We’ll have a lot more on David Bell and the Reds hiring him as the week unfolds. Here’s the post from a couple weeks ago that lays out the basics on Bell. Its conclusion:

“Like the players he’s in charge of, Bell has developed. He’s immersed himself in analytics and the waves of brand new information available to help baseball teams win. He has worked in two organizations — the Cubs and Cardinals — that eat, breathe and sleep modern approaches to baseball. The day-to-day experience as bench coach for the Cardinals is a strong credential for Bell that postdates his time in Cincinnati.

All that said, this post isn’t a campaign for David Bell. It’s not even a modest call for him to be hired.

John Farrell may be a superior candidate. So might any number of other, yet unknown and unconsidered, applicants.

Here’s the point: It would be wrong for the Reds to select a manager based on past connections with the organization or current family ties in the front office. But it would be equally misguided to reject an otherwise qualified candidate because he does.

In this case, it would be a mistake for we fans to dismiss David Bell as an insider. Bell has had valuable recent experience with other organizations. For years, I’ve been clamoring for the Reds to pick-off a young coach who has worked closely with a successful analytics-emphasizing organization. David Bell fits that description.”

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 89 Comments

  1. I like it,I wanted reds to go a new direction and I think this is it.but I also thought price was gonna be a good manager to.apparently he was in demand and reds pounced is a good sign

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  2. I am glad they got a guy they apparently really wanted. “They” being the baseball ops people. From what I’ve read, Bell is at the least a good compromise/ bridge candidate.He seems to be a forward thinker who just happens to also click off those traditional checkboxes important in the corner office. Probably the best we could have hoped for all things considered. Now get about the business of fixing the team on the field. Go Reds!

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    • I really think you are right Jim. I do not dislike this hire and am glad that we got someone that is younger and someone that has some forward thinking. He may not have been the best hire but certainly better than some of the other possibilities that were being considered. But now that FO has to fix some of the issue with the 25 man roster.

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  3. 1 questioned answered, 10 more to go. I like the decision to go with Bell. Now to address the on field deficiencies

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  4. Ok that was painless I like the idea of an outsider coming in Hopefully he will realize that not only the rotation needs a stable piece or two but so does the outfield. Good luck mr bell

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  5. I was pretty confident Bell was going to get the job, since he seems to be the perfect blend of modern thinking to keep Williams happy and old school/Reds ties to keep Jocketty/Big Bob happy. And honestly, I’m pretty pleased too. If he’s really as forward thinking as he claims to be, this could be a major step to bring the Reds into the world of modern baseball. But, the caveat is when Price was hired, he also had the reputation for being a hot up and coming managerial talent with fresh ideas, and we see where that went.

    All that said, I’m happy for a clean start. Price was Dusty’s guy, Riggleman was Price’s guy. Bell, despite all his Cincinnati ties, represents a complete break from the old regime, and I think at this point that can only be a good thing.

    Best of luck, Bell.

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  6. Thankfully, we didn’t get Riggleman or some other retread. Interested to see how he fills out his staff. Is Bell the answer? Well, that we don’t know, but it will be eventually answered. This hire does give hope that the Reds are moving in 21st century baseball.

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  7. This is the pick I’d been hoping for.

    Now get two quality, front-line starters not named Matt Harvey, and I’ll be still more optimistic about 2019.

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  8. I’m good with this decision. To their credit, DW and Krall did perform an extensive search, considered guys in and outside of the organization. I think Bell’s experience since leaving the Cincinnati organization will benefit him as he’s been introduced and familiar with more modern approaches and implementations. I believe his time in the Giant’s FO will aid him in being able to align with the FO plan for how the players should be utilized best. He’s got a couple of years on the contract which means we won’t run the risk of having a lame-duck manager like we did with Price for the last couple of seasons and Riggleman for the remainder of this season. That just led to managers managing for themselves, their resume, and for wins which ran counter to the development that needed to take place.

    In the end, of all the candidates considered, Bell might not have been my absolute first choice, but I think he’s a good choice. Now it’s time to improve the on-field talent. Because regardless of any managerial chops Bell may have, it’s having the talent on the field that’s going to lead to W’s more often than not.

