Kansas City Royals Wiretap
Cleveland Indians bench coach Buddy Bell was hired as manager of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, taking over the team with the worst record in the majors.
Bell's contract with Kansas City runs through the 2007 season. He will be in uniform when the Royals begin a series with the New York Yankees tonight, ESPN Insider Jerry Crasnick reports.
General manager Allard Baird told ESPN.com that he was prepared to wait until the end of the season to hire a new manager, but said he decided to act quickly because he was convinced Bell was the right fit for the organization.
"We're in a rebuilding mode," Baird said, "and it's all about direction, development and winning ball games. Buddy has been involved in a rebuilding mode in Cleveland for a couple of years, and he has a presence about him.
"The other thing I like is that he was brought to the big leagues at 20 years old, and by age 21 he was on his first All-Star team. He knows the challenges for young kids, and we have a lot of 21, 22 and 23 year-old kids."
After giving up a first inning run, Kenny Rogers settled down and pitched six more innings without yielding another run on the scoreboard. He improved his ERA to an AL-best 1.69.
"He never pitches according to the score. He's trying to put a shutout inning up there and get us back in the dugout," manager Buck Showalter said.
"He didn't have his great stuff. He went more with his fastball because his changeup wasn't that sharp," catcher Sandy Alomar said. "But he got people out. He just creates stuff. He mixed it up. He knows how to survive."
Cleveland bench coach Buddy Bell became the first candidate to interview for the Royals' managerial vacancy, and it appears that former White Sox manager Jerry Manuel will be next to interview.
Manuel, the first-base coach for the New York Mets, confirmed that he will be interviewed on Friday in or around Miami.
?I'm very excited,? Manuel said. ?I'm looking forward to it.?
?The process has started,? Baird said. ?Other than that, there's nothing really new to report.?
In addition to Bell and Manuel, the Royals' list of candidates includes Art Howe, Terry Collins and interim manager Bob Schaefer.
The Royals picked up their first win since Tony Pena resigned as manager, beating the Devil Rays by a final score of 7-5 in a rain-shortened game.
``I'm sure Tony will be happy for us when he hears we won tonight,'' said 22-year-old second baseman Ruben Gotay, who had an RBI single in the Royals' two-run sixth that made it 7-5. ``All he ever wanted was just for us to win.''
``I just wanted the guys to be aggressive,'' said interim manager Bob Schaefer, a candidate to replace Pena full-time. ``I was proud of the way they swung the bats and put some runs on the board. It was fun to watch.''
Tony Pena resigned as manager of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, less than two seasons after he was the American League manager of the year.
The move came hours after the Royals lost 3-1 to the Blue Jays in Toronto and fell to an AL-worst 8-25.
Royals spokesman Aaron Babcock said Pena would be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Bob Schaeffer.
``I feel that at this time we have not played to the top of our abilities,'' Pena said in a statement released by the team. ``The Kansas City Royals are on the right track by committing to their young players, and I believe the Royals will be contenders for a long time if they don't change their direction.''
Royals May 2005 Archive