April 18, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell (3) looks out over the dugout railing against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
On Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized a list of 11 candidates that will vie to become the franchise’s next Manager. The search is being conducted by General Manager Dave Stewart, senior Vice-President of Baseball Operations DeJon Watson, and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.
This is a great list of candidates filled with differing levels of experience, and insight. However, if there is one guy that I want to be the next Dbacks manager it’s former Snakes legend Jay Bell. To me he would be the perfect fit.
First of all, Bell has been a valuable member of the Diamondbacks at different times during his career. Bell was an original Diamondback, and he was a valued member of the 2001 World Championship club. He scored the franchises most important run in franchise history, the one that gave the Dbacks a 3-2 game 7 win over the Yankees, giving the state of Arizona it’s first ever professional sports championship.
His history with the Diamondbacks organization goes way beyond the magical 2001 season. He led the team in home runs and runs in 1999 when Arizona became the fastest expansion franchise to make the playoffs. He is in the top 10 in franchise history in HR, runs, total bases, walks, doubles, triples, and walks.
His connection to this franchise and this community will garner him instant respect with the front office, the fans, and most importantly the players.
After losing confidence in former manager Kirk Gibson, they need someone who can lead them back into contention in 2015. The players have to play hard for their manager if the team is going to have success.
Secondly, he has a wealth of baseball knowledge, and coaching experience. This season he severed as the Reds hitting coach under first year manager Bryan Price. Before that he served as the Pirates hitting coach in 2013. He was also the Dbacks bench coach from 2005-2006.
Bell also said he would craft his managerial style from what he learned from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. The Diamondbacks could use a manager like Hurdle in their dugout.Hurdle like Bruce Bochy and Buck Showalter understands the game, he is a great motivator, and he is fun to play for.
Now, I understand that La Russa might want to pick someone with St. Louis Cardinals ties, but Stewart is going to have a big role.
If I were Stewart, I would pick the guy who is a great leader, knows the game, can lead a young team back into contention, and will command respect. To me that guy is Bell.
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