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Riggleman thankful for managerial opportunity

Interim skipper says change to routine may be necessary after Reds' slow start
Special to MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman is not exactly planning on reinventing the wheel in an attempt to turn the team's fortunes around.

Riggleman, previously the Reds' bench coach, was named the interim skipper after manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins were dismissed Thursday. Pat Kelly, who was the manager at Triple-A Louisville, was promoted to be the interim bench coach, and Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin was promoted to interim pitching coach.

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ST. LOUIS -- Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman is not exactly planning on reinventing the wheel in an attempt to turn the team's fortunes around.

Riggleman, previously the Reds' bench coach, was named the interim skipper after manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins were dismissed Thursday. Pat Kelly, who was the manager at Triple-A Louisville, was promoted to be the interim bench coach, and Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin was promoted to interim pitching coach.

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"If I say we're going to do things different, it's an insult to Bryan, as if Bryan wasn't doing it right," Riggleman said. "Bryan is as fine a man as I've ever met in baseball. He's a class act, and he was on top of everything."

Still, something has to give with the Reds off to a 3-15 start.

"The only reason to do anything different is because we weren't winning," Riggleman said. "So maybe you have to do a little something different. Maybe we have to schedule something different or do something earlier on the field. Just have some different approach so the players don't get locked into, 'I guess we're OK.' Because we're not OK. We've got to get better."

Riggleman has managed over 12 seasons with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals. He led the Cubs to the National League Wild Card Game in 1998.

His last stop in Washington ended on a rocky note with ownership, leaving open the possibility that Riggleman wouldn't get another shot to manage again.

"I don't want to talk too much about the past, I want to move forward," Riggleman said. "I will say that when I left Washington, that wasn't a knee-jerk [reaction]. It was something that was thought out for a period of time, and I knew I may not get another chance. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have gotten another chance because Bryan would still be managing this club."

Video: Williams on replacing Price, Riggleman on taking over

Darwin is familiar with the Reds' pitchers from Spring Training and the Minors.

"Just try to get them to go out and throw first-pitch strikes, get ahead," Darwin said. "We're going to pitch inside. That's one thing I really think needs to happen here, try to get that part of the plate. Other than that, just let them be themselves."

Kelly said he and Darwin's experience with the Reds' younger players is a plus.

"Both Danny and I have had these guys, so we have a pretty good feel for them and their emotions and skills, and I think we can add a little bit to the staff."

It is fitting that Riggleman is starting his stint as Reds manager in St. Louis. He got his first taste of managing in the Cardinals' Minor League system, and former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog will visit with him Saturday.

"I never had any designs of coaching or managing in the big leagues," Riggleman said. "Me and my co-workers in the Minors with the Cardinals used to say if they gave me a 20-year contract right now, I'd take it to manage in the Minor Leagues."

Riggleman is grateful to the Reds' organization for giving him another chance.

"The Reds gave me a job when a lot of people would say, 'We're staying away from that guy,'" Riggleman said. "Anything they want me to do, that's what I'll do. If it's a week or several years, whatever."

Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis.

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