Ten games into the season and Sports Illustrated had Phillie manager Joe Girardi on the hot seat after a 4-6 start.

It’s almost laughable when you remember that Gabe Kapler was once the fall guy in the City of Brotherly Love, run out of town and replaced by Girardi. He’s beloved now in San Francisco after winning 107 games in 2021 and taking home the National League Manager of the Year award by both the Baseball Writers’ Association and the Sporting News.

Days after the Phillies blew 6-run ninth inning lead at home to the visiting Metropolitans of New York, the baseball website Fansided has already begun measuring candidates’ inseams for a new managerial uniform to fit the soon-to-be-departed Girardi, who clearly cannot manage a bullpen.

Managers who order intentional walks with the bases loaded are sure to come under fire. That’s exactly what happened to Joe Maddon in a mid-April game against the Texas Rangers, when he gifted Texas a free run in the fourth inning. To be honest, the decision flew out of the realm of mere head-scratching into another space-time continuum entirely, one that led baseball writer Joe Sheehan to question whether Maddon has the tools to remain a major-league manager.

Full disclosure, the Angels are 21-12 as of May 11th, behind only the Yankees in wins.

Speaking of the Yankees, one of the names frequently mentioned as being on the “hot seat” has been manager Aaron Boone. Bullpen management has been a black mark on his resume, according to New York fans. Still, the Bronx owns the best record in baseball right now.

It should always be remembered that process should be valued over results. But it illustrates why you suddenly aren’t hearing much complaining from fans of the Angels or the Yankees. Winning isn’t just the defining measurement of dugout field generals. In reality, it’s the only measurement.

David Bell’s name sits near the top of most of the lists you’ll find when the subject turns to baseball’s soon-to-be unemployed. He doesn’t run a team with a payroll north of $200M like Girardi or Boone. He hasn’t had the firepower of players like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani like Maddon does. Bell does share a few traits with Kapler. Both have made extensive use of platooning in an attempt to improve the offense. Both have a reputation of having good communication with their players, which has earned trust and loyalty in the clubhouse. And both were highly valued by what is considered a smart organization in San Francisco. The Giants, after all, once hired Bell to be their vice president of player development.

Still, the cri de coeur among Reds fans is to fire Bell. He’s only here because of the family name, they say. Like Girardi, he can’t fathom bullpen construct. Like Maddon, his moves are too head-scratching.

The Reds have won their last two series after a titanic disaster of a start to the season. Almost every player the Reds have counted on to be playoff-worthy in 2022 has been either traded, sentenced to the injured list, placed in covid-jail, or simply let go. Yet, Bell has stopped the bleeding—if only temporarily—despite ownership having taken a machete to the roster.

Dusty Baker is the new darling of the media when the subject turns to genius managers. Winning 2000 games will do that. It will make folks forget that his tactical skills during a game often left much to be desired. It probably cost him a world championship in San Francisco. It certainly cost him a series win here in Cincinnati in 2012 when he failed miserably to protect a 2-0 game lead in the NLDS. Analytics once mocked his lineup construction and pitcher usage. Almost everywhere he’s gone, he’s been handed talented teams to pilot. You can win a lot of games when you roll out lineups that have the likes of Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Jeff Kent, Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, and Johnny Cueto.

When few thought he would ever be handed a team to manage again, the Nationals and Astros came calling, gifting him players like Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, George Springer, Jose Altuve, Zack Greinke, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander.

You can win a lot of games with a foundation of great and near-great players that Dusty has had at his disposal. Baker has certainly been beloved by his players and his ability to keep his clubhouses tight shouldn’t be ignored.

Still, the lesson here is two-fold: you win with good players. And if even “genius” managers can fall to earth, then no one in the manager’s office is safe.

130 Responses

  1. J

    So, “Bell has stopped the bleeding” when the offense has been clicking for a week, but when Votto, Pham, Farmer, Moose, AA, Moran, Senzel, Naquin, etc. were terrible for three solid weeks and the team looked completely lost, this was because all the good players were traded? I’m not quite following the logic here.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Hard to say but since Votto and Senzel went both to IL, the offensive started to come around.

    • MrRed

      It’s almost as if the players make the difference, not the manager…

  2. Doc4uk

    The problem in my mind was this team was not ready for the season to begin. Sore arms, out of shape, poor execution on defense and base running, and no plan for how to use the BP.

    And yes there was a abbreviated spring training but this applied to all teams. Simply put the REDS were the least prepared team in the majors for the season to begin. Sure this is partly on the players but the “team culture” allowed this to happen and it resulted in a disastrous start. The AA team would have had a better record in the first 20 games.

    • SultanofSwaff

      THIS. Poor April records are a feature under Bell, but once again we saw the same country club spring training culture. On this account, his process is abysmal. Position players were taking 2 at-bats and calling it a day, starting pitchers were throwing 2 innings.

      As for his in-game decisions and lineups, I don’t have anything to criticize. The DH has done wonders to save Bell from himself.

      Certainly lack of talent contributes to losing, but there are some variables under a manager’s control, and a big one is demanding max effort. Here is where his simpy good-guy leadership style fails him and the team and riles a fan base where Pete Rose type intensity is hardwired into us. The multiple uncaught popups fiasco was a singular opportunity to set firm expectations on the level of effort, but the moment passed without a peep. So in a way Bell brings much of his negative perception on himself.

    • centerfield

      This has been the same theme every year of Bell’s tenure – the team isn’t ready coming out of the gate. My biggest gripe with Bell is that he doesn’t seem to have a feel for the game in progress. Ultimately, like a bad umpire, he makes most games about his own perceived cleverness, rather than simply putting players in positions to succeed – just my 2 cents.

      • Tom Reeves

        Um, In 2021, we were thinking this team might win it all in April. They were rolling.


  3. Tom Reeves

    It took John Wooden 15 years at UCLA to win a championship. He won 10 in a row.

    I’m not saying that Bell is John Wooden. But I do think based on the rosters he’s had, he’s created a atmosphere where players play as a team as support each other.

    While I can understand some of the off season moves from a tank/rebuild perspective, it’s also very clear that the players who were moved helped create a great clubhouse culture. That sort of mass exodus is tough to overcome as a manager. Yet, Bell’s team seems to now be playing as a team and they keep fighting.

    I really wonder what happens when Bell finally gets a World Series caliber roster.

  4. Klugo

    Yes, he is. Certainly not the ONLY problem, bet definitely part of the problem. Winning two series in a row doesn’t change that.

