Like the shopworn homey sayings lovingly mass produced on distressed wood signage at mega gas station-cum-country store Buc-ee’s, the kind fit for display on your kitchen wall or above your bathroom commode, I was recently hit with this one suggesting the Reds should have made a serious move at the last trade deadline because:

“Tomorrow Isn’t Promised”

Never mind that with 40% of the league now making the playoffs each year, tomorrow and beyond probably is promised. These sayings are meant to carry the weight of the Ten Commandments, essential truths that help explain among other things, the malfeasance of Nick Krall’s front office.

Blame the current losing to multiple injuries and the next piece of pithy signage gets nailed to the wall:

“All Teams Deal With Injuries”

… as if all injuries are created equal and take place in a similar context from organization to organization. And while injuries are everywhere in MLB, Reds injuries are different because they are likely the product of an inept Reds medical staff because, well—of course.

Lately there’s been reminiscing for the good old Dusty Baker days. We’re told that good managers are winners and Dusty was a winner while Bell clearly is not. There was even a suggestion that Jay Bruce wouldn’t have become the player he was without the presence of Baker.

Really? Dusty was handed a team in 2008 that had the cream of the Reds farm system all arrive at basically the same time. Cueto, Bailey, Bruce and Votto would have excelled under any manager. His GM handed Baker additional key pieces like Mat Latos, Shin-Soo Choo, Jonathan Broxton–and oh yeah, some guy named Chapman graduated to The Show soon after.

How many playoff series did Dusty Baker win during his tenure in Cincinnati with all that talent? How many playoff games did he win? I watched him bat Zack Cozart and his .298 OBP second in the batting order and refuse to move him for weeks. I watched him leave Mat Latos in a game to melt down for 14 minutes, until he gave away Game 5 against the Giants. It was an absolute master class in displaying a lack of urgency in the game where urgency was everything.

He wouldn’t pitch Chapman in high leverage situations and when questioned about it, said “that’s just the way it is.”

Fact is, Baker has been handed serious talent almost everywhere he’s been. You want a list of players he’s had at his disposal? Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Greg Maddux, Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasberg, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and all those young Reds stars. That’s just off the top of my head.

He was out of baseball after losing in the 2016 playoffs until the Houston Astros rescued him with a another star-studded roster and a payroll in the neighborhood of $200M.

Compare that with what David Bell has had to work with: owners that spend little and when they have dipped their toes into the FA market, Bell was saddled with the failures of Shogo Akiyama and Mike Moustakas. The lone FA success story—Castellanos—had an opt-out and took it. Bell’s had to deal with the Covid mess and the resulting retrenchment into poverty by ownership. Few remember the flu outbreak that decimated the club at the end of the 2019 season, resulting in an 8-20 tailspin. All they remember is that it was just an example of a David Bell team not finishing well.

Ironically, Baker’s greatest strength is shared by Bell: they have both been well-regarded by the players they’ve managed. Everyone knows Baker was beloved in his clubhouse. A couple of years ago, I attended a season ticket holder Q&A with Tyler Stephenson and Kyle Farmer. These Q&As are always little more than fans’ opportunity to meet and gush over the home team. Questions rarely venture beyond player hobbies and favorite ice cream.

My question centered around the social media uproar about David Bell and the feeling that he was unfit to manage the Reds. I was met with a quick rebuke from both Farmer and Stephenson. It was clear that like Baker, the players in the clubhouse held Bell close in their hearts and play hard for him.

Little of this resonates with the Fire David Bell Brigade. And why should it? Better to dismiss what you can’t see behind the scenes with a wave of the hand in favor tangible things like lineup construction and unsatisfactory postgame remarks. If only Bell could model himself after Ron Washington or Skip Schumaker, whose recent public outbursts aimed at their players will surely have the Angels and Marlins out of the cellar in short order.

Gone are the days of static lineups, the 1. Rose, 2. Griffey, 3. Morgan and 4. Bench entries that were penciled onto the card 1 through 4 and delivered to umpires via carbon copy game in and game out. And we now know that lineup order simply doesn’t move the winning needle the way we once thought:

“Lineup construction feels momentous, and yet we know from the evidence that once you’ve selected the nine players, the order in which you arrange them doesn’t matter all that much. There is an effect. There’s probably a right way to do it and there are certainly wrong ways to do it, though the overall level of talent of those nine players is going to have a much greater impact on what happens today for your team than anything else.”

And therein lies the real problem: the nine players Bell can run out there right now just aren’t at a major league run-producing level; and even the most proficient of the lot—like Spencer Steer and Elly De La Cruz—can go into funks, making where they bat in the lineup on any given day superfluous.

But, in this social media “influencer” environment, people need content to fill their brands; and lineup deconstruction provides the day’s empty calories.

And that, inevitably brings them to Nick Krall, the responsible party for putting this roster together.

The Reds surely could have used a right-handed outfield bat. Yet, it remains unclear that Krall ever had the money at his disposal to sign a difference-maker. He could have traded prospects, but does anyone really think Bob or Phil Castellini are eager to sign off on trading cheap farm hands given their stated comments on team-building moving forward? How does any GM build a team that can confidently compete while shrugging off injuries and young player regression with a total payroll allocation of $104.5M?

Let’s not get it twisted. This is not a defense of Bell or Krall. It’s a cry for common sense. If you send your front office into Goodwill with spare change, you shouldn’t expect them to come out wearing Armani suits.

I feel another vague adage coming from Buc-ee’s fit for hanging on your back porch:

Accountability.

116 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “How many playoff series did Dusty Baker win during his tenure in Cincinnati with all that talent?”

    The answer of course is ZERO which is the main reason he was fired. Big Bob’s urge to win has been on the decline more and more every year. Now he really doesn’t care that much. Having a manager who just keeps the players happy is seemingly all he cares about.

  2. Oldtimer

    Dusty Baker is the best Reds manager since Davey Johnson in the mid 1990s.

    He has won 10 division titles, 3 NL or AL pennants, and won 1 WS.

    Yes, he is the best Reds manager since Davey Johnson or Lou Piniella.

    Sparky Anderson was handed “serious talent” in Cincinnati in 1970 but never won MOY here.

    The BRM lineup varied almost every day except in the playoffs and WS games.

    Dusty Baker will likely be in HOF as manager. You will have to buy a ticket to get in the HOF.

    Probably the least useful article (article, not necessarily you) I’ve read on RLN in a long LONG time.

    • VegasRed

      Wow Richard you have written some outstanding articles on this site in the past but you missed the boat on this one. Even your quote is argues against your conclusion about lineups because it clearly states there are line ups that are the right way and certainly some that are the wrong way!

      Yeah and the amateur baseball fans on this site routinely point out Bell’s wrong lineups! If they can see that why can’t David Bell?

