Bill Lack, Chris Garber, and I got together and this one went off the rails early. We discussed important questions like: Why are the Reds bat at hitting? Why aren’t there enough napkins at Great American Ballpark? Should David Bell be on the hot seat?

Please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Seriously: SMASH that subscribe button! Of course, as always, you can listen to the audio version of the show as well:

Come join the family and support the podcast on Patreon. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Music for this episode provided by Freekbass, a big Reds fan and a friend of Redleg Nation.

If you prefer the audio podcasts, we’re available everywhere you find podcasts, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music/Audible, iHeart Radio, and elsewhere. Please subscribe, and give us a rating/review over at iTunes/Apple Podcasts (or wherever you found us). If you like us, talk about us! However, if you don’t like us…maybe just keep your mouth shut?

Podcast-related questions and comments can be directed to the podcast via email (

48 Responses

  1. LDS

    Absolutely, it’s time to fire the guy and it should have happened years ago.


      @LDS, we have been saying it for years and one win against the Dodgers isn’t changing that. I don’t comment about it much because a change isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. I have stated David Bell is what he has always been. He has a track record!
      He has the Bell fan club that think he is a great manager, just doesn’t have the players to contend. Time will answer that question for them! His history and results have for me. I have been a reds fan since 1970. Some of the old timers might remember Angel Bravo, Ray Washburn, Ty Cline and of course my favorite, Johnny Bench. I have seen a lot of managers come and go. David Bell has his dream job, no accountability for the lousy team play, at least not yet! We all love the reds and hope it can be turned around. I just don’t think he is up to the task. Not my decision or he would already been gone. Hope he proves me wrong for us reds fans. If he is ever let go the new guy has to be outside the organization. IMO- GO REDS!

      • LDS

        Absolutely, someone from outside the organization. It doesn’t matter the roster, his fans her would make the same excuses.

      • Harry Stoner

        We’ve gone from Dusty Baker, who gave the best post game interviews ever…right on through his career with the Asterisks.

        “It was like that time when I was first facing Drysdale and Hank (Aaron) told me: ‘Why are you swinging at his curveball? NOBODY hits Don’s curveball. Lay off it!”

        That stuff is priceless.

        Now we’ve got the nightly Bell mumble-core.

  2. Joey

    Yes but he shouldn’t be the only one.

    • greenmtred

      No. You’d have to fire and replace most of the players to make a substantive difference.

      • TJ

        Green, totally with you. I’m not saying he’s manager of the year material, but he’s managing with what he’s been given. I’m so surprised that the starting pitching has been this good, as well as being surprised at how poor the offense has been this far. I have no inside information, but in my head I believe that Krall is hoping the Reds can stay close to .500 until the recently injured Reds come back plus Marte. Then if there are moves to be made, he can make them. Who are the Reds going to trade for? Pete Alonso? Miller from the As would take a haul. Everyone wants instant change for the sake of change. The Cardinals have not been successful for a year and a half. Anyone remember a time the Cardinals made quick changes besides firing Shildt? That hasn’t worked out so far

      • DaveCT

        Firing an All Star* manager would be so Castillani. First, recruit, hire, extend the “Cardinals Way” guy long sought after, then decide it’s not what you want. Then, after also embracing the Peter Principle so thoroughly, abandon it when it when mediocrity stinks. The Castillani’s corporation name should be Mediocrity ‘R Us. Besides, where else are we going to go?

        *tongue firmly in cheek

  3. TR

    Why should David Bell not be on the hot seat when every other field manager is sooner or later?

    • greenmtred

      No problem with the hot seat as long as the context is factored in. The team is in a bad slump, no question, but what is a question is how well this group of players–the ones actually available–can be expected to play. Underperforming is different from not being good enough. Managers do get fired when a team is losing, but this is often eyewash: “We’ve got to fire somebody, and we can’t fire all the players.” There might be a different way of dealing this, one that actually addresses the issue. The fact that fans disagree with a manager’s decisions is all but meaningless.

      • Harry Stoner

        Bell isn’t being criticized because Espinal isn’t a .300 hitter.

        Bell isn’t being criticized because Fairchild is a AAAA at best.

        He is being criticized and suggested that he has be held accountable for is the repeated series of sloppy play and poor fundamentals.

        Bell can be fairly criticized, when three players get thrown out on bad decisions to take an extra base…and then it happens the next night again.

        He can be fairly criticized when runners routinely make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base.

        He can be fairly criticized for playing Russian Roulette with his bullpen.

        He can be fairly criticized for the outrageous strikeout rate that the team has without insisting on better situation awareness and approaches to hitting.

