That’s a picture of David Bell up there, the former 3B coach for the Chicago Cubs. That’s the same David Bell whose picture in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform we used just a few days ago, from back in his days as that team’s bench coach. Bell, 46, also spent his final season in the big leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2006, and it’s obvious at this point that I’m doing my best to emphasize his familiarity with the National League Central.
It appears that familiarity might well be rekindled, too. As Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported earlier on Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds are leaning towards making him their next manager.
reds are starting to call some managerial contenders to let them know they didn't get the job. David Bell, who managed in their minors, coached with cards/cubs and is in SFGiants front office, is the favorite. if anyone else gets the job, it would be an upset.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 20, 2018
That echoes what MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported on Saturday morning, too, meaning all signs now point to the Cincinnati native becoming the team’s replacement for Jim Riggleman who, of course, replaced Bryan Price on an interim basis after the disastrous start to the team’s 2018 season.
Bell has most recently served as the VP of Player Development for the San Francisco Giants, and was also reportedly in the mix for the open GM position with the NL West titans. That certainly made for an interesting interviewing process for Bell, I can only imagine, as he was conceivably both interested and capable of either a dugout role or front office role, and that’s the kind of progressive versatility in a candidate that likely stood out to a Cincinnati front office that is still looking for ways to kickstart their franchise into the modern era of baseball.
When the news that former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi had pulled out of the interview process broke on Friday, Bell - who had previously been tabbed as one of three primary finalists for the job alongside Girardi and former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus - immediately jumped to the front of the list, and for good reason. It’s rare that a team can turn to a candidate adept at both the in-dugout prowess and front office personnel moves, and it appears the Reds aren’t alone in thinking Bell has those qualities.
My guess is that we’ll likely find out about this for sure after the end of the NLCS in the window between that and the start of the World Series, since that’s just how the MLB news cycle works. If so, it’s a chance to reunite Bell with the franchise that’s most closely associated with his storied baseball family, as well as a bring-back of a former big leaguer who cut his chops managing in the Cincinnati minor leagues for several years.