      A better argument would b to acknowledge that the entire Bob Castellini regime of nearly 2 decades has sucked
      pond water. This is a clown show organization from owners to the FO to the field staff and I am still waiting for a persuasive argument to the contrary.

      You have written some extremely well written articles in the past, I hope you write more in the future, and you are entitled to your views and opinions but you are going to have to really outdo yourself if you want to sell the story in this article.

      Cheers Richard! But our reds still stink.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Unless the world ends as we know it very soon Dusty Baker will be in the Hall of Fame. He has the seventh most wins of any manager all time. Every manager ahead of him in wins is in as are the five guys behind him who are eligible.

    • Darrel

      Dusty Baker is not a good manager. The writer here nailed it. Reds haven’t had a good manager since Sweet Lou.

      Regarding ownership – take a look at the last 20+ years and see how many times the Reds have had a winning season much less made the post season. Yet we are expected to continue to pay for tickets and watch these teams year after year after year. Lose. Rinse. Repeat. Ugh

      • Oldtimer

        Dusty won 10 division titles in 26 years as a manager.

        The Reds have won 10 division titles (1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1995, 2010, and 2012) EVER.

      • Justin T

        Facts matter and Dusty has a track record that speaks volumes. He did terrific here, especially since youve seen what has happened since. He has as many division titles as the oldest franchise has! With how many different teams? Get out of here. Its not even up for debate if he was a good manager. He will be in Cooperstown as a manager. Nough said.

  3. Randoxu1

    Dusty Baker is, was an will always bee a good manager. Just look at the Astros this year, pretty much the same players except the manager is gone, no coincidence. Dusty would run circles around Bell. But you are entitled to your opinion. Case in point yesterday, Sims throws about 8 pitches and god forbid he could pitch another inning, these are the kinds of decisions we see everyday. His managerial record speaks for itself and so does Dusty’s.

    • Indy Red Man

      His points are still valid though. The janitor could’ve won with the talent Dusty had. I like Dusty though and was glad he finally got a ring. Bell? I’d move on, but not his fault everyone is hitting .186. What’s the record for fewest sac flies in a season? I’ve never seen a team worse with a man on 3rd and less then 2 outs

      • Oldtimer

        The janitor could have won with the talent Sparky Anderson had. Even more so. The Big Red Machine was the best NL team of all time, yet only won two WS (and lucky Jim Rice was injured in 1975 or they might not have won that one).

      • Jimbo44CN

        Yes, valid points, and I am no Bell lover. The sad fact is that now we have decent starting pitching, and no bats. Time for a new Batting coach for sure and maybe time for a new manager too. Sometimes you just have to shake things up.

      • Indy Red Man

        So in conclusion, Sparky managed about 80% of the talent that Dusty did and won 3 rings to 1.

      • Oldtimer

        Sparky had WAY more talent 1970 to 1978 than Baker ever had. Six MVP award winners. Tons of ASG players. He never won MOY in that timeframe,

      • CI3J

        The janitor could’ve won with the talent Dusty had.

        Strongly disagree. The thing people overlook about managers and players is, managers are at least partly responsible for how well players play, both individually and as a team. Put David Bell in charge of those Dusty teams, and I don’t think they would have done as well, because Bell does not seem to be able to effectively motivate players.

        As India said: “We like Bell because he doesn’t yell at us.” That’s a very troubling quote. Sometimes, you NEED someone to yell at you in order to light a fire under you and push you to be your best. Dusty knew how to get the best out of his players. David Bell does not.

        That’s why your quote about it being “not his fault everyone is hitting .186” is partly incorrect. Yes, Bell is not the one at the plate swinging the bat. But he (and the other coaches) are responsible for motivating the players, helping them fix their problems, and holding them accountable. Clearly, no one is doing that, since the players keep making the same mistakes over and over.

        Don’t belittle what Dusty accomplished. Yes, Dusty had a talented team, but he HELPED make them a talented team by doing what he needed to do to help the players grow and become the best versions of themself, while also instilling a winning culture of sound, fundamental baseball (Rolen also helped in this regard). Dusty made his players passionate but disciplined. Bell’s players are neither.

        Put Dusty in charge of this current team, and I 100% guarantee you they will outperform what they would have done for Bell. This current team has talent. It is just not being effectively unlocked or utilized.

      • Reaganspad

        Dusty is so bad. Already litigated.

        Thanks Richard.

        Old Timer, love you but you are so wrong.

        Dusty could not manage the last Reds team he had and would be worse than Bell today because he can’t manage rookies and second year players.

      • Oldtimer

        No, I’m not. Sparky underachieved with the enormous talent he had.

        Seven seasons of 60% or better W-L record. Won two WS but lucky to win in 1975. If the Red Sox had Jim Rice (out with injury) maybe the Reds don’t win that year. The Red Sox had just defeated three-time defending WS champion Oakland Athletics to get to 1975 WS. They were plenty good enough to win at full strength.

        Even his worst Reds team (1971) underachieved. Lineup: 1B May 2B Helms SS Concepcion 3B Perez C Bench LF Carbo/McRae CF Foster RF Rose SP Gullett Nolan Grimsley McGlothlin RP Carroll Granger Gibbon.

        Sparky was a lovable guy, but he did not win as much as he should have with such fantastic talent.

        Dusty will be in the HOF someday. You will have to buy a ticket to get into HOF.

    • Ted Alfred

      “This is not a defense of Bell or Krall.”

      It sure seems like it is exactly that

  4. Steven Ross

    Incompetent Owner = underperforming team. If any organization needs an overhaul, it’s the Reds. From top to bottom. There’s no Joe Burrow-like savior walking into that clubhouse. Cut ties with Bell and hire a winner. Get an accomplished GM in too.

  5. Mark A Verticchio

    Bell not using his hottest hitter in the line up in an extra inning game yesterday while Mike Ford bats in the 10th inning is so sad and inept.

    • PReinhart

      Bring Votto back, about ready, got rid of him cause hitting, fielding, dh, Ford, Votto do no worse than him, same price and help the younger players

  6. Reinhart

    The way reds hitters hitting, ford etc, Votto about ready, bring him back, can’t do any worse or cost anymore than what they are paying ford, Mancini!!!!!

  7. LDS

    David Bell isn’t victimized by a poor roster. We were told in the off season how good this roster is. Even with the injuries, there’s no excuse for the poor execution, fundamental lapses, chasing the first pitch, etc. There’s no excuse for leaving a pitcher in to be pounded by the opposition, especially in winnable games. And lineup construction does matter. The guys at the top of the order routinely get more PAs than those at the bottom. Simple arithmetic tells you that you’d rather your better hitters getting those extra ABs. It’s actually hilarious though. All those nerds that the jocks picked on and made fun of during high school are now telling the jocks how to play the game. Now that is funny – the real life revenge of teh nerds.