    • burtgummer01

      Absolute rubbish ! Last year the Reds had the worst bullpen in mlb and gee they lost imagine This year they have the worst line up in mlb and they’re losing,gee imagine that.
      It’s 10000000000% ownerships fault

  5. Mike Adams

    “It should always be remembered that process should be valued over results”. Richard, I don’t get this. Results/wins/outcomes are how one evaluates any process. If you aren’t get ting what you want then one must adjust or replace the process. Are you saying Bell has a great process, just give him time to develop better players and the wins will come?

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. I prefer the Bill Parcells outlook that you are your record. The exceptions are if a manager is abusive (physically or psychologically), cheating, doing something illegal, or condoning/ ignoring such things being done by his players and coaches.

  6. LDS

    Sorry Richard, I couldn’t disagree more. Bell is a problem as is the rest of the coaching staff. I think a better way to look at it is that if one gives a lousy manager overwhelming talent and depth, they can win regardless. Management success is measured by how well one maximizes results with the resources at hand. Bell fails miserably and has for years.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m glad you’re still alive! I saw the headline and thought you might be like Fred Sanford and have the big one.

      • LDS

        Indy, I’ll assume that comment was directed at me. Short answer, as long as the Reds stick with Bell & co and continue to double down on mediocrity, I’m trying to refrain from paying too much attention. Fire Bell, Krall, sell the team, etc., and convince me they are a serious franchise and I’ll start paying more attention.

  7. greenmtred

    “Good” managers lose when they have bad players. That’s verifiable. When we say that Bell is part of the problem or, in some cases, THE problem, we’re ignoring that a poor roster is so much of a problem that it leaves other problems unworthy of consideration. Or–I should say “and”–our implicit basis for criticizing the manager is that we–in our wisdom–wouldn’t have made the same decisions in-game. It’s what fans do. It’s more entertaining than inventorying navel lint.

    • MrRed

      Always a voice of reason on here. We can all have our own opinions of course. But, those opinions are not all of equal quality. If your opinion doesn’t start with caveat acknowledging what you’ve said above, it’s a lousy opinion.

      Winning begins and ends with the players on the field. Full stop. If players are injured, don’t perform or are flat out lousy, then it’s the old axiom – garbage in, garbage out. Next important are those responsible for the players on the roster. If there’s lousy players, it won’t matter what the manager does or doesn’t do. Sorry to say, but the Reds have been fielding a lot of lousy players this year. If you’re objective about the situation, you can’t disagree with this. Therefore, direct the blame at those who made the roster decisions. When the Reds field a decent team, then we can worry about the manager.

  8. Steven Ross

    The burr in my saddle with Bell is he’s always tardy making obvious changes. I kept saying: it’s time to move Naquin out of leadoff. Friedl makes more sense. Even Larkin mentioned it. Boom. Then yesterday, Moreta was getting lit up. Take him out. 3 hits later, he finally does.

    • Richard Fitch

      I guess the question I would ask is “if the changes are obvious, why can’t he see what the fan sees?” I know the predominant answer: he’s not very baseball smart.

      But that’s simply doesn’t scan.

      A similar point was made recently in Cincinnati Magazine about Nick Krall not having a starting pitcher for a doubleheader that was on the schedule for over a month. Again, does anyone really believe Krall just forgot to have a pitcher ready for a game on the schedule???

      Of course people do. Agendas abound. People have to be taken to the woodshed. Whatever Bell said about not having a starter available, that comment to the media was taken literally to mean no one was available, when Bell was likely saying was that they had no viable starter available that they were willing to expose to major league hitters. The reasons behind that unavailability are unknown to the fan base and Bell and Krall are tasked with going out there and giving answers without throwing players, fellow staff and bosses (ownership) under the bus.

      It’s all a recipe for unsatisfactory explanations, but boiling it down to sheer incompetence is grossly unfair.

      It’s easy to crowd-source fan anger and create feel-good narrative that rips the front office for making everyone watch this disastrous season. Creating villains to make sense of bad baseball from afar–which all of us do–brings us likes and social media followers, but doesn’t bring us any closer to the truth.

      I simply cannot find the will to do this. I can’t blame this on poor “team culture” or not having players ready in spring training when I have no insight into what has gone on behind the scenes or in the clubhouse.

      Again, I have no ideal if Bell or Krall are exceptional baseball people or not.

      I will say that anyone who thinks David Bell or Nick Krall–who have spent large portions of their professional lives in the game–don’t understand baseball better than the fans ridiculing them from afar from radio, podcast, blog and newspaper comment section are seriously deluding themselves and those that listen to them.

      • weigarp

        Thanks for having the courage to speak out on this subject. When I saw the headline, I knew you’d be attacked. Other than Casty in Philly, who of the players we got rid of would we want back based upon how they are performing this year? Not Winkler, not Suarez, not Gray, not Miley. And with 14 left on injured list… Oh well, I guess it’s just easy to blame the manager.

      • jessecuster44

        Then PLEASE explain how, when charged with cutting payroll, Krall traded a talented LH reliever and got a sore-shouldered, mediocre SP in return, who increased payroll by $9MM

        That trade, as well as many others, simply doesn’t scan either.

      • BK

        Well said … C. Trent’s published an article today at the Athletic that was largely about Pham and his impressions of the Reds. Pham spoke highly about the Red’s coaching staff and about analytics/technology the Reds have that is superior to other teams he’s been with.

        The Red’s poor performance this year is two-fold: they had a net loss in talent from a slightly above average team and they’ve had unprecedented injuries this year.

      • Richard Fitch

        “Then PLEASE explain how, when charged with cutting payroll, Krall traded a talented LH reliever and got a sore-shouldered, mediocre SP in return, who increased payroll by $9MM. That trade, as well as many others, simply doesn’t scan either.”

        I think I’ve already done that.

        “Blaming Nick Krall for the return on his trades ignores the obvious difficulty in negotiating with those on the other side of the table who are already aware of ownership’s commitment to relieving itself of those pesky, expensive employees no matter the cost in wins.”

        Krall likely wasn’t told to slash payroll by the All Star break, or even a month from Opening Day. He was likely told to do it NOW. So, he’s scrambled to do what his boss has demanded with no negotiating leverage. Clearly, they like Dunn’s potential, even with the injury they knew about. They think they can fix him. Sometimes these are the moves you make when you’re painted into a corner by $$ and owner meddling. Looking to catch lightning in a bottle isn’t the way to build a winning season. But that’s what ownership has demanded for 2022.

      • jessecuster44

        Dunn is debatable. I don’t like trading for bad shoulders, but the Reds saw the upside.