        He can be fairly criticized for not guiding hitters to hit behind the runner, hit for sacrifice flys, bunt hitters ahead.

        He can be fairly criticized for his laissez-faire attitude and hakuna matata response to poor play.

        He can be fairly criticized for his mumble-core evasivenss to post game Q+A when the team collective performs poorly under his guidance.

        I’m amazed that Bell apologists so often resort to existentialist, evasive (aka lame) responses to criticism of Bell: “Can’t fire the whole team!”

        Bad play just simply happens, like the weather. To hold someone responsible is simply mean.

        “The dog spilled my milk.”

        My favorite GreenMountainism to date has been: “Being in last place isn’t so troubling. Odds are somebody has to be in last place.”

      • greenmtred

        It’s so fun being misquoted, Harry, though you did get some of the essence of my point, which was that the wailing and breast beating seemed like an over-reaction. I agree, by the way, that the poor fundamentals are an issue; an issue that reaches through the organization, evidently, because fundamentals are properly taught at all levels of organized baseball and should be largely mastered by the time a player reaches MLB. Of course Bell can be fairly criticized, but the idea espoused by some that firing him will cure all of the team’s ills is ludicrous.

      • Melvin

        “but the idea espoused by some that firing him will cure all of the team’s ills is ludicrous.”

        I doubt anyone thinks firing Bell will fix everything. However, as I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter what we think of him. It’s clearly to the point in my view that a new direction is needed; a new voice. Replacing Bell will be a big step the the right direction. The sooner the better and I’ll wish him well.

      • greenmtred

        What about the players, Melvin? It may well be that a new direction is needed, but the team on the field is missing integral players and their replacements are…replacements.

  4. The Duke

    Only if we have a line on an established manager to replace him. If we’re just going to replace him with our assistant field coordinator or something, then what’s the point? Also have to point out that the guy lost roughly half his lineup before the season started, that’s going to be hard for any manager to overcome, let alone one working with one of baseball’s smaller payrolls. How much better would this team be with McClain batting 2nd letting EDLC hit third, Marte hitting somewhere 4-6, and Friedl leading off every day?

  5. Hanginwithem

    The better question is, “Are there qualified managerial candidates available who, A) have aspirations of winning championships and B) believe that can be accomplished with current ownership?”
    Many excuses have been made for the current manager’s performance over 5+ seasons. His winning percentage speaks for itself. There has been no improvement and no signs of inclination to change the approach, leading one to believe that the status quo, at least for current ownership, is “good enough”.
    Is the goal to be “competitive” or is the goal to win championships?
    If “competitive” is the goal, then you have your man. Winning championships, however, will require change.

    • greenmtred

      No manager’s winning percentage speaks for itself. Sparky Anderson couldn’t win with a bad team and proved it in 1983 with the Tigers (Old-School take note). Managers win when they have a preponderance of good players and lose when they don’t.

      • Hanginwithem

        So, you’re suggesting that the Reds haven’t had good players since 2019?

      • Ted Alfred

        So essentially managers make no difference at all. It’s all about the players according to you.

        Bruce Bochy won three World Series with the SF Giants, took the Texas Rangers to their first World Series championship last year and the Padres to a World Series appearance, but he just happened to have the best players every year?

        So DBell would have gotten the same results had he been the manager of those teams? Do you not see how ridiculous always defending Bell because he doesn’t have good enough players is?

        Yeah, he lost a couple of guys to injuries, but this team should be playing a hell of a lot better baseball than they have been. There’s literally no accountability at all. After blowing the game in AZ David Bell literally went on and on defending Diaz in the post game with Jim Day as if he deserved to try and save the game when he’s been literally terrible for 4 months. He recently said he thinks the team is playing good baseball in the middle of this 2-11 streak??

        Do you think it’s just a coincidence that the Reds horrific team batting averages and strikeouts both close to last in mlb have nothing to do with all of his goofy batting orders? Putting the guy at leadoff who’s leading the majors in strikeout percentages by a wide margin at over 40%…and then Ford as guy who has settled in at hitting #3 as your DH…the same guy who couldn’t make the team out of spring training and who they’ve basically cut twice in the last 3 weeks and wasn’t signed to the mlb club until 10 days ago? Now he’s your #3 DH????.
        So you don’t think there’s any chance that all of Bell’s decisions haven’t had any negative effect on this team’s poor play and resulting record?

        Bell is a below average manager…period.

        If his last name wasn’t Bill he never would have gotten this shot to manage a major league ball club and there’s not another team in baseball that would hire him in the same position. Only the terrible Reds ownership would have extended him 3 more years after watching him and his teams play for the past 5 years.