    • Still a Red

      Our guys don’t swing at the first pitch. Who in the xxx are our best hitters now? Maybe someone puts a few games together. Lineups primarily matter when someone gets on base and the next person pushes them around until someone hits them in. If EDLC and Steer are our best hitters they are tending to hit 2nd and 3rd…what good is it doing. Leaving Cruz and Diaz in too long of late were probably mistakes, but how many times have they pitched out of their own trouble in the past…Diaz especially. And then who do you bring in…Sims, Farmer, Suter…real reliables.
      You know, last year’s ‘good’ roster was magic…and perhaps it has disappeared…poof.

  8. Rob

    Reads like a defensive article to me. OK, take Bell out of the equation. Put the Marte and McLain injuries in. And the writer tries to tell me this is or should be the expectation. That we should live with Ford, Capel, Hurtubise, Espinal, India, and now Kennedy. That is total garbage that that is your basic product for the next 2-3 months until more of the injured return. You use quality depth to deal with 4-6 week injuries. You bring in reinforcements to deal with 4-6 month injuries that you have known about since March. So am to believe that in March, the organization knew this was their product and that we would be behind the rebuilding Cardinals and Pirates? That is just plain awful that this is close to expectation. I would think you would fire the GM and give the new GM orders to trade whoever to fix it now. July, or for that matter June will too late. There is nothing at Louisville that is going to help now or for that matter 2025 in the way of offense. You have known that since spring training. What was your thinking in March? Ride this out until July and then watch our comeback? Newsflash: Is not working. Your team needs bats much, much better than the above AAA players. You are at a crossroads. Ride this out another 1-2 months and risk the continued hopelessness among the young players and disbelief and outrage among the fans. Getting back to 500 by October does not qualify as a turn around. Staying at 10-15 games under500, and behind the Cardinals and Pirates is a disaster and will empty the seats. The other fork is to start unloading some of 2026 prospects and get some offense in here until the next wave arrives in 2026. I just can’t see how waiting until July or December to do this makes any sense. Your prospects and your young pitchers are your most valuable commodity. Trading India, Benson, Fraley,etc. won’t do a thing except rearrange the deck chairs.

  9. Harry Stoner

    Just because a writer sets his jaw and churns out definitive sounding statements doesn’t make it any more convincing.

    This is simply more excuse making at best.

    Gaslighting at worst.

    Set up some straw men and act like a tough guy knocking them down.

    The ‘writer’ dismisses Baker with a wave of his keyboard and repeats is a victim of his own lame premise: flatulent maxims.

    “The players play hard for Bell.”

    Well, likely because he doesn’t ask much of them, it’s easy for them to feel like they’re playing hard.

    “Don’t ask me to be accountable for my play and I’ll tell you that ‘I’m playing hard’.”

    16 Ks yesterday. How many with the runners in scoring position? How many with the bases loaded? How many in the 9th inning.

    This is nothing but hot air, said with conviction.

    But it’s still hot air.

    • Stoney

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s how the Reds are playing that is most disturbing. No fundamentals whatsoever. Giving away outs on the base paths every game at the most inopportune times. Just extremely poor coaching and managing. Could care less if they like playing for him. What else are players going to say and this doesn’t translate into wins. Go get a manager that can provide guidance and show any kind of leadership. Bell is a losing manager and always will be.

  10. Grover

    I could care less who the manager is, no one is winning with this lineup. Injuries and poor performances from basically everyone from India to Steer to Benson. Get a better team then I’ll worry about the manager.

    • Justin T

      So playing with bad fundamentals and getting thrown out on the bases nightly is good with you? Broke down bullpen from overuse ok too? Just the lineup huh?

  11. Pete

    Personally, I’m willing to sacrifice this season if it means the replacement of David Bell with a qualified major league manager. I’m afraid mediocrity alone will not do the job. It will require a truly dismal season, perhaps another 100-loss year. Not saying this will do it, but mediocrity alone I know will not. Silver lining people!

    • Jimbo44CN

      Well he did get emotional the other day, getting awfully mad at a chair. How about getting mad at some of your players. Maybe they won’t “love” playing for you all the time, but maybe they start getting the job done.

    • Rednat

      yes. we need to lose 115 games. then maybe the league will step in. that is our only hope.

    • Oldtimer

      The Reds have only had one qualified MLB manager in the 21st century.

    • paleblue

      I’m with you on that. I don’t care if the players say they “know Bell has our backs”, whatever that is supposed to mean. I can remember the same excuses made for Price: “the manager doesn’t play the game”, “he doesn’t have the talent on the field”, even “the manager doesn’t matter”. At some point in time you have to make a judgement whether a guy is a net positive or net negative, irrespective of all other factors. We’ve got 5+ years of data to make that call on Bell, and people act like we can’t until he’s given a roster of All-Stars to work with. Just bizarre. And Krall — whom I actually like — was an idiot for giving him a 3-year extension.

    • Rob

      Your definition of dismal and failure is different than mine. The Pirates and Cardinals are in a rebuild and there is no acceptable reason for us to finish behind them. We are in the same stage of.rebuilding as the Cubs. In fact, I would categorize it as complete. We don’t need 2026 prospects. We should be 500 minimum. We are a much deeper team than 2023. Now if management is satisfied with the current product and believes this infamous turnaround is coming, that is an entirely different matter. You may have to get to 90-95 losses to get to their definition of dismal and failure. I would rather think that is not the case.

  12. Votto4life

    “ Let’s not get it twisted. This is not a defense of Bell or Krall.”

    It sure reads like it.

    • Pete

      I agree with you. I like Richard a lot and I believe he means well but I think the Reds could descend to any depth where he would endorse changing managers. At some point in professional sports a pound of flesh must be extracted just to keep the fan base engaged. I’m down to just listening to the games now on the radio not investing the time and effort it takes to watch the guys play.

      Just like you I am a fanatic but what we are seeing out on the field is truly unwatchable.

    • Justin T

      +500 this was written to troll the faithful Reds fans who have had enough.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Maybe his point is the manager just simply doesn’t change the outcome of 65 games a year like some of you seem to think.

    Most reasonable Reds fans were pretty excited after last season. They swept both teams in the WS at Gabp. They swept Houston and won the season series against LA and Baltimore.

    Now I’m ready to move on as well because their fundamentals are lacking, but the manager better be the all powerful Oz to keep these munchkins happy

    • Jessecuster44

      STOP KEEPING PLAYERS “HAPPY”

      You shouldn’t treat them like dirt, but you shouldn’t coddle them either.