        But I was actually talking about Garrett for Mike Minor. If I was told by ownership to slash payroll, I wouldn’t increase it by 9MM by acquiring a mediocre pitcher with an injury history.

        That’s just stupid, and indefensible.

      • greenmtred

        Jesse: I always thought that people here were too quick to give up on Garrett, considering his stuff and his relatively late career start. You certainly remember comments here lambasting the Reds for keeping him and lambasting Bell for using him. He may yet figure it out, but the Reds gave him many chances, and he wasn’t figuring it out.

      • jessecuster44

        Green: Its not that they traded AG, its that they took on 9MM of payroll for a meh pitcher with a history of arm trouble, AFTER crying poor and dumping Gray, Geno, and Miley. Why not just keep Gray or Miley?

        Its stupid and incomprehensible.

      • VegasRed

        I enjoy your writing Richard and I blame ownership by far the most for the 2022 and preceding dumpster fires. However, I am not even persuaded a little by your defense of Bell and his staff.

        I don’t have the time or desire to refute your points properly—I’m still working for a living—but I believe a new, stricter, higher expectation field leadership is needed. And one that is less cheerleader and spinmeister for the owners.

        But sadly, I doubt anyone like that would ever be allowed to manage under the current regime.

        And that is my biggest problem with bell. He is just an extension of the same ineptness that resides in the entire organization.

        Please read Trent’s current Athletics article and the comments. Very enlightening to the lack of accountability for poor performance and sheer screw ups on this team, which again is reflective of the owners/officers and FO on down.

        Most baseball experts agree that MLB teams win around a third of their games by sheer law of averages. But you really have to be bad to be a perennial 90 loss organization (even when interrupted by an 83-79 record one year where the team faded at the wire under Bell.)

        Facts are stubborn things. Bell, like his superiors, is NOT a winner as an MLB manager.

        But I do enjoy your writing and this isn’t personal. I think Bell is to blame along with the rest of management and I doubt he will be invited to manage anywhere else in the future.

      • greenmtred

        Jesse: Possibly because the guys they acquired have one-year contracts. Minor hasn’t pitched for us yet, but may soon. The young prospects we got in the other trades can’t really be evaluated until they’ve played in MLB.

  9. Mark Moore

    No, not THE PROBLEM. But is is “A Problem” and part of the bigger problem from where I sit. His unwillingness to stop “tinkering” just doesn’t sit well. Then there are the inexplicable times where he ignores a situation and it blows up. Not saying there wouldn’t have been issues in those situations, but the optics aren’t pleasant.

    Yes, there are much BIGGER problems such as ownership, the competitive imbalance, the lapdog approach of the MLB Commissioner … the list goes on. But a field manager is still the most visible aspect and bears some culpability for the poor performance.

    I know he’s a “nice guy” and “the players love him” but perhaps that’s part of the problem. He’s not Joe Maddon and we’re not the TB Rays. And believe me, I’m not a big fan of Dusty “Got to Get Him Going” Baker either.

    As is usually the case, it isn’t just one thing. But he’s still a wonky cog in the machine. And replacing him at this point without doing anything else likely won’t fix much of anything.

    • Mark Moore

      And Richard, thanks for your willingness to lay out an “edgy premise” on this forum. We all rarely agree on anything, but the healthy debate here is vital to the core fans (I count myself as one). I’m not one to day fire him just for the sake of firing somebody. And Krall has handcuffs on, no doubt about that in my mind. I just see both of them as in over their heads for the situation pressed down on them from this horrible ownership group. It’s just sad to see the oldest professional baseball tradition stomped and ground into the dirt this way.

    • Richard Fitch

      Mark, I would say that “constant tinkering” is exactly what Gabe Kapler was accused of in Philly before he was dismissed. Now look at him.

      I get it. There are fans that want a regular lineup out there every night; that don’t accept the handedness numbers that drive analytic thinking and the double-switching. But I remember Dusty leaving Cozart and his sub .300 OBP batting in front of Votto in the 2 spot for months and his refusal to bow to pressure to make changes. Going back to that is not something I want to see.

      I think of this not as tinkering, but trusting the numbers.

    • BK

      While I’m responding here, many others have raised Bell’s “tinkering.” A few years back, the Reds under Dick Williams embraced analytics. One of the reasons they hired Bell was his understanding and commitment to this approach. The “tinkering” is based on data designed to put players in the best position for a given situation. Moreover, the players (including former players) haven’t criticized his decision making. That tells me, Bell is a good communicator, and the players know what to expect and feel like they are integrated into the decision-making process. The Reds enter every season at a resource disadvantage. I don’t think this team would be well-served by ignoring the analytical data available to them as would be the case with less “tinkering.”

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    I do not believe that Bell is the problem with this team but I sure as heck don’t believe he is part of the solution. I admit he had a poorly constructed roster but when your season becomes, most likely, over after only 25 games the manager usually takes the brunt of the blame. With this years Reds that was not the conclusion. The question is should it have been and if the answer is no, why not? The fact is most teams would have fired their manger after a 3 and 22 start. I am not saying that is right or wrong, just that in most cases that would have happened.

    • Richard Fitch

      I agree. Firing managers after a bad start has long been baseball tradition. Most admit it makes little sense, but throw up their hands and say, “that’s just the way it is.”

      You seem to suggest bad baseball tradition is the way to go here. Most managers fired early on in a season had talent that didn’t play up to expectations under him. Who hasn’t played up to expectations for the Reds? Votto? He’s going to be 39 soon. Moustakas? He hasn’t been on the field. Senzel? Ditto.

      The Castellini group did this. They sabotaged this entire front office.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I said right or wrong that been the way baseball has worked, so I think we are on the same page. However I still don’t think Bell is the answer to a winning team.

    • greenmtred

      I understand that struggling teams since time before memory have fired their managers. “You can’t fire all of the players.” But if it doesn’t address the problem, why do it? If Bell had a really strong roster and a 7-24 record, there would certainly be a case for it, but unless and until the Reds are fielding a strong team, it’s impossible to evaluate Bell accurately based upon the information available to us. His team last year over-achieved, by most accounts.

  11. jay johnson

    How anyone thinks that Bell is not a problem can not be paying attention to his pitching changes.He continues to take starters out when they put men on base in the 4th/5th innings and bringing a reliever in who immediately give up hits and the runners on base score.It has happened over and over and fails almost every time.Hoffman has a good era but i’d love to know how many inherited runners scored when he comes in the game.Almost every time he makes a change the runners come into score.Hoffman,Santillan,even Sims a bit.When is he going to let the starters learn how to get out of jams.
    Yes the roster isnt doing a very good job,but neither is Bell.

