5/29/18: New Bellingham Bells head coach/manager Bob Miller (right) talks with his coaching staff during practice at Joe Martin Field.
PHOTO: Doug Lange
New Bellingham Bells Coach Meets the
May 30, 2018
The Bellingham Bells gathered for their first practice of the 2018 season on Tuesday. Plenty of introductions were in order.
The new players, including 11 additions recently signed to 10-day contracts, met new head coach/manager Bob Miller. It's his second stint in the West Coast League after managing the Victoria HarbourCats during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Miller has also been the head coach at Cuesta College since 2003.
Miller said they had 15 players out for the first practice.
"They were ready to go to work. We had a positive meeting before we got underway today," said Miller. "The energy level on the field was outstanding. Quality players, there's some talent out there."
The roster will continue to grow with more players arriving in Bellingham as their college seasons come to an end.
LISTEN: Our interview with Bellingham Bells head coach Bob Miller
Returning pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Jim Clem is in charge of putting together the roster. He says it's hard to tell what you have until you get everybody, but he liked the vibe of the first practice.
"We do business with people that we trust and when they tell us things, we expect that to be the truth. So, we think we're in a good place," said Clem. "I like our team on paper a lot."
Miller expects the roster will be a work in progress.
"We'll play with what our talent gives us, whether that is a power game or a speed game, but we should have pretty good balance," said Miller.
Miller and first-year assistant coach Darrien Moran aren't the only new additions for the 2018 Bells. Bellingham has a new owner in Glen Kirkpatrick. The White Rock, B.C. businessman businessman, who was at the first practice, purchased the team last march from Eddie Poplawski.
"It's been an easy transition. The people we had in the past were great to work for, said Clem. "Glen, our new owner is a terrific guy and has already made an impact. So I feel really luck to have great ownership all the years that i've been here."
LISTEN: Our interview with Bellingham Bells pitching coach Jim Clem
The Bells will also have a new video display scoreboard. Work continues on it's installation beyond the left center field wall. Bells GM Stephanie Morrell expects it to be finished on Friday.
The Bells open the WCL season on the road Friday at Kelowna. Bellingham will play their home opener at Joe Martin Field on Monday, June 4th versus Walla Walla.
- Doug Lange
5/29/18: Two Bells players leave practice at Joe Martin Field. PHOTO: Doug Lange
5/29/18: Work continues on a new video display scoreboard at Joe Martin Field. PHOTO: Doug Lange
5/29/18: Bellingham Bells players stretch during practice at Joe Martin Field. PHOTO: Doug Lange