      Winning will make them happy. Good grief.

  14. Daytonnati

    There seems to be some sort of Orwellian collective amnesia going on here.

    I have been on RLN since the Chat Dotson – Steve Mancuso – Jason Linden, etc. days. Am I misremembering the disgust and vitriol aimed at Dusty after the 2012 / 2013 playoff / wild card collapses?

    By the time of the “Cueee-to – Cueee-to” dropped-ball meltdown in the wild card playoff game in Pittsburgh, Reds fans had seen enough from Dusty. They were clamoring, begging, pleading, for Bryan Price to be elevated to the Manager’s job. They were terrified that Price’s work and growing recognition for developing the Cueto, Arroyo, Latos, Bailey, and Leake rotation would lead to losing him to a much smarter franchise that recognized his skills.

    Do we not remember Dusty insisting that there was no such thing as “urgency” until the 7th game of the World Series?

    Do we not remember insisting that Cory Patterson and Drew Stubbs lead-off game after game after game? Do we not remember “getting Cozy goin’?”

    Or am I imagining things?

    None of this is to say that I support Bell or Krall or

    None of this is to say I support Bell or Krall, or especially the Castellinis. It is about being “real” about Dusty’s tenure and the fan reaction. Does he look good in comparison to Bell? Yes … but the truth is that the fans could not wait to move on to Price. And we know how that worked out …

    • Pete

      On the other hand, I remember how Lou Pinella and Jack McKeon worked out. I agree with others if David Bell is replaced, it would probably be wise for it to come from outside the organization. Perhaps somewhat of a taskmaster wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    • Doug Gray

      You’re not imagining it. But the people showing up here today are not all the same people who showed up here a decade ago.

      • Jessecuster44

        … clears throat

        I was here a decade ago. I got sick of Dusty because he couldn’t take the team to the next level. I got sick of Price, and now am sick of Bell, because of the same thing.

      • Doug Gray

        Yes, Jesse, some people are still around that have been around since 2005. But a lot of people aren’t. And a lot more people are showing up today than were back then, too.

    • Justin T

      So if you arent supporting Bell or Krall whats your point?

      Dusty Baker isnt here anymore. Dusty Baker is a two-time All-Star, 1981 and 1982; World Series champion, 1982; and National League Manager of the Year, 1993, 1997 and 2000. Has a ring as a manager and has also taken the Giants to the World Series as a manager. He also served his country in Vietnam. He speaks 3 languages and is as well read and spoken as anyone to ever wear a uniform. His Reds teams competed every year and didn’t make the mistakes that the David Bell Reds make night after night after night after night.

      Comparing David Bell to him is absolutely ridiculous. Why are some fans so in love with a losing baseball manager?

      • Daytonnati

        My point is if you were on RLN back then, you would remember the utter contempt for Dusty among many Reds fans. I am amused by those talking now as if Dusty was some kind of Joe McCarthy or John McGraw. That just wasn’t the case in real-time.

    • CI3J

      I was also on the site at that time. And I was one of the few who was defending Dusty even back then. Yes, Dusty had some quirks that annoyed people. But the man did nothing but win, even if it didn’t translate to the playoffs.

      I never got the whole “Dusty lost the team” narrative. The team seemed to love playing for him, and he seemed to get the best out of his players. Why wouldn’t you want that to continue?

      I also remember some incident where Dusty was doing an interview and Brandon Phillips yelled something from offscreen as being some sign that Dusty had “lost the team”. It was complete poppycock.

      I wanted Dusty to stay for another 5 years. Yes, I remember all the hand-wringing about Bryan Price, but I would have still taken Dusty over him. I’m convinced if Dusty had a few more chances, he could have finally broken through in the playoffs with that Reds team.

      Feel free to go back and find my comments from 10+ years ago. I thought then that getting rid of Dusty would be a mistake, and sadly it’s gone even worse than I could have imagined.

    • Melvin

      “Do we not remember Dusty insisting that there was no such thing as “urgency” until the 7th game of the World Series?”

      I believe that’s the line that got him fired. Marty brought it up and disagreed strongly with it on air. He could do that without losing his job. No other broadcaster now can truly call people out and still keep his/her job. At least not in the Reds organization. That’s the biggest reason I miss Marty.

    • Reaganspad

      Such a great post Daytonnati.

      You and Richard are spot on. There is a post above about all the mistakes this team is making….well yes they are all young.
      That is going to happen more with EDLC than with McLain who has 3 years of good college discipline. Steer the same. Those 2 play the game differently than the other kids who are still learning on the fly.
      I keep saying that there is no way Dusty would coach this team of 20ish rookies and second year players on his 26 man roster. He is not good at developing young talent, has a penchant for ruining starters like Prior, and Wood and Strasberg. What ever happened to Mat Latos?
      I have not closed the door on Bell yet. The Reds gave up too quickly on Pete Mackanin in 2007 when he was 41-39.

      Walt comes in and has to have Dusty and the the mediocre Dusty years ensue

  15. Mark Moore

    My managerial preferences go back to the Sweet Lou era and that type. I’m 60, much more of an old-school fan, and I really don’t buy into the “love playing for him” stuff that’s get trotted out. They don’t have to hate the manager, but this does come down to the way the relationship should be categorized … managers don’t need to be best buddies with the players. Full stop. I know that’s probably not quite the goal, but it often seems to be when the “love playing for him” comes up.

    The players this year are mediocre and underperforming. I don’t think anyone can debate that (successfully). I’ve said before that Krall’s hands are pretty tied when it comes to executing trades and spending money. I still think that contract he handed Bell was completely wired from the top. Nick may have signed it, but he didn’t originate it. And, yes, injuries have bolloxed up a whole lot this year.

    For me, the bottom line for the manager is, “Would he be in this position for any other MLB club?” I could probably say the same about AAA clubs, but I won’t go there (yet). My answer is a resounding “No. He would not.” He’s fast approaching #50 of 30 on my list. I just don’t visibly see the fundamentals and discipline I would expect to see with a core of players this young. And for that, you look straight at the top. No, he won’t ever swing a bat in a game, but he should be influencing every aspect. He’s the Field Manager which amounts to COO for the game. So the buck does stop with him to get the absolute most out of what he has to work with. I’m personally not seeing that.

    ‘Nuff said from me. I’m not adding anything new. And the biggest failing is with an ownership group that just doesn’t seem to get any of it.

    • Melvin

      “He’s fast approaching #50 of 30 on my list”

      😀

  16. old-school

    The underperformance from India and stunted second year from Benson are disappointing. Injuries to McLain and Friedl hurt big time. I was a huge CES guy coming into the season but between underperformance and injury its been a horror movie. As Cowboy says, why arent they making the adjustments?