    • greenmtred

      But you don’t know why he pulls the starter. Starters, game-wide, are pitching fewer innings than they used to–averaging a little bit over 5 last season. The game emphasizes more velocity and max effort now. Analytics–no longer a favorite here–shows unambiguously that pitchers lose effectiveness the third time through the batting order. Simply put, Bell knows a great deal more about his pitchers than we do.

  12. TR

    I’m sure David Bell is well liked by the players and others in the organization. I think his personality is more suited to a front office position. I prefer a manager with a harder edge who has an intent desire to win and will go with a regular (minus injuries) starting eight to build a cohesive unit. Players work very hard to get to the Bigs and their #1 goal, undoubtedly, is to win. David Bell, for me, does not express the win at all cost attitude.

      • Tom Reeves

        Except modern players do not tend to respond well to hardcore, hard charging baseball managers.

        We’d all hate a boss like that. Well, this age range of players does too.

  13. old-school

    Bell isn’t the problem. The question though would be is he part of the solution for the next winning window. I think he’s improved as a manager. His handedness fetish in 2019 and 2020 was awful. He would routinely platoon AAAA guys up for a cup of coffee who were out of baseball 6 months later with established MLB players. He had an everyday 4 and no rhythm or offensive contiuity could be established. He also hired Turner Ward who destroyed thee offense in 2019. Bell doesnt take responsibility for that? The main issue in the bullpen is not pitching guys for multiple innings in winnable games. He’s had a pattern of taking a guy out who threw 9 pitches in the 7th inning and dominated and the game is down to 6 outs yet he wont bring him back to shrink the game to 5 or 4 outs. Its hard to pitch 4 guys 1 inning each from innings 6-9 and hope all are on that day.

    But I think overall he is now the face of the team after Phil’s bad day so ownership and Krall need him. He’s not going anywhere.

    Im fine with seeing how the season plays out and judge him at the end of the season. Four years with 2 pretty good teams is a fair assessment period yet all he has to show for it is a 60 game asterisk Covid year with not scoring a run in a modified post season. His record is also fair game. He is 196-219 for a .472 winning percentage. That’s pretty poor considering Bauer/Castillo/Gray/Winker/Suarez /Votto/Iglesias/India/Castellanos all had at least portions of some outstanding years.

    I was not a Bryan Price fan but he had a far worse roster than Bell did. I don’t recall anyone saying don’t fire Price because his roster isnt good and its not fair to Price

    • greenmtred

      Price had a worse roster than this year’s injury-decimated roster? I don’t buy it.

      • old-school

        I didn’t say Price had a worse roster than Bell’s roster the last few weeks.

        I said Price had far worse rosters in 2015-18 than Bell has had in 2019-21. April 15- May 15 of 2022 is a MASH unit/Covid Unit/Walking wounded unit. Votto will be back, India will be back, Naquin is back, Castillo is already back and Stephenson is back as well. Pham is playing well.

        I’m also willing to see things through this year and let Bell’s record stand on its own merits after 4 seasons.

      • greenmtred

        Thanks for clarifying, Old-school. The Reds played pretty well in 20 and 21. Some people believe that they underachieved–meaning that they were actually legitimate contenders–and others, like me, think they largely overachieved.

  14. Deafmix3

    I suppose it is possible Bell could win a lot of games with a roster that was talented top to bottom. It is also true that managers often get undo blame when a team/roster sucks AND undo credit when they have a loaded roster or inherit a team poised to succeed (see Lou Pinella, a supposed genius for taking a team Pete Rose honed to a WS title). Bell is sub-average, though, at best and it is a weird form of denial to think otherwise. The team’s performance last year – when they were four games up in the wild card and had the easiest schedule in baseball and could have waltzed into the playoffs playing .500 ball and DIDN’T – is really all you need to know. How he was rewarded for that failure with a 2-year extension – and in the MIDST of that failure – sent a message to the players and the fan base. That message is nepotism, nothing more.

    The franchise needs a Type A personality right now, one who makes coming to the ballpark fun for players and fans. A Pete Rose type, an Ozzie Guillen. C’mon now. It is so dreary right now I (fan of 55 years) am barely hanging on…

  15. RedBB

    He’s not the solution either. Need to stop with the rampant nepotism in this organization.

  16. Jim t

    Quite honestly if ownership doesn’t commit the necessary resources to improve the product I could careless who manages the team.

    If they do fire Bell the reason will be to placate the fan base. The reality is they have never committed to giving him a playoff worthy roster and anyone they replace him with will probably share the same fate.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Most will argue that he had a playoff worthy roster last year and failed miserably at the end of the season when the schedule was in his favor big time.

      • greenmtred

        Most did not see it that way before last season. The Reds had the worst bullpen in baseball, injuries to key players, and the disappearance of 3rd base as a position that provides offense. In spite of that, they were in the hunt all season, and might have made it, absent the Cards 17 game winning streak.

  17. David

    I think Dusty Baker once said something to the effect (paraphrasing) that Managers can put players in a position to win. That’s really all he can do. So if the player doesn’t perform ( a reliever, starting pitcher, platoon player, etc), then is it the manager’s fault?
    Old School has a point, as do others, about the actual roster and the talent that David Bell has. IF…..he had more talent on the team (ie, Management hired better players, spent more money, etc) then when he put a player in a position “to win”, they might be better players.
    Every team, even winning teams, go through cycles in the season when everything goes right, and everything goes wrong. Good or great teams have shorter periods when everything goes wrong, and longer periods when everything goes right.

    The Reds’ have gone through a nightmarish stretch in April, and now I hope that is over. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. I am not saying the rest of the season is going to be smooth sailing, but they will be playing better the rest of the year. They were not really going to be a contending team, but we hoped they would look decent and competitive, as they bring up younger players and pitchers. This will happen in 2023 too.
    The Reds’ are stuck with Joey Votto’s and Mike Moustakas’ big contracts. I think they are gone after 2023.
    I would NOT sign Luis Castillo to a big, long term contract. He is too old to pay him the monster amount of money he would want, and likely not worth it. I have yet to see him put together a season where he would be considered a truly league-premier pitcher. He has looked very impressive over stretches, but not for a season.
    The Reds’ have money and talent decisions to make, and that influences just how good David Bell will look.
    I have no idea what the clubhouse is like under Bell. I can only judge by results. I hope they get better, and maybe Bell is the answer, and maybe not. Bell does not pitch, catch, field or hit. He can only play the people he has on the roster. And again, we circle back to Top Management of the Reds’ and how they run the team. It is also the case the Bell may know things about a particular player on certain days that the fans and writers don’t know, that influence his decisions. And I do think he has made some bad decisions in the past few years.
    Sparky Anderson once said, in his colloquial way…”The cream always rises to the top, and if you don’t rise to the top, maybe you don’t have no cream any more”, meaning, talent wins. If the Reds don’t win, it’s because they don’t have enough talent.

