On Friday, MLB franchise Minnesota Twins announced that their bench coach Mike Bell had tragically passed away aged 46. The Twins cancelled batting practice and their late-afternoon workout on Friday, while also informing the Atlanta Braves that they were considering calling off their scheduled game. However, the spring training game went ahead as scheduled at the request of the Bell family.
In the latest MLB news, the Minnesota Twins confirmed the passing of their bench coach Mike Bell on Friday. In a statement released by the AL Central Division franchise, the team paid their tributes to Bell, who was 46 years old at the time of his passing. "The Minnesota Twins are devastated by the loss of Mike Bell. In his short time with our club, Mike had an indelibly positive impact, not only on the quality of our team on the field but most importantly upon every one whom he met. Widely respected in our game, all who knew Mike, on and off the field, are better for the experience. The Twins join the baseball world in mourning Mike’s untimely passing," read a statement from the team.
The entire Minnesota Twins organization is saddened by the death of current bench coach Mike Bell, who passed away today at the age of 46 from cancer.— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) March 26, 2021
At the request of the Bell family, we will play tonight’s game in honor of Mike. pic.twitter.com/3Eq2N08aUO
Only last month, the Twins had announced that Bell had been diagnosed with kidney cancer during the offseason and had undergone a surgical procedure in January. Bell took an indefinite leave from the team last month and was not with the Twins this spring as he spent his final months alongside his family at home in Arizona. It was confirmed that Bell eventually passed away due to cancer.
Bell joined the Twins staff as bench coach prior to the 2020 season following a 13-year stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks, moving up from minor league manager at the Short-A and Single-A programs to the vice president of player development. Bell helped guide the Twins to a second straight American League Central championship in his first year as manager Rocco Baldelli's right-hand man.
Bell is survived by his wife and three children. Bell's father, Buddy, spent 27 years in the MLB as a player and manager and remains a vice president and senior adviser to the general manager for the Cincinnati Reds. His brother, David, has managed the Reds since the 2019 season. The Bell family lineage in MLB runs all the way back to his grandfather, Gus, who played 15 seasons in the big leagues, including nine with Cincinnati.