    Reds baseball IQ and understanding of situational baseball is very poor and its fair to point that out. Getting in runners from 3b with less than 2 out is something any MLB player can do. Mike Ford couldn’t do that in the first inning yesterday. Shorten your swing and put the ball in play. The defense is giving you the run. It happened in LA when runner on third one out and all Candelario had to do was roll over a 6 hopper to 2nd base and he poppep up instead. Down 2 runs late in the game earlier this year with Elly on 2nd and he runs the Reds out of the inning. Cant happen. Striking out >10x and giving away outs on the basepaths are daily trademarks of the 2024 team. I think a lot of the frustration and disappointment stems from seeing the Reds shoot themselves in the foot and its a fair question to ask how many games the Reds have lost this year from self inflicted injuries? Too many is the correct answer and most would agree on that. Does that make them the 1976 Reds? of course not, but Reds fans want to watch good execution and well played fundamental baseball and we arent getting that.

  17. Randoxu1

    Also, All the people dismissing Dusty as a manager are not seeing things clear. If Bell was fired he would never manage again. Dusty’s been fired and has kept managing because he knows what he is doing and is respected. Just a thought

    • Jim Walker

      Agree about Dusty. The reason he kept getting rocking chair jobs is because the people who hired him believed he wouldn’t break the team. From what I’ve seen of Bell, he is determined for the team to fit his vision regardless of the skill sets of the talent in hand.

  18. Jim Delaney

    A defense for David Bell due to injuries, when last year he was lauded for getting Reds to 82-80 when they had to use over 40 different pitchers.. Bell should have been fired at end of 2022 season when Reds lost over 100 games. Bell has never been able to handle a bullpen and his team seems to have enacted his quiet defeated like demeanor he shows every day in the dugout. He has made the Reds unwatchable this season. Can’t believe we are defending David Bell while also criticizing Dusty Baker. You can’t place them in same range as a Major League manager.. this article got me fired up almost as much as every time I have to see Bell hiding his face behind Padding in Reds dugout. If this terrible season leads to Bell being let go than that will be the only positive we have for the season…

  19. Rednat

    I wonder if Brantly would move from the booth to the dugout ala Pat Riley with the Lakers? He seems to have a beat on what ails the reds to me.

    • Pete

      Surprisingly, at least to me, I agree with you. Normally I wouldn’t suggest this but to finish out the year? Heck yes. He knows the players intimately and seems to have a very good grasp on what motivates players and how to make adjustments. To me it would be better than promoting Freddie Benavides to the position.

  20. RED THUNDER

    Bell > than Baker without talent ???? Bell now > than Anderson ???? Heck, lets give him another contract (10 years) before he leaves. Maybe the Rangers will want him after Bochy, lol. Next it will be Krall > than Howsam without the money. The only problem, Bell has a history and is adding to it everyday. Krall did have money to spend this year and the choices haven’t paid off. Maybe it wasn’t enough money for our liking but its now adding to his history. Most know something has to be done unless one is a member of the Fan Club. I’m not a member, just a reds fan, knowing this isn’t working. Thanks for your take on things, Richard

  21. Hanawi

    Truly amazing how much the Reds media is willing to go to bat for David Bell despite all evidence being that he is a failure of a manager.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Gabe Kapler interests me quite a bit. He held his own with LA and SD despite not having half their talent. Other then Bonds, SF never seems to get the big FAs, but they compete. I thought Kapler was like that as a player too. He hung around in the game for quite a while despite not being overly talented. I’d say Stuey has more natural gifts, but he’s not a lifetime .268 hitter. Why not?

  23. Mark A Verticchio

    Right now almost anybody would be better than David Bell. I just can’t get over the fact that yesterday Stephenson didn’t get one at bat in an extra inning game. The man has no clue and I used to think he was serviceable. Right now he is the worst manager in baseball and if the Reds get rid of him, please, I bet he never gets a job as a major league manager again.

  24. Daytonnati

    Jim Bowden in The Athletic today on which team should be making which moves at the trade deadline. He includes this on the Reds:

    B free agents for 2024-25 offseason — with options galore

    “The Reds are woefully underperforming what was expected preseason. Do you see them pivoting to sell mode? — Stephen S.”

    Bowden: “The Reds certainly didn’t expect to lose their best all-around player from last year, Matt McLain, to shoulder surgery or their expected starting third baseman, Noelvi Marte, to an 80-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, or their leadoff hitter, TJ Friedl, to multiple fractures and two stints on the injured list. They also didn’t expect Will Benson to hit under .190, Jeimer Candelario to hit .224 and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to hit .190 before also landing on the IL.

    This team is much better than it has shown offensively but because of injuries and underperformance to start the year, the Reds have been the most disappointing team in baseball to me, and that’s with their young starting pitching core of Hunter Greene, Andrew Abbott and Nick Lodolo (IL) all having strong years. The Reds should be buyers at the deadline, trying to improve their offense for the short and long term as they wait for their injured and suspended players to return. Even though they’ve played .400 ball, they’re only 5 1/2 games back in the standings for the National League’s final wild-card spot.”

  25. DW

    I rarely see the argument that players don’t like to play for Bell. In fact, it seems that the players love to play for him. But that isn’t the issue. Players loving to play for a guy doesn’t produce success. It is the manager’s responsibility to put his players, and thus the team, in the best position to succeed in all aspects and at all times. There are way too many head scratchers in Bell’s decision making, in my opinion.

    That being said, the primary issue is OWNERSHIP BEING UNWILLING TO SPEND!

    Dusty Baker won a world series last year because the Astros spent the money to field a championship caliber team. The Reds have rarely come close to that since 1990.

  26. redfanorbust

    There are always going to be great, good and fair managers. What ever your opinions are of Bell in the final analysis, Krall and Castellini are the ones who keep Bell as the manager giving him extensions and writing the checks. We can critique Bell all day every day but the real frustration should be focused on the GM/ownership. Reds have had such bad luck with injuries this and past years. We are not a team that can/will spend lots of money so when our best players go down we can’t/won’t go spend a ton to fix it. If our players had stayed healthy and performed up to expectation I am sure we would be challenging for first place in the division and we would not be having these sort of conversations/articles.
    Also in case we did not already know: (guess we have a right to be a “bit” testy)
    The Reds’ record since the Castellini’s took over is 1253-1392. Twelve losing seasons in 17 years. Only four playoff appearances; really only two, if you don’t include lame Wild Card rounds. One legitimately good team (2012). Zero playoff series wins.

  27. Justin T

    Dusty will end up in the hall of fame. Watch them night after night and if you cant tell the difference between the two of them then you are writing to try to make a point. Anyone who has watched David Bell manage knows that he isn’t very good at it. It’s been over five years for chrissakes.