  18. JB

    Reds haven’t lost as many good or great players as the Oakland A’s and they are 13-19. Pittsburgh is a terrible team and they are what 5 or 6 games ahead of the Reds and just beat the Dodgers 2 out 3. I don’t want to hear about a hard schedule either because if you can’t beat good teams at least once then you aren’t going to the playoffs. Oakland and Pittsburgh have small payrolls and are at least competitive. Who acquires Matt Reynolds a below average journeyman and starts him game after game? Meanwhile he has young guys on the bench like Lopez, who could be the future, getting a butt full of splinters. Bell has no idea how to use a bullpen, pulls his starters to early when their pitching well and leaves his starters In to long when they are getting shelled. Never has a guy up and throwing when he should and never sends DJ out when trouble is brewing to calm his pitcher down. He always sends him out after the door is kicked wide open. I’ll take Girardi any day over Bell. Who the heck schedules days off for guys well in advance? Sits guys when they are on hot streaks and let’s them play when they are 0-34.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Great point on his scheduled day off plan. Could you see him sitting Pete Rose for a scheduled day off when he was hot? I think there would have been a confrontation.

    • greenmtred

      The salient point isn’t the players a team loses, it’s the players the team has left. Bell did not acquire Reynolds. Krall did. And who else would play him day after day? A manager who has 14 players, including the starting 2md baseman, on the injury list.

      • JB

        Wrong! Lopez is sitting right there on the bench. Gee who to play a aging never was been 31 year old or a rookie prospect? Like by playing Reynolds will get them a prospect. Nobody in the right mind would do that. Just like let’s keep playing the AA’s and other nobody’s because somebody might take them. Nobody wants these nobody’s. They go through waivers and Nobody claims them or wants them for anything.

      • greenmtred

        But we know very little about Lopez: We’ve seen a relative handful of at-bats and don’t have a clear idea about the rest of his game. Reynolds, as we speak, is hitting .310 and provides excellent defense. Small sample size to be sure, but few of us let that get in the way of a good narrative.

    • Tom Reeves

      The Reds will pass the A’s by All Star Break.

    • Susan

      All your comments about how Bell handles his pitching staff are spot-on. Why leave in a reliever until he gives up 5 runs? (Wednesday’s game vs Brewers). Total insanity!

  19. Hanawi

    Agree with a lot of the comments here. Not sure how anyone can defend him after watching his moves over the last few years. He’s not the only problem and may not be the biggest but he has hasn’t shown anything to think he’s a good manager. Any other organization would have fired him already. Reds are too cheap and have too much nepotism.

  20. Votto4life

    The Reds are a complete mess. Is David Bell solely responsible for the mess? Of course not.

    But the Reds are 7-24!! The worst start in the Team’s history!

    Seriously, you want to give David Bell credit for the Reds winning the last two series? What about the 24 loses?

    You seem willing to give Bell credit when the team wins 3 out of 10 games, but assign him no blame when the team loses 7 out of 10.

    David Bell most certainly shares the blame and should be fired.

    • Richard Fitch

      Yes, seriously, I do want to give David Bell credit for the Reds play in the last 2 series. When teams get off to really bad starts, managers can quickly lose the clubhouse. The Reds haven’t just gotten of to a bad start, but a historically bad start.

      Yet, Bell hasn’t lost the clubhouse. The players haven’t begun mailing it in. That’s what the last 6 games suggest. 24 losses are the result of a team that has been overmatched in talent almost every night they’ve taken the field this year, save for the Pirates series. That’s Bell’s fault? Seriously?

      Look higher. The owner’s box it up there somewhere.

      • old-school

        Which is exactly why Bell WON”T be fired. Firing Bell temporarily satisfies some for about 37 minutes. Until the Reds go 1-4 in Cleveland and Toronto and a few more bullpen meltdowns or the Giants embarrass them again at home With Brandon belt and Darin Ruf taking target practice at the smoke stacks as they did last May. Bell would not be there anymore to absorb the frustration and deflect blame from ownership if he were fired. Firing Bell would ultimately point all focus on ownership and they don’t want that. Bell is the front porch right now for the Cincinnati Reds and they prefer it that way.

      • Votto4life

        Richard, the team is 7-24. You assigned credit to Bell for winning this past series. OK fine then I have a question.

        Shouldn’t the Owner also get credit for the past two series. After all, Bob still signs the checks. Shouldn’t he get credit for signing Colin Moran and Drury?

        Also, since you appear so enamored with David Bell, shouldn’t the owner get credit for signing David Bell to an extension last fall? I mean Bell wouldn’t be here to keep the guys together if Bob Castellini hadn’t had faith in him.

        The truth is the Owner, General Manager AND field manager (along with the coaches) share the blame for creating this mess.

      • Richard Fitch

        “Shouldn’t the Owner also get credit for the past two series. After all, Bob still signs the checks. Shouldn’t he get credit for signing Colin Moran and Drury?”

        Bob/Phil signed these guys? I think the front office did that. Signing checks is not the same thing as acquiring the players.

        “Also, since you appear so enamored with David Bell, shouldn’t the owner get credit for signing David Bell to an extension last fall? I mean Bell wouldn’t be here to keep the guys together if Bob Castellini hadn’t had faith in him. ”

        I’m enamored of no one, except maybe Tony Perez. I am enamored of attempting to be as truthful and factual as I can be given my knowledge on the subject. I’ve said before, I have no idea if Nick Krall is a good GM or not, I just know it’s impossible to tell when his bosses send him to Goodwill and expect to get an Armani suit upon his return. I feel the same way about Bell.

        If there’s credit to give for the signing of Bell, I’d give it to Dick Williams, but that’s just me.

        Attempting to spin this by suggesting ownership gets the credit with what surely is your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek doesn’t move me much.

    • Tom Reeves

      If the Reds make it back to .500 by August, would you still fire Bell?

      What’s the risk of finding out if he can do it?

      I kinda interested to see how much lemonade he can make out is this lemony mess.

