Reds' recent turnaround has effectively silenced (most of) David Bell's critics

The David Bell haters can't say much at the moment.
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

David Bell will always have his critics — it comes with the job of being a major league manager. But even Bell's harshest critics have to be impressed with the recent turnaround the Cincinnati Reds manager has helped to engineer over the last few weeks.

The Reds were left for dead by a number of disillusioned fans who believed that this was the year in which Cincinnati would finally return to the postseason. After all, the front office invested in several free agents, a number of skilled rookies were looking to build on their 2023 successes, and the Reds happen to play in one of the weaker divisions in Major League Baseball.

But after a 14-10 start, the Reds fell flat on their face. The team's West Coast trip — as it seems to do every single year — slowed an otherwise fine start to the 2024 season. Once Cincinnati posted a 20-30 record in late-May, it looked as if Bell might not even finish the season as the Reds' skipper.

Reds' recent turnaround has effectively silenced (most of) David Bell's critics

But the Reds have flipped the script and are right back in the thick of both the NL Central race and the chase for the NL Wild Card. And while some Reds fans never want to utter a single positive word about Bell's performance as Cincinnati's manager, you have to give credit where credit it due.

Managers are the scapegoats when things are going bad, but never get a lick of respect when the team is winning. Sorry, but that type of hypocrisy just doesn't work. You can't blame Bell when the Reds and are losing only to turn around and not offer any praise when the team gets back in the win column.

Bell is not a fiery guy — unless you're a chair in the dugout — and that's been a sticking point for some Reds fans since he took over as manager in 2019. But a Lou Piniella-like outburst isn't necessary every time a player makes a mistake on the base paths, has a terrible at-bat, or misplays a ground ball.

Some fans will point to Bell's win-loss record as a reason for the Reds to move on. While it's true that Bell's overall mark is below .500, the best manager in baseball wasn't going to squeeze 70 wins out of the 2022 squad that was torn down from the inside out prior to the start of the season. Bell has a winning record in three of his first five seasons as the Reds manager.

You can't blame David Bell when the Reds lose & not give him credit when Cincy wins

At the end of the day, it's about the players on the field. The Reds' recent surge is a credit to the likes of Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, Nick Lodolo, and the rest of the team that have begun to click with a difficult month of May now in the rear view mirror.

If the Reds can get healthy over the next month or so and witness the return of rookie infielder Noelvi Marte, this team is in prime position to make some noise in both the NL Central and the National League as a whole.

You don't have to like Bell, but it's incredibly hypocritical to chastise him when the team is struggling and not offer praise when Cincinnati is winning.

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