The Cincinnati Reds have conducted twelve interviews in the ongoing search for a manager. Last week, it was reported that the Reds were going to narrow down the candidates and conduct a second round of interviews:

The second round of interviews is expected to begin next week. According to Williams, no one has been told that they are out of the running. He declined to name the number of candidates that would move on to getting second interviews.

“It will be cut down a lot,” Williams said.

Take this for what it’s worth, but Jerry Crasnick (formerly of ESPN) reports that David Bell and Rocco Baldelli are likely strong candidates:

I wasn’t invited into the room for these interviews, but Bell and Baldelli look exactly like the type of candidate that I’d prefer, at least on the surface. (See Steve Mancuso’s recent report on David Bell for reasons to be optimistic about him.) Fingers are crossed that the Reds don’t screw this one up. It isn’t the most important decision management will make this off-season, but it’s certainly important.

Update: Add Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus to the list of contenders.

42 Responses

  1. Bill

    Maybe Williams can convince Jocketty that Bell is the guy by reminding him he is a former Cardinal. Then Jockety can advise Castellini to hire him

  2. redsfan06

    Both appear to be strong candidates. While Bell has held positions with both the Cubs and the Cards, I favor Baldelli’s longer experience with the Rays. The Rays are in a similar position to the Reds, being a small market team in a division with deeper pocketed teams (Cubs, Cards for the Reds; Yankees, Red Sox for the Rays).

    This quote from his interview sold me on Baldelli:
    “I like possessing information that I believe gives us a competitive advantage, and we’ll continue to work hard to get that information.”

    He definitely has an idea of what information will lead to a competitive advantage.

  3. Steve Mancuso

    Bell seems like a perfect compromise. Former Cardinal, reputation as a gritty player, diverse experiences in baseball organizations, open to analytics, multi-generational nepotism — if that doesn’t scream Cincinnati Reds, what does?

    Not saying he’s my favorite candidate (or that he’s not). Only pointing out how Bell could make sense from an organizational decision standpoint.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes, then let’s hope the corner office stays out of his (or whomever’s) way once they are install

    • Jeff Reed

      I like your phrase ‘multi-generational nepotism.’ A perfect description of Cincinnati, the big city/small town that we all love.

    • sifjr

      if Bell is that qualified, why hasn’t he been hired as manager by other teams?

      • Steve Mancuso

        He’s young. He likely would have gotten the Cardinals job when they fired Matheny if he hadn’t taken the SFG position. Someone is going to hire him.

        Your statement implies an argument that would prevent a team from ever hiring a first-time manager, something the Red Sox, Yankees, Brewers, Rays and many others have done recently.

  4. Steve Mancuso

    If Baldelli doesn’t get an offer as manager this year, I wonder if Reds would consider him for Bench Coach. That would be a promotion from his current job with the Rays.

    • Jeff Reed

      I like the combination of Bell/Baldelli with either one as manager and the other as bench coach.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m kind of partial to having a more experienced guy as the Bench Coach if the Manager has little or no experience as an MLB Manager.

  5. davemoorewvu

    I’m jumping on the Rocco bandwagon for 2 reasons..

    He came from the Rays.

    His name is Rocco.

  6. WVRedlegs

    That was good news to see Rocco Baldelli’s interview went “extremely well”. My guess is Baldelli came in very prepared with advanced information about several Reds players and how he would use that information. Just knocked the socks off of the interview committee.
    I’d say he and Bell are neck and neck in a tie going into the second interview. That is half of the final 4 that will be brought in again. Wonder who the other 2 are going to be? My guess is Girardi and Farrell. Thank goodness Riggleman is probably out of the running.
    My optimism went up a notch when it was announced that Baldelli was going to interview. Seeing it reported his interview went “extremely well” ratchets it up one more notch. He may be the best suited and best fit for the Reds for their next 5 year plan or window. I’d sure like to know what he said about Tampa Bay’s pretty good success at developing starting pitchers. Williams and Krall had to be all ears during that part of the interview.

    • Jim Walker

      Need to get contingency offers on the table ahead of the competition for both

  7. Scottya

    I’d like to see us hire Rocco Baldelli and let the “bull-penning” begin. The fifth starter could be Reed, Romano, Garrett and Lorenzen for one or two innings each. The Rays had two pitchers with over 100 innings pitched in 18′ (would have had three if archer wasn’t traded.

