Are the Cincinnati Reds firing manager David Bell following the team’s 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves?
Probably not. But they absolutely should.
One of the fundamental roles of the manager is situational awareness. He needs to know which hitters to go after and which ones to avoid – particularly with the game on the line.
Bell is clearly lacking in that department.
In the bottom of the 13th inning of Wednesday’s game, Atlanta had guys on first and third. Second base was wide open and it was Freddie Freeman’s at bat.
Yes, the same Freddie Freeman who recorded a .341 batting average, 13 home runs and 53 RBI in a shortened season for the Braves.
The move here was clear to everyone except the one person getting paid to strategize in these situations – walk Freeman.
Things are getting spicy in the SEC. https://t.co/s9HNhVlZBu
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 30, 2020
Instead, Bell had Amir Garrett to pitch to the four-time All-Star.
Everybody knows what happened next.
After the game, Bell attempted to rationalize his decisions, but it went about as well as his gameplanning.
Reds manager David Bell talks about the offensive struggles and takes the blame for a poor base running mistake in game 1 vs Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/PwQjPqq78l
— FOX Sports Cincinnati (@FOXSportsCincy) September 30, 2020
At the end of the day, the room for error at this juncture is minimal. Managers are there to navigate the murky waters of high-pressure situations and make the right calls.
When they don’t do that, they cease having a purpose.
One way or another, Bell will get a chance to redeem himself. But unless he does something truly special, come season’s end, Reds brass and fans should hold him to account.