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  9. Sorry, not inspired by this. On a scale of 1-10 on the Thrill meter, I give it a 3.Maybe this is because of Price-burnout on my part. “Face of the Franchise?” Check back in about 8 months. I can only hope that David Bell makes the tough and right choices for the Reds and we all know what they are— Hamilton, Gennett and Homer. I hope he succeeds, I really do.

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    • Do you really want the manager to be the face of the franchise? I prefer the face of the franchise be Joey Votto, Euginio Suarez, Scooter Gennett, or someone who actually plays the game.

      The only decision he can make on Hamilton Gennett, or Bailey is when or if they play. I doubt he has any input on if the Reds extend, trade, or release this guys. That is a front office decision. Bells job is to best utilize the talent he is given on the roster

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    • I couldn’t care less about where he fits on the Thrill meter. I want someone who will get in sync with the front office to move the franchise forward. Sparky Anderson did nothing for the Thrill meter when he was hired. I’m guessing Earl Weaver didn’t either when Baltimore hired him.

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  10. Lets just hope his motto is NMB- no more bunting lol

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    • The Dodgers had two key bunts in game 7 last night. There’s a time and place for everything. But if a guy who has spent his whole career in the AL can bunt with two strikes, and a rookie pitcher can drop a bunt down on a guy who throws like Hader, I just hope that when the Reds do choose to bunt they can pull it off once in awhile. The fact that we were a bunt happy team–and the fastest man in baseball has a sub .300 OBP–but we could rarely execute a bunt has always frustrated me.

      Anyway, Bell seems like a much better choice than some of what was on offer, so Go Reds!

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  11. Good news. DW and Krall get it done with ‘new school’ in the managerial choice. Let’s see what the FO and David Bell can do in the next five months to get the Reds moving up in the NLC.

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  12. I am glad it got done when it did. I look forward to seeing Bell’s coaching staff, including particularly the pitching coach.

    I think Riggleman would fit well as a minor league coordinator. It was kind of appalling to see Phillip Ervin have such bad fundamentals (defensivefootwork, etc.) when he finally got a chance this season. A guy like Riggleman may be perfect for getting all that kind of stuff straightened out.

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    • I’m not sure he is capable of fixing it. The Reds had multiple issues with the fundamentals and he had almost an entire season where he didn’t fix it.

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      • Well, I believe that fundamentals are properly instilled in amateur baseball and the minor leagues. The Reds need much more focus at the lower levels on how to properly play the game, so that good fundamentals are well established before the players ever get to the majors.

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        • I can’t say the Reds are training up their lower levels in the correct way, but half the starters came from other farm systems. Suarez, Perazza, Gennett, and Schebler spent very little time in the Reds system. The two Gold glove contenders both were developed by the Reds. Yes Ervin had issues and came up with the Reds as does Votto with baserunning.

          From what I see this isnt just an issue with guys drafted and developed by the Reds, it is across the board a lack of focus and execution. I don’t think any starter has feared losing their job under Baker, Price, or Riggleman

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        • This is normally the case. Even in independent and recreational ball there are varying levels of fundamentals possessed by players. In those leagues you can devote time to working on the fundamentals. In MLB, with all the work players do as part of their normal game-day process, and with all the game-planning that coaches and the manager does, it is very hard to devote cycles to fundamentals. You really need to hope they get coached in the minors or better yet, that you are drafting players who are both talented and know the fundamentals of the game.

          I’ll add there’s also an adjustment to playing the game and what the fundamentals really are with each step in the level of competition. How to handle cutoffs is one example of something that can often change drastically.

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      • In fairness, the MLB manager probably can’t devote enough time to fixing something that should have been addressed at lower levels. Sort of like a college literature prof teaching grammar fundamentals. There was talk that the Reds were developing a system-wide approach to teaching and playing the game. Done right, it seems as though it would change what we see on the field.

