“It’s a reminder of how many people care about our team,” Bell said Thursday at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus. “It’s incredible to see that. You get to meet people and talk about our team. There’s a lot of excitement right now. I’ve been in Cincinnati all winter, so I know what’s going on there, but to experience that out in Reds Country, it’s fun to see. It’s such a nice surprise to see how big Reds Country is and how much support we have.”
» PHOTOS: Reds Caravan in Columbus
The Reds suffered their sixth straight losing season in Bell’s first year on the job. However, they improved their win total (75-87) by eight from 2018 (67-95) and ended a streak of four straight seasons in last place in the National League Central Division.
The free-agent signings of Moustakas, starting pitcher Wade Miley and outfielder Shogo Akiyama have raised hopes the Reds can return to the postseason for the first time since 2013 and compete for their first division title since 2012.
Bell sees the optimism when he’s out and about in Cincinnati.
“It’s definitely all positive, and there’s a lot of excitement,” Bell said. “It feels different than last year even. I think we made a lot of progress that people saw last year. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but there were signs people could get excited about with the group we had. That’s how we feel about it. I think the fans are perceptive and they saw the same thing. Now we’ve added to that. A weeks away from spring training, the excitement is evident.”