      It’s not like a new manager could get this team any new manager this season could get the team to the playoffs.

  21. jessecuster44

    If Bell would stop saying inane things to the press, like “In a funny way, he did very well out there,” or “We’re very close and I believe in what we’re doing here,” he’s be much more respected by fans.

    If he channeled coach K, and said “The start of the season has been inexcusable, and I’m sorry. You’ll see a much different team from now on,” he’d be respected.

    But he doesn’t. He’s touchy feely and doesn’t want to hurt the fragile egos of his players. He’s milquetoast. I can’t respect that. I’d like a LEADER who LEADS.

    • Indy Red Man

      The days of Sweet Lou throwing bases and screaming and Bobby Knight throwing chairs and choking kids is over. Nobody screams at anyone anymore. Is Bell supposed to scream at SanMartin? Young kids and has-beens probably do have fragile egos because they doubt they can perform at a high level on a regular basis.

      Now do I like Bell? Not really. He seems tone deaf to the sound of rockets coming off opposing bats. David Hernandez? He kept running that guy out there time after time to take a beating? It was like the Polish saddling up their calvary to fight German tanks. Suarez didn’t move up on a wild pitch last year and cost us a game in Wrigley. I think Bell should’ve sat him down, but he did nothing. Never mentioned it. I’d fire him, but I don’t see it making that much difference.

      • jessecuster44

        There’s a difference between throwing a tantrum or choking someone and publicly stating the truth.

    • greenmtred

      He could have said that, Jesse, and some would call it throwing his players under the bus. His main job is to manage the team, not placate fans with oratory. We’re criticising his management style, but he hasn’t managed any of us. As someone pointed out above, his players generally seem to speak well of him.

      • greenmtred

        They do lose. They’re rarely as good as the players on the other team. Sparky was a great manager, and his ’83 Tigers lost 103 games. His players weren’t very good.

      • Allan Chandler

        Bell has managed the Reds for several years. They have not won anything of consequence. He’s not good enough.

    • Tom Reeves

      Coach K is not a good human being. He’s A closet Bobby Knight who treats people horribly. I’m glad he’s retired.

      • Melvin

        I doubt coach K is a closet Bobby Knight. Anyone who has some Bobby Knight in them cannot keep it in. lol

  22. wizeman

    Senzel all hurt for significant amounts of time.

    winker gone

    sorry guys no sale. i coach a team at the college level. had made 4 NCAA tournaments in a row. Had 7 season ending injuries by Jan. 15 last year. Finished below .500 wasn’t a genius before… or a moron now.

    You can’t win without players.

    • Indy Red Man

      Flip side is they were mostly healthy last September 1 and couldn’t beat the mouth-breathers with less talent like the Pirates, Cubs, etc. The whole team ran out of gas and ruined a pretty solid effort up til then considering all their problems.

      • jessecuster44

        They didn’t have Winker healthy…

    • MBS

      He didn’t win when he had players last year, so…maybe it’s doubly difficult this year, but he is not a winner. Hence the 1 win in what 20 games, honestly i lost track. We are talking about a historically bad team, not just a bad team.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds won more games last year than they lost. If winning means winning the WS, there’s only one good manager in MLB every year.

    • Hanawi

      Sounds like you had a history of success to justify being kept on. What does Bell have? A playoff appearance that only happened due to covid expansion where they were swept without scoring a run. A collapse last year and the worst start in franchise history this year. Lots of blame for the front office but the Reds have also had some of the highest payrolls in their history under Bell with little to show for it. He’s also responsible for the Zinter hire which has been an expected disaster.

      Then there is the fact that his love of playing journeymen utility players over younger talent makes him ill-suited to lead a rebuild. I’m baffled by the Reds writers that defend him at every turn and seem to place zero blame on him at all.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Great point in that some mangers who survive what Bell is going through have a past to hang there hat on, Bell has had no such success.


        Bell has always been a problem. His Won/Lost record proves that, unless nobody wants to win or make the playoffs anymore. He had good players capable of winning but he has never gotten them to play to win as a team. Stop the Swing for the fences or strikeout formula! Tampa Bay doesn’t play that way and we all know the Reds want to be like them, lol. Pitching, Defense, Hitting and putting players in their proper roles and proper playing positions help win games something Bell hasn’t been good at as Manager. As a Reds fan since 1969, I hope he improves quickly and the reds now go 24-7 but wouldn’t bet on either happening, especially him improving or changing his approach.

  23. MBS

    He is one of many problems. It took until yesterday for him to realize his best bat is doing him no good sitting on the bench. Preseason everyone and their brother said DH Stephenson when he’s not catching. Also Stephenson related, why is your best hitter batting in the 5 hole?

    • Indy Red Man

      Don Mattingly had Jazz Chisholm batting 8th/9th for the first 3 weeks and now he’s leadoff. He’s on pace for 125 rbis. You think they might figure out that he should be in the middle of the lineup? Hard to believe organizational stat nerds can’t figure out what all the stat nerds at home already know.

      • jessecuster44

        … But they kNoW mORe than we do.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Plus 1000, he should be hitting 3rd.

  24. JB

    Is this the spot where I post my ” You Gotta Believe “?

  25. Rick Pearson

    No David Bell is not the problem the owners and front-office is the problem. I think he’s doing a decent job with the hand he’s been dealt. And the players really like him that means a lot and says a lot you basically Got outside of a couple of players a, AAA farm club playing in the major leagues and they just won two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers

  26. Rick Pearson

    Well I personally am not giving David Bell credit for the last two Series wins. But I’ve already heard strong rumors they are shopping Tyler Mahle, and Luis Castillo so what does that tell you if they get rid of these two starting pitching LOL we basically will not have none. Nick Lodolo is still hurt, Hunter Greene still is a work in progress so you look at Nick Senzel, we don’t have him right now there’s a lot of things going on who would want to manage this ???

  27. William

    I like Bell, but do not like the Reds record. Bell is responsible.

  28. Mark A Verticchio

    I see Sims just went in the injured list. I am sorry but I think this team was not physically ready for this season. Either that or they are the most unlucky team ever. Compare their injured list to everybody else in baseball it really is strange.

    • jessecuster44

      Or – the trainers suck
      Or – the players don’t listen to the trainers


        Reds made some changing in the Trainer department area. I do know Morgan Gregory left for the Phillies. Wonder if it was just another Reds aligning resources

  29. Gonzo Reds

    Would be nice to have a “like” or “dislike” feature on this webpage, kinda like you would see on Yahoo comment boards or even Facebook. Would be an upgrade over the +1000 comments.

