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Three weeks after ending the 2018 season, the Cincinnati Reds picked David Bell as their 63rd manager in franchise history.
“He’s a tough guy, tougher than people think,” said Reds owner Bob Castellini, who will introduce Bell at a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday. “He’s smart. He’s done everything in baseball. He’s been a player, a coach. He’s been in player development.
“I like the way he handles himself. He’s a one-on-one person.”
Bell, 46, is a Moeller High School product. He completed his first season as the San Francisco Giants’ farm director. As Reds manager, he agreed to a three-year contract with a club option for 2022.
The Reds interviewed at least 12 candidates for their managerial decision before selecting Bell. He was one of three candidates, along with Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus, who received second interviews in the past week.
Bell was reportedly a finalist for the Toronto Blue Jays job and interviewed with the Texas Rangers.
The Reds reportedly wanted former Yankee manager Joe Girardi, who withdrew from the search Friday.
“He wanted another year off,” Castellini said.
Bell was a third-generation Major Leaguer and had a 12-year playing career. His grandfather, Gus, is in the Reds Hall of Fame and his dad, Buddy, is a senior advisor in the organization.
Bell will be a part of the fourth father-son duo to serve as managers in MLB history. His dad previously managed the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals.
Before moving into the Giants’ front office, Bell spent five years on Major League coaching staffs. With the St. Louis Cardinals from 2014-17, he was an assistant hitting coach in his first season, then became Mike Matheny’s bench coach.
Bell was a third-base coach with the Chicago Cubs in 2013 on Dale Sveum’s staff. Prior to his promotion to Major League staffs, Bell spent four years as a manager in the Reds’ organization. He managed Double-A Carolina from 2009-11 and Triple-A Louisville in 2012.
The Reds haven’t reached the playoffs since 2013, ending the last four seasons with more than 90 losses and last-place finishes in the National League Central. Former manager Bryan Price was fired on April 19 following a 3-15 start to the season.
Bell led Moeller to a state baseball championship in 1989. He was a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Indians in 1990 and played in the 2002 World Series with the Giants.