We saw the Heath Bell/Ozzie Guillen drama as it was unfolding yesterday, but today Clark Spencer of the Herald has more details.
For starters, that whole bit where Greg Dobbs was ushering reporters out of the clubhouse while Ozzie was on the radio yesterday? Here’s what that was about:
Reporters walked in unknowingly on the awkward clubhouse scene before being detected by players and ushered back out by Greg Dobbs. But sources said the point was for players to show they supported their manager and to humiliate Bell.
And Bell acknowledged later that, in the aftermath of his incendiary comments ripping the manager, his teammates probably had little respect for him anymore.
“Yeah,” Bell said, “I’ve pretty much lost all that.”
And Bell’s damage control continued, with him saying that he called Ozzie the night before to apologize and/or explain himself better. About that:
Bell said he phoned Guillen on Monday night to say he was sorry.
Guillen said he didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number. He also said that, by accident, he erased the message that Bell had left thinking it was from a media outlet wanting to talk to him about the incident.
“No matter what he said,” Guillen said, “it’s not going to resolve anything.”
Sounds like Heath Bell is persona non grata in the Marlins clubhouse.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.