      • Hanginwithem

        Note: The 1983 Tigers won 92 games and finished 2nd in their division. They won the World Series in 1984 with a “preponderance” of the same players.

      • Justin T

        Leadership. Strong leadership gets humans working in the same direction. David Bell is a good man Im sure. Listen to him speak after a game, you cannot tell me he is a strong leader of men. It’s ok, stick him in front office. He has been given a tremendous amount of rope. Lost 100 and was extended a few mos later. His teams plays sloppy and undisciplined.

        If you think Sparky Anderson or Lou Piniella would have the exact same record the last 5.5 yrs with these same rosters then Im not sure what to tell you.

        I realize it gets old reading comments of people thinking firing him is the answer to the problems. It may not solves all the problems but it solves one big one. They need a new voice.

      • greenmtred

        I’m suggesting that the Reds had injuries to key players and horrible bullpens. People have already forgotten what happened to the pitching staff last year. It isn’t that managers have no importance, but players are far more important in determining the fortunes of the team. Casey Stengel was celebrated as a great manager, and he may well have been, but when he left the Yankees and took over the Mets in their first year, the team lost 123 games.

      • greenmtred

        Right you are. About 1983. In 1989, Sparky’s Tigers lost 103 games.

      • greenmtred

        Well, Ted, I actually don’t think the strikeouts and poor batting averages are because of the batting orders. I think that they’re a result of players who are over-matched against the pitchers they’re facing. The Reds lost more than a couple of players to injury and if you were able to consider this impartially, you’d recognize that the replacements just aren’t as good. Bochy is undoubtedly a fine manager, and he undoubtedly had good players when his teams won the WS. I can say with great confidence that he would not win the WS with the players currently available to Bell, and I don’t believe for a second that you would disagree if you were being candid. I’m pretty sick of talking about Bell. I don’t know whether he’s a good manager or not, though my guess is that he has strengths and weaknesses just like every other person in the world.

      • Harry Stoner

        The nonsense here is staggering.

        Let’s just assume for the moment that Anderson’s Tigers and Stengel’s Mets played BETTER with them as managers and that they would have played far worse without them.

        The same with Bell. The team is weak, but they’re performing worse under Bell’s ‘managing’. Sure there have been injuries and missing personal, but Bell’s weak managing only exacerbates the problems.

        No one is expecting 1st place with a depleted team. But Reds fans are expecting more disciplined play at the plate, in the field, on the mound and on the base paths.

        Bell isn’t directing his team towards that. Sure, fundamentals are likely taught at lower levels but they need to be enforced at the MLB level.

        Bell clearly isn’t doing that.

        Rather than addressing specific critiques of Bell’s poor leadership, you’re tilting at Green Mountain windmills.

        Being a Pollyanna is just as lame as being a Cassandra.

      • greenmtred

        Justin: I liked Piniella, but he had quite a few sub-.500 seasons, including a 99 loss season followed by two more 90+-loss seasons with the Rays. Harry: Yes, it’s certainly possible that a better manager would have been able to squeeze out a few more wins for the Reds this year. I haven’t said that managers make no difference, but I have said that the difference they make pales in comparison to the impact of the players, and that evaluating a manager honestly goes well beyond a fan’s disagreement with his batting orders and requires more insight and access to the team than we have. Evidence of this is found in the unsupported suppositions–reported as facts–that are part of the numerous diatribes about Bell that we are so pleased to read constantly.

  6. Creigh Deeds

    A manager should always be in the hot seat. Its never about yesterday. Its about now, and in baseball, like other sports, its about winning. This ownership group is very shortsighted and will not make a move that costs them a cent, so he’s not really on the hot seat.

    But, really, all of us who have to work, are on the hot seat 100% of the time. Its about performance.

  7. Melvin

    Completely understand about you being tired of hearing India praising David Bell on Bally. You’re correct. No accountability.

    • Thatthathadhad

      Yesterday with runners on second and third and no outs Bell made the mistake of PHing Stephenson when Dodgers brought in a lefty. It was 100% certain dodgers would IW him with first base open. Stephenson had been dominating the Dodgers and his bat was taken out of his hands. Bell then followed with Steer PHing. He should have used Steer first and THEN Stephenson.

      Dumb decisions like that make a big difference. Steer was hitless in the series . He got the walk but the Reds should have been going for the throat and Stephenson should have been allowed the opportunity to do damage.

  8. Doug Hart

    Agree 10,000% with Ted… It’s also no coincidence the last time the Reds played winning baseball it was with Dusty Bell, who has has success everywhere he’s managed.
    By the way, nice win for the Reds last night, but someone forget to tell Bell they have 3 more games to play. Why burn 7 pitchers? He’s lucky that strategy didn’t blow up in his face, we’ll see how it impacts the bullpen the rest of this series

    • greenmtred

      The Reds have had winning records in 3 of the 5 seasons that Bell has managed them. Dusty Baker got exactly the same criticisms from RLN as Bell is getting now. We seem to be genetically programmed to believe that we’d be great managers.

