blew multiple games last week with bizarre late-inning decisions. 

The manager doesn’t swing the bat and he doesn’t make the pitches (or throw the ball over Joey Votto’s head), but he’s in there for some reason, right? 

This team needs new direction. 

They needed to do something to shake up the clubhouse before losing became a way of life for another summer on the riverfront. 

After players’ managers like Baker and Price, perhaps a good ol’ fashioned butt kicker could do some good. 

We shall see if Jim Riggleman is that man. 

If not, well, we’ll see next year if it’s someone else. 

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Reds fire Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

Reds manager Bryan Price motions to the umpires that he won't call for a review of a play at first base against the Brewers on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Reds manager Bryan Price motions to the umpires that he won't call for a review of a play at first base against the Brewers on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

The Cincinnati Reds, who are off to their worst start through 18 games since 1931, fired manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins on Thursday.

“At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dick Williams in a statement. “We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of Baseball Operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve."

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Marcus Hartman on Price’s struggles

Bench coach Jim Riggleman will serve as interim manager. He has managed 12 seasons in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals. His career record is 662-824.

Pat Kelly was promoted from Triple-A Louisville to serve as interim bench coach. Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin will be the Reds’ pitching coach.

The Reds announced they “will conduct a thorough managerial search for a permanent replacement.”

The Reds fell to 3-15 on Wednesday with a loss in Milwaukee. They are off today and start a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday. They have the worst record in baseball. This is their worst record through 18 games since they were 2-16 in 1931.

This was Price’s fifth season as Reds manager. His final record was 279-387. The Reds never had a winning record in his tenure, finishing 76-86 in his first season and then 64-98 in 2015, 68-94 in 2016 and 68-94 in 2017.

» MCCOY: Groundhog day for Reds, who lose 2-0 again

Price, 55, replaced Dusty Baker after the Reds won the wild card in 2013. Price served as Reds pitching coach from 2010-13.

On Sunday at Great American Ball Park after the team fell to 2-12 with a loss to the Cardinals the previous day, Price expressed confidence the Reds would turn the season around.

“It’s not fun,” Price said. “It’s not comfortable. It always turns; it will turn. When you’re in it, you feel, ‘When is it going to turn?’ You get impatient. We’re all impatient and frustrated, but inevitably, it will turn.”

Last September, Price talked about his job prospects, knowing the Reds would have to improve if he wanted to remain manager.

“You should get what you earned,” he said. “Since I’ve been the manager here we haven’t been real competitive. That shouldn’t put me on sound footing as the manager. What should is that from 2017 to 2018 we make significant improvements or they’re going to have to look at the direction of the club. One thing we do is we play hard. I don’t feel like I’m getting questioned a ton about managerial decisions, bullpen usage, lineup issues, etc. The last thing I’m going to worry about is the contract, because All-Star break 2015, the baseball community had me out of here – but I’m still here, and that’s really a credit to our ownership and front office to understand what we’re doing and what’s ahead of us. You get what you earn here. Until we show signs of great improvement, I’m in exactly the position I should be in.”

Reds bench coach Jim Riggleman, center, and manager Bryan Price, left, watch a game against the Cardinals on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)
Reds manager Bryan Price calls a sign during a game against the Cardinals on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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Dragons photo gallery: vs. South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 9:22 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:10 AM

Adult beverages, rain delay and Dragons baseball vs. the South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 18, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Pitcher Hunter Greene’s second start as a Dayton Dragon had an abbreviated ending on Wednesday night.

The Dragons led the visiting South Bend Cubs 3-0 with two outs in the top of the third inning when the game was suspended for more than an hour because of rain.

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Greene gets 2nd start, but Orewiler earns win for streaking Dragons

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 11:50 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:58 AM

Dragons pitcher Hunter Greene went 2.1 innings in a rain-delayed second start, a 4-1 defeat of the visiting South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 18, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Hunter Greene figured he would have to up his considerable game when he was promoted to the Dragons.

Sure enough, the Reds’ No. 1 draft pick from a year ago has dealt with elements that were foreign to his Los Angeles upbringing. There’s been rain, more rain, some snow and an entire three-game weekend series postponed in just two weeks of minor-league baseball.

It was more of the same for his delayed second start on Wednesday against visiting South Bend at Fifth Third Field.

“We’re going to face this,” said Greene following a 4-1 win that pushed the Dragons’ win streak to seven. “We’ve just got to be able to compete, bring our ‘A’ game and be ready to go.”

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery vs. Cubs

Greene was supposed to have started last Saturday at West Michigan, but that road trip was completely washed out due to a winter storm that lingered throughout the Midwest. Instead, he unloaded on the Cubs and statistically was just as impressive as his debut nine days prior that drew national media.

He went 2.1 innings for a no-decision, allowing three hits, one walk, no runs and striking out three. And he brought the heat again.

»RELATED: Greene battles the elements

He hit 100 mph on his first three pitches in his opening assignment. On Wednesday, he topped that by hitting 101 mph in the second inning. That unofficially ties a stadium record that former Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman first registered during a major-league rehab assignment with the Dragons in 2014.

Cubs designated hitter Christian Donahue owns a black-and-blue souvenir of Greene’s magic moment: He was hit by the 101 mph missile.

Rain soon pelted the field before Greene could get out of the third inning. He was done following a 90-minute rain delay.

“It was great,” said Greene, who had 43 pitches and likely would not have gone past the third inning anyway. “It went really well and the team was strong. We stayed in it, competed and got the job done.”

»RELATED: This is how to make up for it

Dragons reliever Austin Orewiler (2-1) earned the win, going 4.2 innings, allowing a solo home run and striking out eight. Ryan Nutof and Sarkis Ohanian also each pitched scoreless innings to preserve what Greene and Orewiler started.

Dragons relievers have allowed just two earned runs during the win streak, a span of 31.2 innings.

»RELATED: Clementina delivers following trade from Dodgers

“It’s a great staff,” Dragons pitching coach Seth Etherton said. “These guys have meshed really well. It’s all about preparing. Once they understand a lot about themselves at this stage in their careers, that’s what it’s all about, figuring out what works for them.”

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Dragons third baseman John Sansone had a two-run homer, his first. The Dragons made the most of three hits. The Cubs had just five hits and celebrated starter Jose Albertos (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He’s the No. 3 minor-league prospect for the Cubs.

THURSDAY’S GAME

South Bend at Dayton, 7 p.m.

WONE-AM (980)

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