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December 9, 2019

David Bell

San Diego, California

Q. Cancelled your October vacation plans for next year already?
DAVID BELL: I never have October travel plans.

Q. Is it weird, though, like every -- when people come up to you about signing Moose and some of the other stuff that's positive, have you been hearing it from industry and your peers?
DAVID BELL: There's a ton of positive momentum for good reason, I think. Living in the city, living every day at the park and seeing all the work and the commitment we have to winning, to build really on what I believe to be a great foundation. It didn't produce the results that we know are going to be there last year, but a lot of progress behind the scenes. Really a great foundation for success.

Now we're just committed to making that better in every way. As a manager of a group of guys that I believe in, I love our team. I love the group that we have. I also understand the commitment the organization has to winning. I know things change, and we'll continue to improve even more.

But it gives you a lot of confidence when you love the group you have, and we're only going to do everything we can to get better.

Q. Do you get the sense here, that because you guys are planning on being aggressive and you've already made one big signing, that you're getting approached differently, just by either people you know in the industry or just people reaching out to say, hey, you guys are doing some stuff? How does that make you feel as a manager even though you're not necessarily front line on all those deals?
DAVID BELL: It's nice. Of course it's nice. It's pretty obvious during a lot of the moves we've made and a lot of the public information that we're committed to work, there's no doubt. But that doesn't really compare to being in it every day and really knowing on a deep level the amount of work and commitment to just the work by so many people to improve our organization in so many ways.

It's really exciting to be a part of. So, of course, it's nice to hear that from people on the outside, but it doesn't surprise me because I know I'm living it, and I'm grateful to be in this position to be able to contribute.

Q. How much are you involved in the front office talks?
DAVID BELL: I am involved. Fortunately, they're doing an unbelievable job. They allow me to be part of the discussions. They give me a voice. I'm able to have an opinion. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. We all care so much about this team, and I'm close to it. To be able to have an opinion, I just couldn't imagine not. At the same time, I'm very grateful because I know that's not always the case.

To have the ability to go in every day, be a part of these discussions, and really to be able to learn and understand and listen to what's going on and be able to take it all in and every now and then have some input that could contribute to what we're doing, not only on the field, but how we're building things within the organization is, again, something that -- it's kind of how I dreamt of this happening, but to really be able to do it, I really appreciate the guys in the office allowing that to happen.

Q. Have you made any practice lineups yet? Do you get into that?
DAVID BELL: You know, it's -- I think about it all the time, to be honest. I haven't -- it's something that we talk about a lot, but it's not so much the lineup necessarily, just how everything fits together, how the personalities fit together, the positions, how it's constant. You're thinking about how it's all going to work.

To add a guy like Moose to a group of guys that I got to know really well last year, our believing how close we are to winning and knowing that we're like a step away from making that happen, add him and his personality and his expectations and his drive to win into that mix, I mean, it's hard not to think about it every day and think about the dynamics of how all that is going to come together.

Q. After having a few months now to reflect on how you used him, how did you feel the way you used Lorenzen in that final month worked, and how do you think it's going to inform your decisions in 2020?
DAVID BELL: It did. What the last month did is confirmed that I held him back too much before that point. I don't have any regrets, but at the same time, it showed that this guy's an elite athlete. He's capable of helping us in more ways than just on the mound, which I think I had to see it to believe it, as much as I talked about giving him that opportunity, there's some hesitation there.

So for me to go through that process of putting him in those positions and seeing him have success, that was important for me as well as it was for him.

I still don't know for sure how it's going to work out, but I do know that I'm going to do a better job of not holding him back and still being aware of his physical health and all that, but find ways to allow him to contribute in more ways.

Q. David, now that you've had a little more than a year of heading up a coaching staff and being part of an organization, it seems very aggressive in trying to make sure it's at the cutting edge of what's available right now. How do you relate to how different it is for a manager and how he exists with his coaching staff and how those responsibilities have changed over time?
DAVID BELL: Coaches, I can't say how important it is to have a great coaching staff. I think it's more -- well, I know it's more important now than it's ever been. Those guys are talented. They're great teammates. They do a great job. They actually do such a great job it creates more space for me to do my job and have time to build relationships, to communicate with players, to connect in all those ways.

So I have so much trust in them that they're making us a better team. They make our players on our team better individually every day. That's what they're dedicated to. They have great expertise, experience. They're very talented, talented group. I know there's a lot of good people out there, but we're really thrilled with the group we have.

Q. Is there anything to the idea that Big League managers are increasingly becoming more like NFL coaches in that they sort of have coordinators under them and that kind of structure?
DAVID BELL: Well, I think -- yeah, that's a good way to look at it. There's different areas of the game. To have a coach kind of heading up that department, not only for our Major League team, but in a lot of ways connecting to the minor leagues in that area. I think it's a smart way to do it.

Like I said, the best thing about it, of course, engaged in every area, but having it set up like that does breed space for really hopefully allowing me to do my job better.

Q. Derek Johnson was named Coach of the Year by Baseball America heading into his second season now. What are you looking for to improve on in terms of next year?
DAVID BELL: What am I looking for --

Q. In Derek.
DAVID BELL: Derek did a great job. He's a great coach, a great teacher. He had a big impact on our season in a lot of ways, certainly for our pitching staff. I think Derek, without speaking for him, the big thing going into next year for him is we've had a year together as a group, as a coaching staff, to get to know our personnel better, get to know our pitchers better. He's only going to be better, and hopefully we all are, just having that familiarity with all of our personnel.