      • Melvin

        Dust Baker at least got us to the playoffs. The main argument against him was that he couldn’t win IN the playoffs. We’re conditioned now to be happy if we come remotely close to making to the playoffs or just being competitive. Oh my how far our expectations have dropped. LOSING should NEVER be acceptable. It’s time for a different direction. It’s time for a change.

      • Harry Stoner

        Oh, what time and selective memory can do when one is flailing, grasping at Green Mountain straws.

        Baker’s Reds didn’t strike out at anywhere near the same rate.
        Baker’s Reds weren’t reckless and undisciplined on the basepaths,
        Baker’s Reds didn’t play the same sloppy defense.
        Baker didn’t make lame excuses for poor play and weak fundamentals.

        The Reds fired Baker.
        The Reds can fire Bell.

      • greenmtred

        Well, Lads, I liked Dusty, too. You need to account for the simple fact that he had entirely different players than does Bell. As I keep pointing out–to ears that are apparently willfully deaf–that makes a huge difference, and the evidence–circumstantial but strong–is the losing seasons that numbers of fine managers have endured.

  9. Roger Garrett

    All managers and all head coaches are hired to be fired unless you name is Alston or Auerbach.Players stop responding to the same old message from the same old guy after awhile regardless.I am of the opinion that Bell is just a very good manager and yes he needs to be replaced.However if his replacement is somebody on his staff or already in the organization then what the use.Reds need a guy that has won and yes probably fired several times as well but has had success at some point.

    • Doug Hart

      Right on Roger..need go outside of the current organization for the next manager and we need someone with a fiery cometitive attitude. Wonder if Paul O’neill is still interested in managing the Reds. As I recall he threw his hat into the ring when the Reds ultimately settled on Bell, or was that when they hired Bryan Price. With no managing experience he would likely be cheap too, something the Castellinis would appreciate!

      • Harry Stoner

        The “Lunch Pail” is interested in managing the Reds?

        To meme Johnny Carson: “I did not know that.”

        He’s fallen off my radar.

        Has he had any managing experience?

        I was always impressed with the guy.

        Played well with the Reds and handled moving to NYC with equal aplomb.

    • Don

      Exactly, Proof last night, puts Cruz back in in relief and gets rocked, AGAIN.

  10. DX

    The owner isn’t leaving. It’s easy to blame the ownership group for the lack of spending but they aren’t going anywhere.

    Krall made some nice trades but he also signed three relievers for $25m who can’t be trusted on the late innings. With Diaz, Cruz and Sims struggling it makes those signings look like poor decisions. The injuries are an issue but the bullpen is healthy.

    I am not sure what a player manager means. If it means that the manager goes out and defends a player when you are losing by six runs then Bell is a player manager. The Reds are not the only team with injuries. A players manager is a manager who wins or at least gets the most out of what he has.

    The organization use to have the winning atmosphere. That is long gone. I am not sure how you get that back. I don’t know if there are any Kirk Gibson type guys out there that can change this teams atmosphere

  11. Mark Moore

    It’s supposed to rain here all weekend (Raleigh area), so any exercise I get will be at my local purple place. That may mean I’ll watch/listen to this one. Regardless, my simple answer is …

    Yes, he most certainly should be.

    But the nepotism runs deep, so I strongly doubt he ever will be unless things above him change.

  12. Tampa Red

    Man I don’t have any problem with Bell being fired. It’s the life of a big league manager and he’s still going to get paid. Whatever.

    But I doubt very much the Reds would have a significantly better record with anyone else. This is a horrible lineup, night after night. And THAT isn’t on him. I’ve seen all the “if only XYZ batted ABC, the Red would win” arguments and I find them much less than persuasive.

    So go ahead and fire him. I’m cool with that. But I’m not going to expect them to be more than a single game better.

  13. Doug Hart

    Hey Doug Gray why do mybposts keep getting blocked…all I posted was a linknto an article about Paul O’Neill from 2013 and it doesn’t clear moderation..guess I’m wasting mybtime here

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, you’re wasting your time here if you are going to act like this. You posted a link two times, 90 entire minutes ago, and are thinking that there’s some nefarious reason it hasn’t been approved in that amount of time. No one is sitting around at Redleg Nation dot com headquarters 24/7 looking at the moderation queue.

  14. mneumeis

    No! Bell is a very good baseball mind. Get off of his butt. I like his baseball mind.