It's time to play devil's advocate here. Since the second Dusty got the boot, Bryan Price has been the only candidate that makes total and complete sense for this team right now. He knows the team, the players endorse him, and if he doesn't get the job, he's probably heading to Seattle. However, it might not be as much of a slam dunk hire as we're letting on...
He Isn't Enough Of A Change
Here's the thing. A big issue with the previous administration was that the players got too comfortable and that when push came to shove, there wasn't any urgency within the ranks. Does hiring someone the players would be comfortable with change that culture? Part of why the Reds were in this mess to begin with was that they had a manager the players wanted. A "player's manager" might not be the answer here.
I get it. You have to start somewhere. But is a 90-win team bringing back almost everybody the time to test out a rookie manager? Walt and Bob aren't really the risky type, so it'd be really tough to see them bringing in a guy without knowing how he runs a clubhouse. A good coach doesn't always make a good manager, so the Reds may elect to not use this year to try a rookie.
Price's teams haven't won in the playoffs either. Looking at the postseason stats for his pitching staffs... wait, what? They've been BETTER in the playoffs? Really? Nevermind...
He's the Right Amount of Change
While putting Price in charge of the team would constitute a bit of a carryover from the Dusty Baker era, his promotion to the guy who gets to stand on the top step of the dugout isn't merely a continuation of how things have been. Sure, he's still a familiar face to the guys on the team and that may risk a slight level of complacency, but that's only half the story; there's a Dusty-sized void in the clubhouse, too, and the mere fact that him winning 90 games in his third trip to the playoffs in four years wasn't good enough to keep his job should be enough motivation for the players on the squad. Promoting Price would provide enough confirmation to the players that there still were plenty of good things they accomplished in recent years while also emphasizing there are places that must be improved.
The Cincinnati Reds are a Pitcher-first Team
Never before have the Reds had a sustained run of pitching success like they've had in the last three seasons, and its no coincidence that Price has been in charge concurrent with that run. With Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Tony Cingrani all set to be around for at least two more seasons, it seems wise to not mess with the ingredients that have been so, so delicious. The Reds have won with their pitching of late, Price has been in charge of the pitching, ergo Price should be in charge of the team. Poke holes in that logic, Charlie Scrabbles!
Old & Stuffy Is So Two-Thousand and Late
Baseball fans have seen an entire generation of managers lean their seats back, order a fruity drink with an umbrella, and bid adieu to the managerial profession in the past few seasons. Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Lou Piniella have all hung up their awkward fitting old-man uniforms lately, and this season has now seen Charlie Manuel, Davey Johnson, and Dusty Baker leave teams where they've had success. The new wave has seen younger, less "experienced" managers given the reins of franchises, some even in high profile, win-now scenarios like Don Mattingly and Mike Matheny. Price, now 12 years deep as a pitching coach at the major league level, fits that mold, and the Reds would be wise to see the signals.
Promote Him, or Lose Him
The previous point parlays nicely into this one. The league, ever a series of copycat moves, is looking for managers like Price, and unfortunately for Bob Castellini and Walt Jocketty, folks in Cincinnati aren't the only ones who have noticed how well Price has done his job for the last three seasons. He's not only in demand for other potential managerial positions, he's in demand from a franchise for whom he has worked before. Price was the pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners from 2001-2006, and they reportedly have their eyes on his return...this time as their manager. With Felix Hernandez signed and a pitching rich upper minors featuring Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Danny Hultzen, among others, Price may see a chance to go continue to increase his reputation as working great with pitchers while also kickstarting his managerial career. That means, of course, that the Reds risk losing his services altogether should they not hire him as manager, and with a team built as dependent upon pitching success as the Reds currently are, that's a risk they can't afford to take.