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        • I agree that their has to be some common objectives throughout the entire system, but if the manager can’t fix the problems at the major league level then there is no hope. As I pointed out, four of the everyday 8 came up in other organizations and basically went straight to the Reds team. Schebler with the Dodgers, Suarez from the Tigers, Perraza also from Dodgers, Gennett from the Brewers. All four of them are highly criticized for their defense and not being able to do fundamental tasks and none of them even spent a full season with the Louisville.

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  13. A solid choice. And I’m glad this is done, announced, and Bell can start working with the rest of management toward 2019. Time to address the roster issues: BHam, Homer, Scooter, the rotation, CF, a spot for Senzel, etc. but this is a good first step, completed at the appropriate time. Welcome David Bell.

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    • Why does everyone think Scooter is a roster issue?

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      • It’s the trade part of Scooter, not Scooter himself. I think many want(ed) to see the Reds move him for a top pitching prospect or high ceiling young MLB starter.

        The Reds also appear to have good 2B depth, though much like SP, that might go up in smoke with an injury and a regression suddenly leaving us with some no-hit utility guy manning 2B in 2019

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        • Scooter is not going to net a top pitching prospect.

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        • The reds “depth” is not as apparent as it may seem. Senzel was on the DL for 80% of last season. Shed long is at least 2-3 seasons away from the bigs. And Herrera? Low contact high power. And cant play any other position. He is the one you should trade for talent, expecially since he is out of options. Scooter has already proven he is not regressing, also has repeated his 2017 success. Would extend him through 2023. Ultimately becoming a UT when Shed long breaks through in a few years. Pitching will have to be solved with money, and hopefully dumping homers contract somewhere.

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          • Maybe that’s part of the roster issue? Deciding what to do with him. He’s on his last year of team control. The Reds need to figure out what they want to do with him. They don’t want to be forced to move him at the deadline or perhaps worse, not move him at all (assuming they want to) and he leaves after 2019 for nothing or a draft-pick. Do they explore an extension with him? If they want to do that, does the money available and that the Reds feel that Scooter is worth line up with what Scooter and his agent think he’s worth? When they figure out the “Scooter roster problem”, other dominoes can fall.

      • Mostly because he is in the last year of his contract and the Reds have a top five prospect that plays that position, plus multiple others who could potentially fill in. He has to be traded or extended, because the Reds aren’t beating the Cubs or Brewers in 2019. Anyone not signed beyond 19 should be high on the list of trade candidates. If he is extended then you either move Senzel and others or use them as trade assets.

        Gennett is not the roster issue, the Reds appearent lack of a plan for Gennett, Senzel, Herrera is the problem. Not figuring out where to play one of the top prospects in baseball is a roster issue. Not having an idea of what a starting rotation blooks like for the last four years is a roster issue.

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        • Going back to my original comment and the question about Scooter this is pretty much it in a nutshell, and why I mentioned Gennett and a place for a Senzel to play as issues to be resolved. If it were up to me I’d resolve them both by packaging Scooter and a prospect or two for either starting pitching or a center fielder – the two greatest areas of need – and clearing second base for Senzel.

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          • Senzel will be a super utility player till there is an injury. After all the risks with the vertigo and other injuries, cant risk discarding a good player for a good but unhealthy prospect. Senzel will also get OF time. You dont try to solve one problem by creating another. If you must find him a spot, put him at short and trade peraza who despite having 1 good season at the plate, and the worst defense of any SS by far has not had any chatter about him. Gennett is one of the three best players on this team, his trade should bring back a snell like prospect but it wont so don’t trade him.

  14. Gonna be neutral about this choice, at least it wasn’t Riggleman. Cant wait to see them extend scooter though. Time to trade billy, see if 1. Senzel is heathy and 2. See if he can play center. As far as homer, i say give him spring training and 5 starts, and if he aint doing it, then drop him. That is unless there is a bad contract swap somewhere.

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  15. Another bust hire for the worst organization in sports.

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  16. Well this is VERY interesting. Hmmm…

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  17. Unless we can get better pitching, the manager will not make any difference.

