This was no ordinary pitching change, though. His son, David, was standing on second base after getting the biggest hit of the game.
David Bell, facing his father's team for the first time, hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the sixth inning Monday as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4.
"I wasn't going to look at him," said the younger Bell, the third player in major league history to face a team managed by his father. "He was doing his job."
The Bells joined Maury and Bump Wills and Felipe and Moises Alou in the record books, and Cleveland's victory gave the sons a 17-8 advantage over their dads.
After riding to the ballpark together _ with David picking up Buddy at the Tigers' hotel _ the Bells tried to approach it like any other game.
"Once the game started, I didn't pay much attention to it," said Buddy, who played for and coached the Indians before managing the Tigers. "I didn't expect that I'd be able to do that."
Manny Ramirez had three hits, including his eighth homer, and scored three runs for the Indians. Damion Easley hit two solo homers for Detroit, including one-out shot in the ninth off Mike Jackson, his 14th.
Tigers-killer Charles Nagy (6-2) got 16 groundball outs in seven strong innings and won despite allowing his major league-leading 19th homer _ a solo shot by Easley that cut it to 5-3 in the seventh.
After Brian Giles walked and Travis Fryman singled in the sixth, Bell lined a double to the wall in right-center to make it 4-2 and knock Tigers starter Frank Castillo (2-2) out of the game.
"That's Buddy's fault," Detroit's Brian Hunter said. "See, he taught him how to hit too good."
Bell, who scored on Kenny Lofton's single off Sean Runyan to make it 5-2, is batting .281 and playing solid defense since taking the second base job from Shawon Dunston.
"I'm very proud of him. It's a feeling I can't explain to anyone," the elder Bell said before pleading with reporters to stop asking about it. "I'm really through talking about that. I'd like to talk about the game, if you don't mind."
By contrast, David Bell was still wearing his uniform and doing interviews nearly an hour after the game.
"It was weird to see him in the other dugout," said Bell, claimed on waivers from St. Louis on April 14. "I caught myself looking over to their dugout too much. I was interested in watching what he does, but that's not good when you're trying to play a game."
While the 25-year-old Bell has seized his first chance to play every day, both father and son are aware that the Indians have been interested in acquiring second baseman Roberto Alomar from Baltimore. When the Indians gave the job to Bell, were they merely showcasing him for the Orioles?
"I know they've been trying to get him for a couple of years," David Bell said. "I don't blame them. He's a great player. Hopefully, I'll play well enough so they don't have to."
Nagy allowed three runs and eight hits and struck out one, improving to 14-4 with a 2.89 ERA against Detroit. He bounced back from his previous two starts, in which he was tagged for nine runs and 19 hits in 11 innings _ and won both of them anyway because Cleveland scored 19 runs.
"Today went a long way toward getting Charlie back on the right track," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said.
Castillo struck out Ramirez with the bases loaded in the fifth, but allowed five runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked five and struck out six.
Notes: Maury Wills, who managed Seattle, and son Bump Wills, who played for Texas, met in the first father-son matchup in 1980. Bump's team won three of five games in which he appeared. Felipe Alou was the second manager to face his son, Moises, with the younger Alou's club winning 13 of 19. ... The Tigers are 3-23 at Jacobs Field since it opened in 1994. ... Lofton was 14-for-55 (.255) before singling home Bell in the sixth. ... Buddy and Gloria Bell have six children, four of them boys. ... Bip Roberts, who gained a reputation for missing games with injuries during his brief stint with the Indians, left the game with a strained right hamstring. ... Ramirez has two homers since April 22.