    If the local fans and media would put half the energy they used to defend David Bell into demanding more from the ownership then we may have a consistent winner. Don’t spend your money. Would it kill the local media to ask a semi tough question? Local radio guys love to be the contrarian and stick up for Bell. Its a joke.

    • JohnnySofa

      Perfectly said about the local media and fans. Absolutely. Truth. Fist bumps. Amen.

  28. Andrew Brewer

    The young Reds last year, dubbed the Rally Reds, where playing a different kind of ball. They could turn it on when they needed to. When Weaver was pitching, they knew they would need to score a lot of runs and they did, very consistently. This year they are now suffering from what I call “Ken Griffey Jr. syndrome.” There’s some psychology going on with all the accolades that one Elly De La Cruz is receiving that is sinking the rest of the Reds team. How long did it take before Griffey wanted out of Cincinnati ? He was brought in with great fanfare, and great things were expected from him, and so did the rest of the players on the Reds team. And he couldn’t carry the team. He only got to the plate 4 times a game, and when he was out of the line up, then the other players stepped up and the Reds would win. It happened over and over again.
    I’m not saying to take Elly out of the lineup, I’m just saying that he gets the limelight, on a national level, and the rest of the Reds are slumping because of it. And now even Elly, who was flying high, has hit the rock pile with the rest of ’em. So much of baseball is happening on a psychological level… Yogi Berra said that 90% of the game is mental. Right now the Reds have no identity, and no cohesion as a team. How do we get that back ? The season keeps moving forward game after game, and the losses keep building up.
    Yes, it is distressing to see it all happening. The key hits are just not there. Winning has a way of compounding on itself, and so also it seems with losing. With pitchers you can plug ’em in and out, but with hitters you only have so many, and now the entire team is slumping. If depending on Elly is what’s going on, then that has to change. The game is not on Elly, the game is on each guy that comes to the plate. That’s when we will start to see things change.

    • Daytonnati

      Nice post, Andrew.

      As a Yogi devotee, I believe his quote was: “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

      • Andrew Brewer

        Exactly, but he put the emphasis on the Mental half.

  29. Jessecuster44

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But Richard, this post STINKS. Every single fan on this site is frustrated with the team, and you’ve insulted them by implying that they don’t use common sense.

    You say that Tomorrow IS actually promised. So how come under Bell and Krall, the Reds have made just one postseason appearance? How come under Banana Bob, the Reds have made just 4 playoff appearances in 18 years, and have never advanced?

    You say this isn’t Bell’s fault, and players enjoy playing for him. If the players like playing for him, but keep losing, that’s a problem. Also, Bell looks like a buffoon during pressers(“we’re playing really well!”) and makes curious lineup decisions (Tyler Stephenson would have been great to have in the lineup yesterday). The leader of your team should have public credibility. Bell does not. At all. Please don’t bring up him being asked to be on the 2024 All Star coaching staff, because that had little to do with merit.

    Bell has a losing record as manager. His teams have always faded down the stretch, except for one year in a shortened season. At some point, you are what the back of your baseball card says you are.

    Both Jack and Lou ruffled feathers. However, they won during their time here and were respected by the public. That’s something to consider.

    You use injuries and the Flu (THE FLU!) as reasons why the Reds haven’t performed. You take a subtle jab at those fans who question whether the med staff is capable. The eye test shows that something is wrong with how they treat players.

    You let Nick Krall off the hook because you say that maybe ownership wouldn’t let him spend. They let him spend $150MM last winter so I don’t think that point carries water. Maybe instead of signing Martinez and Pagan, he should have gotten a big RH OF bat.

    You preach for common sense. Common sense would dictate that if a manager hasn’t made a successful playoff run in 5+ years, you should replace him. Same thing with the GM. Same thing with the organizational approach to player evaluation and development.

    Doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results, is futile. We’re expected to trust the process? Is that common sense?

    I am hopeful your next post is better. But at this point, hope is in short supply for us Reds fans.

    • Justin T

      Amen to that. This was one of the worst articles ive read on the Reds in a long time. Any true fan of the Cincinnati Reds cannot be happy w this owner, gm, or manager. If this was year 2 or 3 then id get it. This is year 6 and its worse than ever. David Bell has failed at every aspect of managing a baseball team.

  30. SR

    I would prefer a manager that is pushing players to perform, rather than politicking for everybody to like him. With this many young players, you almost have to look at it like parenting young children. Draw the line on expectations of behaviors(pitch selection, situational awareness/baseball IQ etc.) and make sure they know when they screw up so it doesn’t happen again ( sac flies and contact to score folks from third, base-running errors that are too aggressive for a given time.
    The days of assuming they learned this at a younger age are over. As a manager, you have to get beyond what they should know, and fill the knowledge gaps. That is not happening now, and it is costing us games.
    I find it mind numbing that CES and Benson, and particularly Steer all fell off a cliff this year. They all hit .270 last year. Steer had 600 at bats. Don’t know what pitchers could be doing now that they didn’t try last year. Where is the hitting coach in all this, or did he already have a hand in it?

  31. Gpod

    If someone can name me one positive thing that David Bell has accomplished as reds manager (and the lame Covid season doesn’t count) then I would consider him continuing on as Reds skipper….the fact is, when he is finally fired at some point (whenever that may be) there will be no team in MLB that would hire him as their top man…no way-no how!

    • Mark A Verticchio

      You are 100% right in everything you say, get rid of Bell asap. I know it won’t happen. It’s sad when i watch the games when they lose, a lot, I take some solace in knowing it’s one step closer to Bell going away. He is an awful manager.

    • Justin T

      The Bell defenders never tell you what he is good at or for. They give you excuses as to why he should keep his job. They conveniently fail to mention the last five years with other rosters.

      • LDS

        They don’t tell you what he’s good at because they don’t want to provoke laughter. I’d be hard pressed to point to any of the field management team and say: “that guy is really good, let’s promote him”. The Reds just aren’t a seriously organization. They know Reds fans are gullible and will keep supporting the team regardless. There’s a reason FAs are hesitant to sign with Cincy and a reason why EDLC isn’t seeking an extension (which I think is a mistake on Boras part).

  32. Brian

    Excuses upon Excuses! That all fans ever get regarding the Reds. Every single year!!
    This ownership group is horrendous and no excuse excuses that period!!!!

  33. Justin T

    Bell had a terrific starting staff in 2019 and 2020. Good rosters in 20 and 21. Stop it. The Cincinnati Reds need a new manager and have for 2 years. The ownership and GM have also been terrible but stop with the Bell excuses.