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  18. Bell was very old-school and traditional. Of course, upon thinking, I could see him changing a lot over time. I think of myself. As a guy who played a ton of baseball, my ideas of how baseball should be played and how talent should be evaluated was very old-school and traditional. As I became more aware of advanced metrics (thanks Rob Neyer) and baseball analytics, my views slowly started to change. While I still have a lot of traditional ideas about the game, I tend to pay a lot more attention to the data and base most of my decisions on what I’d do if I were manager/GM/player, than I would have 10 years ago. It sounds like Bell has developed in a similar fashion but obviously at a much higher level all-around. I think we’re going to see a guy who bases most of what he does on what the data says he should do but I also think we’ll see him play hunches and go with his gut from time to time.

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  19. A logical outcome from a poorly-run organization and a divided leadership, I guess (?)

    The Reds aire already viewed as insular, rife with nepotism, and with the lead owner influencing things.

    Given those factors, doubtful many (any?) of the other 30 MLB teams would have chosen Bell, with his dad already working in the Reds front offce. Plenty of other qualified guys working now in MLB dugouts.

    Bell inherits a team with several players already established with their roles/playing time and their place in the eyes of ownership. This isn’t Maddon positionally moving around a bunch of 25 year old Cubs on rooke contracts. And, with an owner who visits to discuss strategy.

    Good luck to Bell. He is going to need it, with the state of the Reds and the NL Central.

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    • I couldn’t care less how others view the Reds. And I’m sure there were other ML teams that had their eye on David Bell, and his non-playing experience to date seems to prove the point. Time, itself, will bring change to the front office. As a fan, my main interest is for the Reds to win.

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    • Bell was one of the favorites for the Blue Jay’s as well as being considered for the Rangers job. He also had potential promotions within the Giants. I don’t know if he was the best choice, but it was better than Riggleman or Girardi

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  20. I guess I’m no longer in contention for the position. My rejection letter will probably arrive via snail-mail later this week. Lol.
    …Best of luck to David Bell and his coaching staff!

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  21. I’ll borrow from 2019 yo give +5,000 to this one. Now let’s see him act like his reputation.

    Steps forward is what we asked for. I see this as a big one.

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  22. Any word on the rest of the coaching staff?

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  23. The funny thing about us on RLN, and even more so in Twitterverse, is that not a single one of us knows David Bell, or any of the other candidates, or really anything at all about them personally.

    Yet the mainstream response is that this is a ho-him, uninspired choice, though I know many on here, including me, are fine with Bell. I guess Front Row Amy would have gotten more of a rise out of us.

    The good news is that they said the same about Sparky Anderson. “Sparky who?” “He’s never managed!”

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  24. Did you HAVE to post his pic wearing THAT hat? Besides that, it sounds like a fairly solid move

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  25. I hope it works out for the best but for me it’s a yawn.

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  26. This all seems like another episode of “All in the Family”

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  27. Inside Access: David Bell on being bench coach.
    Print article on what Bell’s vision is for minor leagues.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiBnZT98pcM
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/giants/article/How-ex-player-David-Bell-plans-to-modernize-the-12750120.phpp

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    • BRed, nice catch on this article about DBell from March 2018. The same can be said about the Reds in the quote below…

      “But listen to Bell now, as vice president of player personnel. Hear the 45-year-old sing the virtues of data, which he and a minor-league hierarchy featuring a dozen new hires will incorporate into every facet of modernizing and running a Giants system that has slumped recently in delivering players to the major-league club.”

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  28. Saw that Bob Nightengale suggested that bringing Riggleman back to be the bench coach was a “no brainer”. Shortly after he put that in writing, he walked it back somewhat. I don’t think Riggleman will be, nor should he be the bench coach….. What’s the chances Bell asks Matheney to bench coach? After all, Bell was his bench coach in ST. Louis for a couple years.???

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    • Interesting thought … or Baldelli (assuming he doesn’t manage anywhere else).

      I wonder what the coaching staff makeup will look like. You have to think Bell gets a chance to do that his way even though he may be “stuck” with a few players.

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      • No to Riggleman coming back. That would be a massive negative move.
        Baldelli would be nice, but I think he has other ambitions.

        C’mon! It’s obvious. CHAD DOTSON!