    • David

      Although I don’t completely agree with the premise of the article written by Richard Fitch, I think he thought this out and wrote it for a reason, and has brought out strong opinions on both sides of the issue.
      At least people have taken the time to comment and from this, people do still care about what happens to the Cincinnati Reds, and have not given up out of apathy, because of the losing.
      I am glad he wrote it, and appreciate most of the comments on this, although, again, I do not share the same opinions as some of the commenters. People are free to disagree, and in the end, time and reality will prove who is right and who is wrong. And…people are allowed to be wrong about this, too.

  30. Jim Walker

    This Reds team was not prepared to be the best that it could be even given the talent it had.

    Mental errors abound even more so than physical errors and failures. The same type of miscues happen again and again.

    Three former MLB pitchers who serve as color and analysts on the team radio and TV tiptoe around direct criticisms of pitching philosophy, strategic and tactical, even as they explain what they see as problematic.

    If ultimate accountability for these types of issues doesn’t lie with the manager, where does it lie?

    A person can be both a victim a problem and still a part of the problem. That’s where I see David Bell being.

    • David

      Jim, although you always make interesting and intelligent comments, I have a hard time seeing David Bell as a victim. Otherwise, I agree with most of what you say.

      Managers are hired to be fired. Sparky Anderson won four NL Pennants, two World Series, plus the West division title in 1973, yet was fired after the 1978 season by Dick Wagner (and a lot of people were mad at Dick for that), but Sparky had held on too long to some of his aging players, in my humble opinion. Was Sparky suddenly a bad manager, in 1978, or even (gasp!) a victim? John McNamara won the Western Division the following year with something of a less talented team, and won the MOST games in the screwed up 1981 season, yet did not make the playoffs, and then was fired in mid-season 1982 after the team was really messed up by the Front Office. Was John McNamara a victim? No, he was hired as a Field Manager, and fired when the team under-performed, which is pretty typical. I thought Johnny Mac was a pretty good guy, too.

      I don’t really think David Bell is a great or ever good ML manager, but he signed on to this mess of an organization (I think Joe Girardi was interviewed, but declined further interest in being Manager based on his own insights).
      David Bell is not a criminal or stupid. Not being in the dugout with him, I don’t know why he has done some of the things that have been done over the past few years. But he has the job, not you, me or any of the other commenters here. That doesn’t mean he is smarter, or people criticizing him are dumb, and for reasons only the ownership knows, he still has the job.
      Maybe it is a dumpster fire of a season, and they are too cheap to fire him, pay him off and hire someone else (very likely). But still, he is pretty well paid to be a victim.
      This is like feeling sorry for Joey Votto; he has been paid $200 million dollars or more to play baseball. I really can’t feel sorry for him. He has gotten old as a pro – athlete, and maybe his time is up.
      And I think a lot of mental errors are because of (sometimes) lack of concentration and self discipline. They’re mental. It is hard to believe (but true!) that pro-ML players frequently forget fundamentals that are taught in high school, college and the minor leagues.
      I think losing promotes a way of thinking (even subconscious) that reduces being really focused on the game, during the game. Winning and a little self-confidence may do wonders to restore better overall play and less “loss of focus”. The Manager can’t get inside the player’s heads. If somebody really screws up (and I have seen THAT before), then the Manager either publicly or privately dresses him down to sort out the situation. And again, I have no idea what happens in the clubhouse of the Reds.

  31. DaveCT

    I will once against request Casey Stengel manage this team.

    Bell really doesn’t bother me. He’s almost irrelevant, actually, given the roster and, especially, the Phil Phiasco.

    • greenmtred

      It would be fun. Casey returning from the Great Beyond to manage the Reds and dispense humorously confusing remarks. The Reds would still lose, though.

  32. Luke J

    Your logic doesn’t compute. Kapler being considered poor when he was making blunders in Philly and being lauded in SF when his team was winning, doesn’t somehow magically mean his decisions in Philly were good. Likewise, Boone can be a terrible bullpen tactician even though his team of highly paid superstars are winning. The fact that people tend to forget those things when you are winning is not evidence that the manager is not bad.

    If you are looking at team results only to determine worth of a manager, you are missing the whole point. Good teams with good players can still win IN SPITE of their manager’s poor decisions. And good managers can still lose on bad teams, in spite of their good decisions. So I don’t think it’s logical to base your argument on Bell’s performance on such comparisons. His managing decisions need to be evaluated based on what they are, not with hindsight, and not with worthless comparisons to other managers who have been considered bad but are now considered good by the media once they get on good teams.

    And when I evaluate Bell in that way, there are definitely deficiencies I see in his managing. Does that mean he’s the ONLY problem? Of course not. But it also doesn’t mean he should be given a pass on poor management just because his roster is bad. It can be both.

    • Richard Fitch

      I don’t disagree with any what you are saying. I think you are misinterpreting why I brought up Maddon, Kapler and Girardi in the first place.

      I specifically said, value Process over Results.

      But please don’t tell me the fan base would be fixated on his managing decisions if the Reds were winning. But with losing comes scrutiny on every aspect of his decision-making, fair or not.

      When a team is losing, if a player comes back to the dugout with his head hanging, “Bell is not setting the right clubhouse tone.” If the Reds were winning despite injuries everyone would be loudly singing the “Next Man Up” ballad. But when injuries are followed by losing, it’s “He didn’t prepare the team in Spring Training.”

      There will always be those who don’t like Bell’s managing style because they don’t like the his analytical bent. But we wouldn’t hear much of them because the team was winning ballgames. But when the losing starts, scrutiny becomes sport and little else.

      • Luke J

        That’s all true. But the title of the article is Bell is not the problem. And that isn’t a logical conclusion to draw from your points.

      • 2020ball

        I think the scrutiny would be there even if the team were winning personally, from this fanbase especially. Not that I don’t sort of understand it given the results we’ve received from this team over the years.

  33. Nick in NKY

    David Bell is no baseball messiah, that’s for sure. But he isn’t THE problem, and he won’t be canned for this season, either. Neither will Nick Krall. I mean, I guess anything can happen, but while the ownership group may not be responsive to blogs, I must believe they are keenly aware of the local and national media. In the case of this offseason, that media echoes pages like this one. The front office knows they are the most responsible party for their budgetary hatchet job on the organization, and they know that any attempt to fire someone downstream would be a transparently obvious and injudicious scapegoating. The criticisms the ownership group have received thus far would pale in comparison to what would be said about them if they fired Bell. Krall, or anyone else over the team’s performance. Next to the bottom line, I believe that they care what’s said. People should get used to David Bell for another couple seasons, I think he will stick around. Likely that the team will retain pitching and hitting coaches for the same reason.