  8. davemoorewvu

    Of course shortly after I say I’m all in on Rocco, Ken Rosenthal tweets that Ausmus, Bell, and Girardi remain in the mix..

    Thanks for your time Rocco…

  9. Wayne Nabors

    I’ve liked Rocco from the get go,but could live with bell or girardi,not sure I would want ausmus,work with a tigers fan and he never said anything good about him

  10. Hotto4Votto

    Bell, Baldelli, and Montoyo are my top three favorites. I hope it’s one of them because I think they’ll bring fresh perspectives and much needed outside blood into the organization.

    Riggleman would be the worst choice. Followed closely by Girardi and Ausmus. It would be more of the same old school, inside the box thinking that has plagued the Reds. A face of the franchise just to make average Joe fan feel better about the name.

  11. jreis

    I guess as a beat down reds fan I have low expectations. I just want a manager that can inspire our redlegs to play harder next year. Riggleman was that guy in June and July and baseball was fun again at gabp. Then, I don’t know what happened, he just stopped managing. The last 6 weeks of the season were brutal and I went to the 2 KC games at the end of the year and I saw a team that just didn’t want to be out there.

    I’m expecting another 90 loss season in 2019 which is fine but I just want to see better effort. especially on the bases and in the field. I Would think an old school manager like Girardi or Ferrell may be better at inspiring harder play but I may be wrong. I just know if it is Riggleman again I AM Not going to ANY games next year!

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    If the four finalists are Bell, Girardi, Ausmus and Baldelli, nobody can criticize the Reds for not doing a legitimate search process. They didn’t default to Riggleman or John Farrell from inside. You can debate who they chose as finalists, but not the process.

  13. Old-school

    Girardi had a 4 year $16 million contract from the Yankees. Salary matters.Baldelli has zero managerial experience. Ausmus IDK.
    Bell checks all the boxes and would be a lower salary. I like Steve’s idea- bring Baldelli as bench coach. Move Kelly back to the minors and keep hitting coaches and Benavides and Darwin.

  14. Timmy RedLeg

    If the initial finalists are correct, then color me impressed. I was sure the job would go to Farrell. ???

  15. David

    My Christmas wish (or Halloween wish) would be for the Reds to hire a manager that is on the same page tactically and strategically with the Front Office.
    Meaning, they understand who is supposed to be playing NOW to get experience or to find out who has talent to be in the Bigs, and strategically, in terms of where the Reds will be in three years.

    This was a failing of both Price and Riggleman. They “wanted to win…now!” to keep their jobs, and really, a lot of time was lost because the younger players did not get enough exposure. So they still lost +90 games, and not enough development was done, so …the Reds keep on playing with the same losing hand.

    I don’t know bupkis about any of these guys personally, but the Rays have strong history of using advanced metrics to evaluate their players. Baldelli is probably schooled in that. David Bell seems to have gotten a lot more exposure to that in San Francisco. He may be a convert.

    To those who say the manager does not win games: no, but the purpose of the manager and Front Office in this era of the Reds is to play young talent, and figure out who is good and who is not, to build a winning team in the near future. Again, this is where Riggleman and especially Price failed.

    The future belongs to teams that properly identify their talent and develop it to get the most potential from players, as soon as possible, before they exit as high paid free agents. Most teams cannot afford to keep a bunch of high paid players and pitchers.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Amen. The manager maximizes the work of the entire organization on the field, so he has to be in very tight sync with the front office.

    • lwblogger2

      Nothing here I really disagree with. I think that the mandate to “win now” came from the top though and not the manager’s office. I think Castellini wanted the Reds to win as many games as possible. I think that will likely be the plan next year too. I think the Reds need another year of doing exactly what you say but I’ve always had 2019 as the year that the Reds would be back in contention. I think a lot of fans thought 2018. I think it will be hard for people to swallow that 2020 may be the year. If it isn’t, they really need to blow it up and start over. That would mean basically another lost decade as 2023-2024 would probably be the timeline at that point. That woudn’t be good at all.

  16. Grand Salami

    One thing is for sure. This hiring process is unlike any we’ve witnessed in the BC ownership era.

  17. BigRedMike

    Heyman reported on MLB last night that it is down to Girardi, Ausmus, and Bell. Maybe Bell leading the way.