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        • I could see Chad shouting “Lollygaggers!” repeatedly and at random intervals from the Reds’ dugout and pitching the idea of a garbage-bin tossing “Lollygaggers” rant from David Bell in the clubhouse.

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  29. As part of his deal I’m wondering if David Bell agreed to meet with Bob C. before games to talk strategy? I’m sorry but I had to add that comment…

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    • Maybe they can Skype each other during the game, so Bob can make sure David Bell is doing just what he is told. Strategy!!!
      Really, all that is just boilerplate if the Reds don’t have more talent.

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  30. This seems like a good choice. I’m excited to see how he manages.

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    • A good first step would be using the bunt as a surprise offensive weapon with a hitter who can actually bunt.

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  31. Reminds me a lot of Craig Counsell. Similar backgrounds, both return to hometown, etc.

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  32. I don’t know guys. Bell just seems like a low energy guy. The 2019 team will probably be the same as the 2018 team with the ecxception of Senzel coming off the bench. What I hated the most about the 2018 team was that they were a low energy team save about 6 weeks of high energy ball in June and July.
    Just not sure Bell can inspire this group to play harder. Got a feeling it will be another year of lazy baserunning and lazy defense. Ugghhh! Hope I am wrong

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    • And you are basing this on exactly what?

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      • I was in Carolina when he was with the Mudcats and he rarely got off the bench to make pitching changes or argue calls, I just think this team has talent but needs a good kick in the rear sometimes. Not sure Bell is that guy

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    • We cannot predict personal chemistry. Walter Alston, who managed the Dodgers from 1954 to 1976 was known as ‘The Quiet Man’ and he won seven pennants and four world series in 23 years all on one year contracts. Time will tell how the David Bell era turns out.

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    • Low energy? What is your source for that comment?

      Anyone that has watched the Bell’s play ball can say that they are low energy.

      “In a 12-year playing career that included a memorable 2002 stop with the pennant-winning Giants, Bell was the archetype of “grit,” a third-generation major-leaguer known for getting his uniform dirty and maybe outplaying his natural abilities through work ethic and desire.”

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    • Bell’s energy level isn’t what concerns me. I don’t know him, so I can’t assess it. What does concern me is the energy level of the players and who those players are.

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    • Bell is NOT a low-energy guy. Not even close.

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  33. Is there a reason y’all picked a photo of Bell that looks like he is either gonna cry and/or really doesn’t want to have his photo taken? 😛

    I hope this works out. The focus on analytics is encouraging, at least.

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  34. The FO actually made a good choice!!!

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  35. Interestingly, right after Reds named Bell as manager, the Angels named Ausmus as their new manager.

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  36. I wouldn’t assume nobody here knows him. He grew up locally in Cincy and has tons of ties in Cincy. He played for Midland and Moeller.

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    • Well, that was supposed to be a response to BIG5ED but I flubbed it.

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      • The comment below by WVRedlegs is what I was getting at. People reach conclusions about Bell (or Girardi or Ausmus or any candidate) without having any idea what the person is actually like.

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  37. Yaaaawwwwwnnnnnn!!!!
    It’s the Reds front office, nothing exciting here. Nothing at all. This is about as exciting as watching grass grow and watching paint dry. The Reds front office went with a safe and boring pick instead of being bold and aggressive.
    The Reds need starting pitching this winter. Again the Reds front office will be in safe mode, instead of being bold and aggressive. Harvey will be the “big” signing this winter.
    The Reds front office again went with familiarity and comfort instead of being aggressive. Hiring Bell is the m.o. of the past, going with what they are familiar with. This is in no sense progress in the Reds front office. Just more of the same ole same ole, nepotism.
    Bell was worse than terrible as a minor league manager, he’ll be terrible as a major league manager.
    Leadership: One who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way. I doubt very, very seriously that Bell knows his way to the World Series, so he very well won’t be able to show the way or go the way to a world series.
    The Reds Way, nepotism and safe and boring. Nothing from outside of the box with the Reds front office.
    Get ready to “celebrate” the free agent signing of Matt Harvey as the big move this winter.

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  38. I’m really wanting to see who ends up on his coaching staff

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2019 Manager Search

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