    Overall great opinion piece.

  34. Melvin

    David Bell is an extension of Big Bob & Son. Pure and simple. When they fired Bryan Price they made a big deal about how they were going to do a full search to get just the right manager. Finally, by pure coincidence, they hired a guy with the same last name as a Reds Vice President and Senior Advisor to the owner. By the way I really believe that Big Bob & Son really do believe Reds fans are the biggest idiots on the face of the earth and that we’re supposed to just take in everything they say and do without question and never call them on anything because they are being “so KIND” to us to keep the team in Cincinnati. Never mind the fact that David Bell has never won anything, at least that I know of, which brings me to my main point. He just isn’t a winner. He just doesn’t know how to win consistently. To those who don’t think he’s done a bad job and to everyone I suggest you ask yourself a question. Supposing the Reds do finally get another very talented team. I know it seems impossible right now but let’s say a miracle happens. lol After all of the losing we’ve experienced over the last few decades, do you really want to take a chance on David Bell being the guy to take them to being 20+ games over .500, winning playoff series, and getting them to the World Series even? For me the answer is a resounding NO. If he fails in being a good manager then we start all over again and all that talent is wasted for at least another year. He HAS had some “bad” talent while here but being overlooked often I think is that he has had some “very good talent” at times while here. He has NEVER proven to take advantage of that talent and turn it into winning consistently. Of course not everything that has and is going wrong is the fault of David Bell. As I said though, He is NOT a winner. Yes I’m hard on him. Of course I’m hard on him. Big Bob & Son along with Buddy Bell has put him in a position to have to take hard criticism. David Bell chose to do what he’s doing. Do I feel sorry for him. NO. He makes millions of guaranteed dollars win or lose, with or without his manager job. He can get fired, get another job, and make even more money. He’s got it good no matter what. We Reds fans DO NOT. I have no reason to believe David Bell is anything but a good family guy. I have no reason not to wish him well. However guys, does anyone really believe, right or wrong, that any other manager would still have his job after the start the Reds have had were it not for nepotism?

    • 2020ball

      Do you really believe another manager would do better with the roster Bells been given? Or that they aren’t going to do things you and anyone else here might complain about?

      And why even make a change now and eat a significant amount of money in a lost season? I don’t understand the thinking there.

      • Melvin

        The idea of losing and getting into a losing mentality is very dangerous. Teams just don’t put talent on the field and win. A “team” has to learn how to win all over again when in a place the Reds are in. Some times that’s very hard and takes a long time. We can all debate about whether or not David Bell is at fault in any of it or if he’s a good manager or not. There is no debate, at least in my mind, that the spirit and attitude has to change ASAP. The longer it takes for that to happen the more dangerous it is. Whether we like it or not that starts with a manager. A new manager may not win much more this year than David Bell but he can bring a “new winning attitude and atmosphere” that can carry over for years. That’s crucial. Most if not every other team would at least start in that direction but not the Reds. Nepotism is the only logical reason.

      • VegasRed

        Yes, I do. Not hard to beat 7-24 my friend.

      • 2020ball

        Why cant David Bell bring a “new winning attitude and atmosphere”? Why do we have more confidence someone can with a shaky roster, questionable payroll, and confusing ownership group?

        If you think a new manager somehow comes in and thats all the Reds are missing to start winning, then I’m not sure what else I can say.

      • 2020ball

        As for 7-24, I dont know a manager that should be expected to do better with the stats the pitching staff and offense put up for that first month. Just saying its easy to beat isnt much of an argument.

      • Melvin

        I think one thing we can all agree on, having been around baseball as long as we obviously have, is that MOST teams would fire any manger after the start we have had especially before the current, mostly likely short term, winning prosperity. I’m all for it continuing somehow. Miracles do happen. 🙂 I’m a Reds fan. 🙂 If Big Bob & Son, Krall and Bell don’t want to accept or don’t like the severe criticism they’re getting then I suggest they find a way to do one thing consistently. It’s called winning. It would cure everything. 🙂 If that doesn’t happen, no matter what the reason(s), they are going to get slammed. That’s what nepotism sets you up for. If you can’t take it, don’t do it…..or like I said…. just WIN.

    • 2020ball

      To your point though, extending him seemed like an odd move last year from my end. Weird timing IMO, might as well just let him run through this year on his contract. But again thats just on ownership same as is the talent on the roster.

  35. Roger Garrett

    For Bell to be part of the problem,ownership would have to agree there is a problem and that it starts with them and that will never happen.I know nothing of what goes on in the dugout or in the board room but it appears all is well untill again somebody says it isn’t so we play on.

  36. Nelson Arblaster

    Of course the club house likes him. No matter how bad they play, they are guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup.

    Bell isn’t the problem this year but he has shown all of us over the past several years he certainly isn’t the answer either.

  37. Wildcatbill

    Lively discussion I enjoyed the article and the discussion. I’ve been following this site for the last 3/4 years maybe longer, time flys especially the summers.
    First time I have commented and do believe the players have to be held accountable in some way for not showing up to spring training in top condition, the pitchers should be able to throw 50 pitches first time out, just number I came up with as an example. There should be some way(probably is) for a player reporting not in baseball shape, to be penalized, I guess DFA is the way for some but you wouldn’t want to do that to a player like India, example.
    The fundamentals that learned in peewee & babe Ruth ball should never happen in MLB, it was down right embarrassing to the team, the MANAGER, and GM should have been wearing the bags after seeing the first 25 games or so played out and it’s been pointed out here. The fact no personal lost there jobs over that period of play should be embarrassing to the ownership who shows that they are willing to accept a business they own to perform like this and nothing is/was done to change it, I guess this roster really wasn’t sit until the season started and it’s never been whole. The players are new to each other mostly but they have all played it all there life, for the mistakes to happen. The roster construction not being better is another problem or lack of construction. Getting 20 pitchers example and not worrying about position players is insane. Team can’t hit at least get soils up the middle defensively to keep the scoring against down some. My whole point being I really really wished that Krall was the greatest GM EVER AND the same With Bell the best ever. They are not and since they were in charge of this ship, they both should be fired along with the coaching staff too. Since an owner can not be fired, and he doesn’t possess the know how it takes to fix it, or he is content with what he has. Thank You Doug and staff for your hard work