  34. Chris Rhaye

    Hi Richard (and Doug!),

    So… I think you’re correct in your initial point that it’s hard to blame Bell (and the FO) for the outcome of this season, although I mildly disagree on defending Bell in particular. I fully, 1000% agree with you on your other point that going for it last year would have been a failure; I thought so at the time, and that’s only been solidified further with the benefit of hindsight.

    If you take a look at the players the Reds were rumored to be involved with (Giolito, Lynn, Civale — note that guys like ERod, Snell, Cease weren’t traded and Montgomery would have been an in-division trade), they all struggled severely in the second half post-trade. Additionally, if you’re looking at the 2023 deadline with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (for instance, lamenting “not going for it” because of how this season is turning out), you’d also need to be aware that the Reds *offense* was the reason for their collapse in the second half, not their pitching. There were *no* rumors about the Reds looking to add offense, and nobody can truthfully say they were pushing for it at the time.

    With the benefit of hindsight, would I have traded Connor Phillips, Lyon Richardson, Carlos Jorge, and possibly more for a player like Luis Robert Jr? Absolutely (you *should* be willing to move prospects for controllable stars almost no matter what), but there’s no indication that a player like him was available for trade and that the Reds would have been interested in them to begin with; the knowledge that we had *at the time* was that the Reds needed pitching, which they were actively targeting in trade discussions.

    Moving on to this season…

    A common refrain from Reds fans is complaining that the FO “didn’t do enough” this offseason with regards to the outfield. That’s an absolutely ludicrous rewrite of history; while it’s true that the Reds projected starters are all left-handed hitters, two of them are platoon bats in Will Benson (147 wRC+ vRHP in 2023) and Jake Fraley (116 wRC+ vRHP in his career). The Reds had strong internal options for vLHP in Stuart Fairchild (career 114 wRC+ vLHP, 147 wRC+ vLHP this season) and Spencer Steer (147 wRC+ vLHP in 2023), who also doubled as a potential DH vRHP (108 wRC+ vRHP in 2023). Additionally, they had plans in spring training to move India to the outfield; this would have given them a trio of lefty OFs in Fraley, Friedl, Benson and a trio of righty OFs in Steer, Fairchild, and India. That’s six potential startable, major-league caliber outfielders, with Rece Hinds and Jacob Hurtubise looking like internal options; they additionally signed Conner Capel to a MiLB deal during the offseason to provide further depth.

    The Reds season has been horrendously unlucky. The FO has made moves to attempt to address that; for instance, when McLain and Arroyo went down, they traded for Espinal to address the sudden lack of SS depth. What they can’t do, however, is predict the future with regards to core pieces of the team abruptly falling flat on their face. They can’t predict that Benson and Steer forget how to hit while India completely changes his plate approach to barely swing the bat. They can’t predict that covid will strike the clubhouse and Fraley will lose 10 pounds, sapping his power and bat speed.

    Let’s be clear: I don’t believe that Bell is in any way elevating this team, which is part of my willingness to move on from him; I also think it’s extremely hard to say that this season is his fault given the absolutely awful hand he’s been dealt. I do believe the FO has done as well as could reasonably be expected to both prepare for negative outcomes as well as reacting to them when they unfold (the bizarre 2 week period in April where they played without a bench notwithstanding).

    At the end of the day, this season, while miserable, isn’t in any way an indictment of the greater overall plan from the Reds organization. Even the Padres, with all their talent and money, managed to get hit with a combination of bad luck and poor performance last season to miss the playoffs. What’s important moving forward is whether the coaching staff is able to properly help the guys they viewed as a core part of the next team develop and improve and whether the FO is able to properly evaluate the current team and system, identifying where the Reds lack long-term solutions and adding talent to those areas.

  35. MBS

    I agree with pretty much everything said in the article. Especially with the constraints of the payroll.

    No manager is going to win with our team’s current construction. The talen lies with the young players, and we’re missing 3 of the best hitter from that group.

    The good news is our pitching seems to be on point. If the club wants to win this year they should do an early season trade for a big bat. I know it’s easier said than done, but hopefully Krall has reached out to a few teams.

    In all likelihood we need to hope a few bats heat up and we can claw closer to .500 by the time our injured players return.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Sorry MBS While I agree the team has had a lot of injuries, the problem is the players on the field have played with poor fundamentals and that is on Bell. That combined with Bells poor line ups and in game decisions have really hurt the team.

  36. Eddiek957

    There is a precedent of an announcer becoming a mlb manager Jerry Coleman San Diego. Not sure if he made it through an entire season. I highly doubt our w-l record would differ much under Bell or Anderson. I liked the report the only manager I thought was horrible was Price. I thought the reds shouldn’t have fired Dave Bristol. I thought Sparky was overrated.

    • Votto4life

      I saw Sparky on the Bob Braun show in 1979 shortly after he signed on with Detroit. He told Bob Braun to give him five years and he would win a championship with the Tigers. Five years later, in 1984, just as he predicted, the Tigers dominated baseball and Sparky won another championship.

      The man won three World Series with two different teams in two different leagues. I’m not sure how he is “over rated”.

  37. JohnnySofa

    I’m tired of columns like this being warmed up and served again and again. It’s just limp attempts to excuse the incompetencies of Reds management and its manager while criticizing anyone who dares to criticize the current and ongoing awfulness. This is also why the Reds continue to be mediocre at best, where “almost making the playoffs” on occasion is celebrated: because of propaganda that convinces fans that everything is just fine.

  38. Chris Rhaye

    My comment got caught by moderation D:

    Unfortunate, I’m not sure what tripped it? I didn’t curse and it wasn’t venting or ranting, just a normal comment.

    • Doug Gray

      You used a different display name with the email address than you’ve used in the past, so the system logged that as a “new” user and all new users need to have their comments approved before they get the freedom to just post without first going through the moderation queue.

      • Chris Rhaye

        Gotcha, makes sense. Thanks for letting me know what tripped it!

  39. Eddiek957

    I think all this latest rebuild needs a little more time to jell Some bad breaks haven’t helped but I’m still hopeful in the coming seasons we will be a good team

    • Votto4life

      I agree but I think the key will be this year’s MLB draft. There are players available who could really change this organization.

      My fear is Krall will blow it. If he does it may take years for the team to recover.

      Krall does things that leave baseball people scratching their heads. Signing Candelario is a good example. Most baseball writers outside Cincinnati were critical of that move. Krall thinks he is always the smartest person in the room. To others his moves just don’t make sense.

      All Nick Krall has to do is select Charlie Condon or Travis Bazzana. If you chooses someone else I will be screaming at the TV.

