Two Major League Baseball clubs that struggled to losing seasons named new managers Sunday, with Brad Asmus taking charge of the Los Angeles Angels and David Bell signing with the Cincinnati Reds.
Asmus was named by Angels general manager Billy Eppler to replace the retiring Mike Scioscia, who held the position since 2000 and directed the club’s 2002 World Series title.
“Brad’s balance of connectivity, communication and leadership skills as well as his understanding of evolving strategies and probabilistic approach to decision making led us to him,” Eppler said.
“His knowledge, drive and growth mindset will allow him to integrate seamlessly with our players and staff and will be pivotal in advancing our culture and moving us toward our goals as an organization.”
Ausmus, 49, was an assistant to Eppler this season, when the Angels went 80-82 and missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row and eighth time in nine seasons.
Ausmus was manager of the Detroit Tigers from 2014-2017 and went 314-332 after spending four years in the San Diego Padres front office.
As a catcher, Asmus spent time with the Padres, Tigers, Houston Astros and the Angels. He was a league leader in fielding five times in his career and helped Houston to the 2005 World Series.
The Reds inked Bell, the son and grandson of former Cincinnati stars, to a three-year managerial deal with a club option for 2022.
Bell, 46, was the San Francisco Giants’ vice president of player development this past season and becomes a major league manager for the first time.
The Reds were 67-95 this past season, their fifth consecutive losing campaign, and finished last in the National League Central division. Cincinnati last reached the playoffs in 2013 but haven’t won a playoff series since 1995 and haven’t captured the World Series crown since 1990.
In April, the Reds fired manager Bryan Price, who had been in the position for five seasons and left with a 279-387 record. After a 3-15 start, the Reds named bench coach Jim Riggleman as interim manager.
Bell’s father Buddy rejoined the Reds last year as an adviser and Gus Bell, David’s grandfather, was a four-time All-Star outfielder for Cincinnati in the 1950s.
Bell played 12 major league seasons as a second and third baseman from 1995 to 2006 for Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. He reached his only World Series with San Francisco in 2002.
© 2018 AFP