Reds feel Bell is ‘right guy moving forward’ as they extend his contract

Reds manager David Bell is introduced before a game against the Pirates on Opening Day on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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Reds manager David Bell is introduced before a game against the Pirates on Opening Day on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Manager is 184-190 in three seasons

The Cincinnati Reds signed manager David Bell to a two-year contract extension through 2023 on Wednesday, making the announcement hours after an afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was postponed by rain.

General Manager Nick Krall said he expects the rest of the coaching staff to return as well.

“I think we’ve talked about this all year, extending David,” General Manager Nick Krall said. “He’s done a great job with the team we have right now. It’s just natural he would be leading us. We made the playoffs last year. We had a good run this year, and we still have a chance. We’ve got a guy in the spot who knows how to run a major league clubhouse and dugout, and we feel he’s the right guy moving forward.”

The Reds hired Bell, 49, in October 2018. His overall record in three seasons is 184-190 (.482).

The team finished 75-87 in 2019, his first season. Bell managed the Reds to a 31-29 record in the 60-game 2020 season as they ended a streak of six straight losing seasons and advanced to the postseason — thanks to a 16-team expanded format — for the first time since 2013.

This season, the Reds appeared on their way to a wild-card berth until a late-season collapse that has seen them fall four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals with 10 games to play.

If Bell manages through the 2023 season, he would have one of the longest tenures of a Reds manager since Sparky Anderson managed the team for nine seasons (1970-78). Dusty Baker managed the team for six seasons (2008-13). Pete Rose had the reins for four full seasons and parts of two others from 1984-89.

“It’s an incredible honor to work for this organization,” Bell said, “and to be in this position to manage the team and work with this group of coaches and Nick and his staff. I’m ultimately loving every opportunity I have to be with these players. I’m just really thankful to be able to continue really all the work we’ve done together. There’s been a lot of progress in this organization, and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of that team. The only focus I have right now is finishing the season strong and accomplishing what we set out to do at the beginning of the year. That’s the focus. It’s nice to know I’ll be ale to continue that and striving for success in years to come.”

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