Will David Bell be the 1st manager since Dusty Baker to lead the Reds to the NL Central title?

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

It's now been over 10 years since the Cincinnati Reds won the National League Central. That 2012 roster led by manager Dusty Baker, included the likes of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

Since his departure from the Reds after the 2013 season, Baker has seen his fair share of success. Baker spent two years with the Washington Nationals and compiled over 95 wins in both of those seasons. Those two seasons ended with NL East titles and postseason exits before the World Series.

After his two-year stint in our nation's capital, Baker wound up in Houston after a sign signal scandal rocked the Astros front office and resulted in the dismissal of the team's GM and manager A.J. Hinch.

Will David Bell be the 1st manager since Dusty Baker to lead the Reds to the NL Central title?

In his three-plus seasons with the Astros, Baker has won the AL pennant twice, and for the first time in his career, was able to lift the Commissioner's Trophy after winning the World Series last season.

While Dusty Baker has enjoyed success at the highest level since leaving Cincinnati, the same cannot be said for the Reds. Over the past 10 seasons, the Redlegs have struggled mightily. Since Baker's departure, the Reds haven't finished above third in the NL Central, including the shortened 2020 season in which Cincinnati made the playoffs.

But the 2023 season just feels different. The Reds have a chance to win the NL Central and as much as it may pain some of the fans throughout Reds Country to admit it, manager David Bell deserves a ton of credit.

Bell has been given the keys to a young and energetic roster full of franchise-changing players. Bell has done a tremendous job of keeping the team afloat through the beginning of the season before some of the team's top prospects arrived and while the Reds suffered through injuries to key players.

The Cincinnati Reds were projected to finish last in the NL Central before the year, but nearly halfway through the 2023 season, David Bell has his team in playoff contention. Bell could very well be the first Reds manager to lead the team to the NL Central since Dusty Baker did so in 2012.

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