Thursday night saw the Cincinnati Reds suffer one of those losses you hope to forget about quickly, but probably will remember five years from now. The team was holding a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the 9th inning in St. Louis before failing to record an out in a series of “how is this even possible” plays as they watched the Cardinals score three runs to win the game. Reds Manager David Bell was asked about how you manage following that, tough losses, and he provided some interesting thoughts on the matter.
“It’s not easy, losing. It’s not fun. There’s nothing to like about it,” said Bell. “Today (Friday) is one of those days you’re very grateful for the sport of baseball. It’s kind of an old adage, but it’s so true – you get to come out and play today. I think that’s really important after a game like last night. And it’s really all about how you respond to it. I’m human, and I hate to lose. But I also do know that in order to have success and for us to have the success that we’re going to have, it’s all about how you handle that and how you respond to it and how you keep getting better from it. There’s no other choice. Nothing else works. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier. But it gives me a direction and it gives our team a direction, it gives us a path to that success. Sometimes it’s harder than others to stay on that and to trust that.”
On shaking up the roster and lineup
During the zoom call with the local media, David Bell was also asked about if they were at the point of potentially looking at changing things up with the roster or lineup given some of the struggles of some guys on the team.
“You know, it’s a good question because in any normal season it wouldn’t be fair at all to evaluate on 10-20-30 at-bats, 20 games. That’s just not the way baseball works,” Bell said. “To your point, there’s just not time. At some point you need to take some risks and do what you think is best for the team. With our roster, we’re comfortable with where we are. We’re happy with it. There’s less playing time for the guys on the bench this year with the DH. I mean that’s really how it’s played out. We haven’t really gotten into the flow with our schedule due to the time off. And we haven’t faced a lot of left-handed pitching, which would get some of our bench players – the guys that are typically on the bench against right-handers into the game. So there really hasn’t been a good flow yet. I know we have a long stretch of games now, which is actually a really good thing for us. We’re looking forward to that and really getting guys playing time and really seeing where we are. It’s always something we’re looking at. We have great depth over at Prasco. We have young players that are getting very close to being able to help us. We’re always looking at that and evaluating what’s best for our team.”
On Josh VanMeter’s struggles
To note, this question was asked prior to the game on Friday, but the question and answer don’t really change much based on that specific game. Bell was asked what he was seeing there, while the question noted that VanMeter’s exit velocity was high – second highest on the team – but that the results just weren’t there.
“That’s exactly it. We know he can hit. He knows he can hit,” said Bell. “He wants it to happen. He wants to get three hits every at-bat. And that becomes a problem. And at some point you’ve got to let go of that and trust it. There’s pressure that we deal with at this level. We know the results immediately. We know how good we are. Everyone in the world knows how good we are. And it’s a beautiful challenge, a beautiful privilege to perform at that level. But that fear of failure is something we all have to deal with. And you need to get to the point where you trust all the preparation, all the hard work, trust your approach at the plate and be able to live with what happens. That’s a big part of what we talk about. A big part of my challenge, a big part of what I feel like I can bring because I’ve experienced that. In the end, it wouldn’t surprise me if we get to that point as a team and that’s what gets us there.”