    • big5ed

      The MLB headline was a bit misleading. Mark Sheldon’s story said: “Joe Girardi, Brad Ausmus and David Bell have all moved through for stronger consideration. It remains unclear if anyone else among the 12 original candidates would get a second interview.” To mean, that means that Giradi, Ausmus and Bell have made the first cut, but that it was unknown if Baldelli or anybody else had.

      I didn’t see anything on John Heyman’s twitter that related to the Reds.

      • BigRedMike

        It was on the MLB Network show I was watching last night. Heyman was on and they showed the 3 names on a graphic and Heyman discussed the 3 and stated that Bell might be the favorite.

        It was early this morning, I may not have been fully awake though.

  18. msanmoore

    No Riggleman … that’s progress in my book.

    • Steve Mancuso

      And no Farrell (who I’m opposed to not because of being an inside candidate — he really isn’t — but because he’s so old school).

      • Hotto4Votto

        Well we have two old school guys and a guy familiar with progressive organizations and the application of analytics. Two guys that scream “face of the franchise “ named that Big Bob wants to hire to put butts in seats (even with flawed logic) that will do things the way they have been done. And one guy who has been trying to revamp the way things have always been done.

        We really really need to hope Bell is the choice.

  19. Thomas Jefferson

    Front offices have more to do with winning than ever before, so most important is to have a manager that is in very tight sync with the entire set of key ‘office’ people.

  20. Tom Mitsoff

    I live in Wisconsin, and on my evening commute I listen to the local sports talk radio show. They are just gushing over the non-traditional approach the Brewers have taken in many areas, like their rebuild (being bold and acquiring Yelich and Cain), moving Shaw to second base to allow the acquisition of Moustakas, and the handling of the pitching in the final weeks of the season and the post-season. They make no bones about the fact that they believe Counsell is taking his orders from the front office. Nobody seems to mind, although in the past most managers would have viewed it as unwanted interference.

    It is clear that Harvard-educated General Manager David Stearns runs the show. Right now, that is a drawback for the Reds — it’s not clear who is setting the direction. I’m also skeptical of whether Girardi or Ausmus would be a good fit for a role other than supreme ruler of the lineup card and in-game strategy. The manager’s role is clearly moving in the opposite direction across the big leagues.

    • David

      Counsell is running the game, but the GM is running the organization. Orders from the top? There should be an agreement about where the team is going. These are highly paid adults, not bickering school children.
      The Reds certainly could have gotten Yelich, but were unwilling to pay the price in prospects. Yelich would not have lifted the Reds into contention LONE, but he was a really good player (maybe NL MVP this year) and has certainly made a difference with the Brewers. I liken him to the addition of Joe Morgan to the 1972 Reds. Nobody expected Joe to do as much as he did from 1972 -1976.

  21. Bryan E

    I’m not sure what’s with the animosity toward Brad Ausmus here at RLN. He is a recent MLB player with a seemingly modern approach to the game. He has spent time as an adviser within a franchise in his time away from managing.

    The real knock against him is that he was coaching a team of old, overpaid veterans pushed by a win now owner to get a WS ring. I’d be pleased if Ausmus got the nod.

    • Kyle Farmer

      I’ve been wondering the same thing.

  22. Bill j

    I’m not sure about Bell because if he doesn’t do what Big Bob wants there could be 2 people get fired, so he would have to toe BC lone.

  23. luciusruber

    It’s worth mentioning that whoever gets the job may not be the Reds’ or candidates’ first choice. Several of these guys are interviewing with multiple teams and multiple factors are in play. Some may just be looking for any chance to manage, some will be looking for teams who can immediately compete, and some may be looking for a potential long term position based on the how the FO’s philosophy meshes with their’s. Here’s hoping that Williams has the stronger hand.

  24. Joe Keene

    Baldelli or Bell, plain and simple

  25. Kyle Farmer

    I’m disappointed that Montoyo didn’t make the second cut, but overall, I’m really pleased with the process the Reds have gone through.

    At this point, I’d be darn happy with Girardi, Bell, Baldelli, or Ausmus if those are actually the final four.

  26. Redgoggles

    I think if the perception that this is still a GM/ownership committee decision, then it will likely fail as there are obvious splits of opinions (old vs new school) within the group. How is a manager going to synchronize the play on the field with that of a splintered FO group.

    Retire Jocketty, and publicly give Williams a shot to take complete ownership of this. Please, Bob?