Q. Is it strange to you that you were (indiscernible) David Ross as a player and now he's in the division, just how quickly it is you think that -- your playing career ended a while ago, and still you're relatively young, but you see these guys so quickly -- Carlos Beltran, another guy you were against -- and now Ross as well.
DAVID BELL: It's nice to see there's no one real path for sure to get to the Major Leagues as a coach or a manager or really any important position in this game. I think it really can come from any direction now. I think it says a lot. I think it's smart because I think there's experience you can gain in so many different ways. Really it comes down to leadership and communication, all the things you hear about.

If you can be good at those things, we all have the baseball knowledge through our experiences to bring all that together.

So I'm happy for David. It will be fun to compete against him. I don't think I ever played against him, but you look at his background, great player, being on really good teams and having the experience of being a broadcaster and all that, that's really good experience. I think he's going to really do well.

Q. Were you with Carlos?
DAVID BELL: He was gone by the time I got there, but all the players on that team when I got there, they talked about Carlos all the time, just the impression he left on them, the influence he had on that group, the hitters, but really in all areas of that team. It doesn't surprise me. I haven't been around him, but from that experience, he'll be a great manager.

Q. What advice would you give to first-time managers their first year?
DAVID BELL: I can only -- I don't know that I can give anyone any advice. The one surprise I had this year, you think you're prepared and you do everything you can to prepare.

The one nice surprise I had was I was able to find time to enjoy it, and that was nice. I think that had a lot to do with all the work everyone else was doing around me, great coaching staff we have.

But creating that space around you just to be able to do the things that you care about and love to do, for me, it's having some time to communicate and get to know people better and hopefully make a difference that way. That would be my only advice, you know, is to make sure you have that space around you.

Q. Do you think there will be any noticeable managing changes for you after doing it for a season? Would you do anything differently?
DAVID BELL: I hope so. I hope I get better every year. I think the big thing that I already kind of talked about is just really getting to know our people better, not only really on our team with the players, but just people within the organization and just getting a lot more comfortable with my surroundings really. You try to accomplish so much in one year that it takes time to get to know people.

I think what we'll see on the field is just knowing the players better because really the job is to put guys in positions to succeed, right? And knowing what will allow them to do that better just by knowing them better. I think that will be a big step.

Q. If you guys don't add a shortstop, how comfortable are you with Freddy Galvis doing that job on a daily basis?
DAVID BELL: Very comfortable. I've watched Freddy play for a long time. He was gone for a couple months last year. He's as solid of a shortstop as you can get. He makes the routine plays. He has range. I have no concerns there.

On top of that, I got to know him well enough last year, and I heard this coming in, the guy also can really compete. He loves to play the game. He also is a great teammate, makes people around him better. So to have that presence in the middle of the field, we're in a great position. It was a great pickup last year.

I also believe, seeing him over the course of the year in our ballpark, he continues to get better offensively as well.

Q. What's the advantage to having (indiscernible) in the lineup? I saw last year you had a lot of pitching (indiscernible) best lefty-righty lineups, but having a guy that you can put in every day kind of?
DAVID BELL: He's -- to have a guy -- I know you spent some time with him, but spending half a day with him, really, you only need five minutes to know this guy's going to want to be in the lineup every day. He competes very well against left-handed and right-handed pitchers.

I still believe in keeping guys healthy and keeping him fresh and strong, but this guy is going to want to be out there. He has one goal, and that's to get to the postseason. He's not going to accept anything short of that. It will be my job to keep him healthy and all that. But he's going to want to be out there every day. We want our guys to approach it that way. We have a lot of guys that want to be out there every day.

They did a good job of trusting me on that because I know it was probably frustrating at times because they all want to play every single day. So I think that process of getting to know each other for a year will help us this year too?

Q. Did you catch up with Joey a little bit at Reds Fest this week? He's had two years in a row that are not up to his standards. Is there anything that you're sensing from him confidence-wise or preparation-wise or just general Joeyness?
DAVID BELL: He's focused. I caught up with him briefly. I've seen him since then. We met up a couple times. What can you say? I believe in this guy in every way you can imagine. I mean, he's human. I mean, by most people's standards, he still had a solid year last year. I believe he's going to continue to improve upon that.

Like I said, I believe in him in every way possible -- the work ethic, the commitment, the drive. He's going to be better.

Q. The question about Moustakas primarily now with his lack of experience at second base, has defense at second become less important in recent years because of more balls in the air and more shifting?
DAVID BELL: It very well could be the case. It's hard for me to say that any position on the field is less important. I mean, defense is still important, no matter how you cut it. We wouldn't have signed Moose if we didn't believe that he was going to be a solid second baseman. I've seen him play enough. I've seen the way his feet were, having experience at both positions. I have no doubt that he's going to be solid there.

Of course, the positioning, that's our job, to put him and the rest of our infield in the right position. I think that will help all of our guys, but Moose can play second base. And this is taking nothing away from what he did at third base because he's a solid third baseman, but I believe over time he's even going to be better at that position, just based on what it takes to play that position compared to third base.

Q. Do you see him playing both positions or only second base?
DAVID BELL: Yeah, I think the way you look at our team, the obvious spot where he fits in right away is at second base, but things happen, and he's going to be with us at least four years. So having the ability to play first base, play some third base, I wouldn't -- I really wouldn't hesitate to put him at short every now and then. He has that kind of feel and that kind of presence and awareness on the field, not that he's going to play there a lot.

So having that flexibility with him over those four years, that will really come into play, I'm sure.

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