David Bell
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David Bell named new Reds manager

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The Reds have officially named David Bell as the new club manager for the 2019 season, according to a team announcement on Sunday. Bell signed a three-year contract with the organization and is slated to remain on staff through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022. A press conference will be held on Monday at 11:00 AM EDT to introduce the new skipper.

Bell, 46, beat out a slew of candidates that included former MLB managers Joe Girardi, Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and MLB coaches Hensley Meulens, Charlie Montoyo, Rocco Baldelli, Freddie Benavides, Billy Hatcher, Tom Prince, Tom Princes, and Pat Kelly. Following last week’s news that Girardi had voluntarily withdrawn from consideration, Bell appeared to be the clear frontrunner for the position.

Though Bell was also reportedly considered for managerial vacancies in the Blue Jays and Rangers’ orgs, Cincinnati presented more of a natural fit for the former third baseman. Not only was he born and raised in the city, but his grandfather, Gus, and father, Buddy, had each spent significant parts of their major-league careers with the Reds. Buddy currently serves as the Reds’ vice president and senior advisor to general manager Nick Krall.

Bell never played for the Reds during his 12-year career in MLB, but he later served as Double-A and Triple-A manager of their minor league affiliates from 2008-2012, when he racked up a 227-332 record with the teams. He later took back-to-back gigs as a third base coach and assistant hitting coach/bench coach for the Cubs and Cardinals, respectively, and spent his 2018 season in the Giants’ front office as VP of player development. He’ll replace interim manager Jim Riggleman, who was named to the position following Bryan Price’s dismissal in April.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.