Former D-back Jay Bell named new manager of Trash Pandas

Jan 7, 2020, 4:00 PM | Updated: 7:26 pm
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Former Arizona Diamondbacks World Series champion Jay Bell got a new gig on Tuesday.

Bell was named the manager of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Double-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels.

We will address your first concern here, which should be, “The Trash Pandas? Excuse me?”

There was a three-month period in the back-half of 2019 in which ideas and voting were spread for the new minor league baseball team in Madison, Ala., per WHNT News 19.

The Southern League franchise is a relocation for the Mobile BayBears (a former D-backs affiliate) and 2020 will be the inaugural season in Madison, where a new 7,500-capacity ballpark is being built.

There was a vote for two different aspects of the name: the location and the mascot. In the vote on the region identifier, 67% voted for Rocket City over North Alabama and Madison.

For the mascot, Trash Pandas beat out Thunder Sharks, Moon Possums, Space Chimps and Comet Jockeys.

The Trash Pandas was a name created by a contest winner, who was awarded two box seats for the first five seasons of play and will throw out the first pitch at a home game this upcoming season. The fan did not say it was inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy films, where the term for a raccoon comes from.

The description given during the naming contest for Trash Pandas said, “Our community is known for engineering, and no creature in our galaxy is as smart, creative, determined and ingenious a problem solver – dedicated to the challenge at hand – as our local raccoons!”

Over 28,000 total votes were cast over the process, the most for this type of process that has been seen from time to time for a minor league baseball team.

Anyway, for Bell, he was a hitting coach for the BayBears in 2012 before getting his first managerial job with the Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees in 2017, where he continued to rise the ranks in the Yankees’ minor league system. He managed the Double-A affiliate Trenton Thunder in 2018 and last season was in charge of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Triple A. In all three years, Bell took his team to the playoffs.

Bell had an 18-year career in the majors as a player, including with the D-backs from 1998-2002. In that stretch, he famously scored the championship-winning run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against the Yankees.

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