Manager David Bel Joe Biagini Blue Jays Jersey l excited for Reds future

CINCINNATI — Since being introduced as the new Reds manager on Monday, David Bell has gotten right to work starting to assemble a coaching staff, going over the roster and more.

Bell, 46, took some time to sit down with MLB.com this week to discuss various baseball topics.

CINCINNATI — Since being introduced as the new Reds manager on Monday, David Bell has gotten right to work starting to assemble a coaching staff, going over the roster and more.

Bell, 46, took some time to sit down with MLB.com this week to discuss various baseball topics.

MLB.com: Managing now seems so much more about pitching management, shorter starts and maneuvering the bullpen. This is especially so in the postseason. How do you feel about the direction pitching has gone?

Bell: I think it’s exciting because there really are no rules, right? But obviously we’re dealing with human beings, so we have to put them in a position that they can go out and pitch with confidence. Outside of that, there are really no rules. It’s: “What’s our plan as an organization? How are we going to attack that? How does it work with our personnel?” Whatever we decide, we have to develop it that way as well.

I’m not going to go into it with a stubborn mindset of “this is how we have to do it.”

MLB.com: So you’re not locked into the idea a starter has to go five or seven innings?

Bell: No, that’s when you get into trouble — being locked into that. There’s definitely history you can look at and what has and hasn’t worked and why. Being proactive is important, and not just guessing when you make a decision to leave a pitcher in. You’re understanding the why and just being ahead of those decisions.

Video: Williams, Bell discuss Bell’s hiring as Reds manager

MLB.com: You have a long old-school baseball background but noted you’re open to analytics. What stats do you gravitate towards and think are the most useful?

Bell: The great thing about it is they’re facts. It’s information you can use to factor into all of your decisions. I think it’s pretty exciting from a rest and recovery and performance standpoint. You can track guys’ energy levels and everything that goes into their day, not to give guys more rest but that if you’re going to rest them, do it at the right time so you’re keeping guys fresh and healthy and increasing their performance and [keeping] guys on the field more often.

Stats, during the game, certainly OPS is one you look at. You look at the larger samples. This goes back, really, to what  Joe Carter Throwback Jersey I was taught as a kid. You look at the larger sample size. You look at the track records. That gives you a better sense of ho Joe Biagini Blue Jays Jersey w to predict what’s going to happen rather than being too reactive.

MLB.com: You can go with your gut based on what you see but also say, “My eyes tell me this, but the numbers say this,” and make the decision?

Bell: Absolutely, the gut is never going to go away, and the human element is never going to go away. Hopefully that is a strength, because of my experiences in all different jobs I’ve had and as a player. But taking information, it gives you questions to ask. You check yourself. You confirm the things that you’re thinking, but it opens your eyes and your mind to maybe things you haven’t thought of. If you don’t include that as part of your process, you’re going to miss something.

Video: Sheldon on Reds hiring Bell as team’s new manager

MLB.com: How did all of the coaching and player development jobs you had prepare you for this?

Bell: They all, in different ways, prepared for me for it. It started as a player and having some success but having a lot of failure. Looking back, I’m really grateful for those times because it helps me connect, relate and have patience but also find ways to challenge players. As a Minor League manager, I fell in love with it because of the ability — every single day — to have opportunities to impact players and make a difference from that seat.

As a Major League coach, my time with the Cardinals, that’s where I started learning to ask questions and learn more about taking information and how we as a coaching staff and players can use it. This last position [as the Giants’ vice president of player development], I was very grateful for that opportunity. It was leading a lot of people and implementing things that were really important and getting people to buy in. You’re talking about hundreds of players and almost 100 staff. That was a great experience, from a leadership standpoint.

MLB.com: Will coaching in the Major Leagues help inform how you make decisions on setting the coaching staff with this team?

Bell: Yeah. There are a lot of good people and a lot of good coaches out there, and we want to get the best. I want my coaching staff to be included in everything I do. I want them empowered to be a part of every decision, to speak up, to voice their opinion. In the end, they have to be good teammates so that when we make a decision, we’re all in it together.

MLB.com: Is it important for the bench coach to be a former Major League manager?

Bell: Not [absolutely]. I take that from the experience of being a bench coach in St. Louis, having never been a Major League manager myself. Mike [Matheny], as great as he was at his job, he hadn’t been doing it for a long time.

MLB.com: It’s been a long time for this team, and this city, since a championship was won. It seems like cynicism has built up. As the manager, how do you handle skeptics about the team, and how do you get people to want to embrace this team again after some losing seasons?

Bell: I don’t see it as skepticism, I see it as people who want to win. They want to have that success. When I look at this challenge and opportunity, that’s a huge part of what makes it very unique. I can’t say this for all cities, but in this city, this team means a lot. And to go through a process where we build it and start at a point where it’s a huge challenge, once we do have that success — for everyone in this city to experience that, it’s unique. That would be an incredible thing to be a part of — not only for the team, but for everyone in the city.

MLB.com: Looking at 2019, what do you view as the needs to improve the club?

Bell: I’m beginning the process of truly understanding all our personnel at the Major League and Minor League levels. I’ll have a better understanding of it soon, but when I look at this team on paper, I love who we have in this organization. It’s going to be a matter of putting people in a position to succeed. That goes a long way. There’s always going to be moving parts, but I love the guys we have.

MLB.com: What makes Cincinnati feel like home?

Bell: The people. We have a large family. Even outside of family, people are kind and genuine and truly care about each other and are interested in other people. We have moved around a lot, and every pla Joe Biagini Jersey ce is unique. But that’s one thing that stands out about Cincinnati. People really care about the Reds. That’s a big deal here. There’s something special about that.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.


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