Bell made the surprising announcement Wednesday afternoon at the Metrodome, where the Royals are playing the Twins.
He will continue to manage the club for the last two months of the season and then remain with the Royals as a special assistant to general manager Dayton Moore.
Quotes here, including from Dayton Moore, courtesy of the KC Star:
"It started last year when I got sick," said Bell, who underwent surgery in September to remove a cancerous growth in his throat.
"My priorities changed real quickly. Not seeing my grandkids became important. When I grew up, my dad wasn’t there. When my kids grew up, I wasn’t there. Now my grandkids are growing up, and I haven’t seen them."
"It's been a hard decision," Bell said, "and I wanted to wait until things were better. They're still not as good as they're going to be, but I wanted to wait until things were progressing the way I think they should -- and then see how I felt.
"And I still feel the same way."
They're echoes of Mike Hargrove in that.
Bell's a family man who does things like visit hospitals and welcomes kids into the clubhouse. It's easy to make fun of his losing record as a player and manager, but he's been nothing but a class act for this organization. I think we all knew, however, that Bell wasn't the long-term solution as manager. Now the Royals have two full months to find a replacement and start the next phase of their winning plan, while Bell gets to move into the front office. A win-win all around.
The folks at Fire Buddy Bell haven't broken this news yet. Not that it matters, as I assume they'll be shutting down operations shortly.