The Cincinnati Reds, mired in a 4 year span of 90+ losses, announced yesterday that they had hired David Bell as their new manager. The press conference took place today, just a short time ago. This comes after another dismal season in which they fired Bryan Price after starting out 3-15 and then replaced him, on an interim basis, with Jim Riggleman. So things are looking up in Cincinnati, right? Well, not so fast.
The Reds brought in several candidates to interview. Among these were some guys with major league experience at the managerial level. Joe Girardi, Brad Ausmus, and John Farrell were among the interviewees. As someone who lives in the Cincinnati area, and who is a lifelong Reds fan, I thought for sure we would get a good, experienced manager to lead this young squad to the promised land. This is a team that has shown it can score runs, but failed miserably on the mound. But one of these guys, whoever got the job, could tweak things and turn them into a winner. Girardi withdrew his name, and the others………well, I guess the Reds wanted to go in a different direction. So they hired David Bell.
Now, I’m not here to bash Mr. Bell. But I just don’t understand the thinking. David Bell managed for 4 season in the minor leagues. He finished with a .404 winning percentage. That wasn’t a typo; that’s what we’re dealing with here. He barely won 40% of the games he managed. That’s the guy that the Reds front office decided to hand the reins to. It doesn’t instill confidence, to say the least. David is the son of Buddy Bell and the grandson of Gus Bell, both of whom played for, and have ties to, the Cincinnati Reds. Aahhhh, nepotism is in the air.
I reached out to fellow Reds fans to get their reactions and opinions. Wow, was it quick and a bit brutal. Nepotism was brought up on a few occasions. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of faith in the choice. There’s hope, there’s always hope. Fans of any team, no matter how bad it gets, harbor some level of hope for positive change. But we’re nervous, we’re apprehensive, and rightly so. David Bell could win us over instantly in two different ways. First, he needs to put his foot down and tell the front office that Homer Bailey will not pitch for him. Secondly, win some damned games.
I hope I’m wrong. I’d love to tell the world how wrong I was when we head to the World Series within the next few years. But I’m nervous. In the meantime, the Angels hired Ausmus, so their fans should be pretty happy. But here in Cincinnati, we’ll do what we always do. We’ll root for our team. We’ll go to Great American Ballpark, hang out at the Stacks, drink ridiculously priced beer, eat some helmet nachos and some SkyRosa’s, and bond over this team some more. I’ve met some great people at GABP, I hope to meet more. I hope we start winning some games. I don’t want to see 90 losses again, especially anytime soon. David Bell is our manager. Let’s root him on, let’s hope for change in the Queen City. Go Reds.