      • JohnnySofa

        Right about Krall. Absolutely right about Candy. The roster of former DFAs and middle-of-the-road players is a result of a ridiculous offseason — with any direction at all, they’d be able to overcome an injury or two. The lineups with former DFAs in anchor spots is on Bell and whoever is advising him.
        At any rate, I’ve never seen such promise from a previous season turn so completely awful so quickly.

      • Votto4life

        @Johnny I am still waiting for all of those Candelario doubles to turn into home runs as promised.

  40. Indy Red Man

    I know I go back to Bobby Knight alot, but he came from coaching Army and he ran the team that way. He was always searching for atleast 2 on-court leaders. Guys actually in the trenches have a more relatable experience then the general.
    Scott Rolen was a leader. Tony Perez was the go between for different guys from different cultures and big egos. A leader that can make guys accountable. I don’t see that. Bell hasn’t groomed anyone to be that. India isn’t good enough at MLB to do that. Can we find a manager with that philosophy?

    • Oldtimer

      No. The last two managers hired by the Reds are Bryan Price and David Bell.

  41. Jimbo44CN

    If we ever get a new manager, the first thing he needs to do is get rid of the stupid Viking helmet and cape. Try winning some games before celebrating a home run that makes no difference in the score.

  42. Harry Stoner

    Frankly, I think the decent SP, the ‘injury factor’ and tossing a chair or two will likely keep Bell in his job for at least another year.

    Add to that the occasional puff piece supporting Bell from a ‘serious writer’ such as the one above.

    I don’t see him getting ‘fired’ either but bumped upstairs so he’s still ‘earning’ his salary and less egg winds up on Krall’s face.

    The Bull is just as responsible for the culture of lackluster play, appalling ABs and mumbled (Bell) or hyper (Krall) denials of accountability and excuse making.

    I’ve never gone in for the Krall hagiography.
    He unloaded his pitching staff and some bad contracts.
    Check.

    Still standing pat while the team self immolates.

    But…but…but…”Sparky or Casey or Dusty or Smokey or Flakey or Goofy couldn’t win with this team!”

    What? Win the World Series?

    Maybe not, but I feel pretty certain they could win more games with this team than the current ‘manager’.

    • Daytonnati

      Harry – love your comments, but everyone is ignoring Richard’s second to last paragraph.

      “Let’s not get it twisted. This is not a defense of Bell or Krall. It’s a cry for common sense. If you send your front office into Goodwill with spare change, you shouldn’t expect them to come out wearing Armani suits.”

      Does anyone here disagree that ownership is the real culprit? If the Castellinis will not or can not afford to field a competent major league team, they should sell.

      • Votto4life

        Give me a break…Of course Castellini and Krall are also responsible. But it’s disingenuous to defend Bell for 18 paragraphs and then write “Don’t get this twisted. This is not a defense of David Bell”.

        If you want to defend David Bell fine..but then stand by your conviction and don’t use weasel words to back track at the end.

        I have always enjoyed Richard’s writing. But, this article is disappointing on so many levels. It seems it was written just to get a reaction.

      • Richard D Fitch

        Hey. There was nothing “weasel-ly” about what I wrote. I’ve said this before, but will repeat it here: I don’t know if Bell is good at his job or not. I just can’t make that judgment when he doesn’t have the talent to make the moves that would win more games.

        You obviously think you know more than Bell. Good on you. There’s a few people here who think they do, too.

        We wouldn’t go to our local dentist and tell him he’s cleaning our teeth wrong, but we have no problem proclaiming our superior baseball knowledge against those who have spent their lives doing it.

        Carry on.

      • Votto4life

        By the same token Richard, you have never ran a major league team before so how can you judge how Bob Castellini runs the club? I mean you wouldn’t criticize your dentist. Right?

        I stand by my comments.

      • Votto4life

        Also, you should apply the standard when you criticize Dusty Baker.

      • Richard D Fitch

        Anybody can buy a baseball team. Having the money to buy a team isn’t a baseball skill. You should know that and I think you do.

        The difference between Baker and Bell was one has had immense talent everywhere he’s been and the other has been saddled with much less talent. So, I’m pretty much using the same standard of judgment.

        Try again.

      • Harry Stoner

        A dentist analogy?

        Bad choice.

        Of course, if my dentist isn’t expecting any accountability out of his or her staff, doesn’t insist on sound dental fundamentals, drills when he or she should be brushing and makes excuses for sloppy work, I’m going to justifiably complain about it.

        These lame lines of reasoning keep getting pulled out here to defend Bell and Krall.

        “You’re not an MLB manager, so how do you know!”

        “You don’t complain about your cable repair person, astronaut, senator, tree surgeon (fill in the blank)!”

        Versions of: “If Bell / Krall made a decision, it must be right!”

        Really weak.

        I certainly don’t give my dentist a free pass, either.

        Try again.

      • Harry Stoner

        I appreciate the (general) appreciation, but folks here are throwing up straw men faster than EDLC is racking up Ks.

        The real argument isn’t that somehow Bell should be winning the WS with the team he has, but rather that he could be doing much much better with the team he had,

        The comparisons with Baker are simply more red herrings from the breathless know-it-all pandering of the original article.

        Every WS has a losing manager, a manager who had a great team.

        Getting through the playoffs and WS takes a fair amount of luck as well.

        Or cheating.

        Baker was brought on to the Asterisks after the trash can scandal to bring some cred and professionalism back to the team.

        What a can of worms to open about how the “Be yourself!” ethos of Krall / Bell would have handled such a nightmare.

        “Trash can banging? I like the aggressiveness!”

      • Votto4life

        No Richard. I won’t try again. Your article has already received far much more attention than it deserves.

        Perhaps you should read the 113 or so comments in this thread and I will think you will find most here disagree with your take.

        But, I mean, what do we know about writing right? After all, none of us here are William Shakespeare.

  43. Old-school

    FWIW, Cincy radio talk show host Mo Egger( he asked the question on OD 2 years ago to PC that prompted the where you gonna go diatribe) lit into David bell yesterday for not hitting Stephenson at all in a winnable game. He then went on the radio today and said he thought about it all night and asked himself was I too hard on Bell? Did I go over the top? He then said hes madder today and no Bell was wrong. Stephenson is Reds best hitter the last 3 weeks and he was left rotting on the bench when Bell said he was 100% ready and Bell chose to let Ford,etc hit when you had multiple opportunities to let Stephenson hit with tying runners on base.

    Bell said the right opportunity to let Stephenson hit never came up.

  44. Pat

    Maybe this is karma for the way Marge Schott was treated and nobody had her back!

    • Oldtimer

      Paraphrasing her own words, Marge Was Good in The Beginning but She Went Too Far.

  45. RedsMonk65

    Echo? Whose echo?

    I don’t have a dog in this race, but much of this seems condescending and just plain petty to me.

    Reds stink right now. Go Reds!