Diamondbacks’ Lovullo honors Mike Bell, adds David Bell to MLB All-Star Game staff

May 15, 2024, 1:40 PM

Torey Lovullo and David Bell...

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and Reds manager David Bell pose for photos after Lovullo announced Bell would join his All-Star Game staff. (Arizona Sports Photo/Alex Weiner)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Alex Weiner)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo had a specific, personal reason to select Cincinnati Reds skipper David Bell to join his All-Star Game staff this summer, and that was to honor the late Mike Bell.

Mike Bell, David’s younger brother, was in charge of Diamondbacks player development for nine years (2011-19) and spent 13 years in the organization. He died in 2021 at 46 years old after a battle with kidney cancer, and his stamp remains on Ariozna’s roster.

Lovullo had plenty of ties to the Bell family that played into the decision, which fell on him as the National League-winning manager in 2023.

He and David played together on the 1995 Triple-A Buffalo Bisons (Cleveland) before Bell embarked on a 12-year MLB career.

Bell’s father, Buddy, was a coach and mentor to Lovullo in Cleveland’s system when Lovullo was rising as a minor league manager during the early 2000s.

“That is that is a very strong reason, but the strongest reason is because of his brother,” Lovullo said in a joint media session with David on Wednesday, before the D-backs faced the Reds.

“Mike ran our player development for a number of years. He has relationships with just about all the young players you’re watching on the baseball field perform at a high level. I just wanted to honor Mike the best way I could. It just makes so much sense for me personally and professionally to ask David to join us. And it’s an honor to have him.”

“Mike and I spoke a lot,” Bell said. “I feel like I know people throughout (Arizona’s) organization probably a lot better than I do. Torey and Mike had a close relationship, I know. … To be able to do this with Torey, it just means very much to me and my family.”

Torey Lovullo wanted to ask David Bell about MLB All-Star Game role in person

Lovullo offered Bell a spot on his All-Star game staff before a spring training game. He walked up to Bell outside a dugout at Salt Rivers Fields.

Bell texted back and forth with family during the game and thought about chasing Lovullo down the line to accept. He settled for a phone call on the drive home.

Lovullo said he was allowed to bring one guest manager, so he thought about the pick over the winter.

This was his first opportunity to do something like this. Lovullo was a bench coach for the 2014 All-Star Game after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series under manager John Farrell.

Picking Bell was a no-brainer.

“I admire the way he runs his team, I admire his love for the game and that’s deep-rooted,” Lovullo said. “That is a Bell family quality. I’m honored to tap into it. This is a good baseball story.”

Mike Bell and Lovullo overlapped for three seasons in Arizona before Bell took a job as the Minnesota Twins’ bench coach. David Bell said the thumbprints left behind by his brother in Arizona connect him to the club.

“Mike, it’s unbelievable. I mean, it still seems like he’s here,” David said. “Mainly because there’s so many people on Torey’s staff right now who were close with Mike, so many staff members throughout the Diamondbacks’ organization, current D-backs players or former D-backs players I see around the league.”

When is the MLB All-Star Game?

The All-Star Game is in Arlington, where Lovullo and the D-backs faced the Texas Rangers in the Fall Classic.

The Midsummer Classic is on July 16.

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