ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners. “Gosh, I just hope I don’t say anything stupid to them,” said Bell, who was reportedly concerned about coming off as too eager to talk as well as running out of things to say, especially when interacting with some of the league’s more veteran players. “Am I supposed to talk about the game, or are we supposed to discuss other stuff? I don’t want to seem overly friendly, but I also don’t want to seem like an idiot by acting tough or whatever. Maybe I’ll just play it cool and not say anything.” At press time, Bell was mentally berating himself for blurting out “nice hit” to Braves right fielder Nick Markakis after he took a base on balls.

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