Heath Bell made a local radio appearance on “The Dan Sileo Show” in Miami today and had some not-so-nice things to say about Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.
“It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face to face,” Bell said on 560-WQAM. “There’s probably reasons why.”
Bell is upset with how his demotion from the closer role was handled and with his lack of an opportunity to reclaim the job despite pitching fairly well of late:
I stunk in April, plain and simple. I said I stunk, I worked hard, I busted my butt. I think I’ve had a tremendous second half. I’m not closing–I know that. But I just kept my mouth shut because I want to regain what I had, and I feel like I can’t do that. …
It’s just one of those things that–what you see is what you get. I’m not going to be two-faced. I’m not going to sneak around your back and say this and that.
Ripping someone on the radio doesn’t count as “around your back” does it? Just double-checking.
Bell’s beef with Guillen is no surprise, as the Showtime cameras captured the two of them having a relatively heated discussion in the manager’s office before “The Franchise” reality series was canceled earlier this season.
Bell has a 5.19 ERA overall this season, but since being stripped of closing duties in June he’s thrown 26 innings with a 3.12 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio. He’s owed $9 million next season and $9 million in 2014, so odds are whether Guillen is still the Marlins’ manager or not Bell will get another crack at ninth-inning duties.
I hope Hanley Ramirez and Fredi Gonzalez are getting a good chuckle out of all this, at least.
I think it’s fair game to go after a player’s performance. But to go after a player personally is another thing altogether. Sure, if they put their character or behavior in question, fine, but there’s a big difference between “Player X stinks” and “Player X is a jerk.”
Many more steps beyond that on the vile-o-meter is going after a player’s family. Which is what happened to Heath Bell after he and the Marlins were featured on “The Franchise,” and which has led to him and his family quitting social media altogether. Because people were saying all kinds of ugly things, such as …
“That (Bell’s wife is) ugly, fat, disgusting,” Bell said when asked what were some of the negative comments he had seen on the Internet. “That my kids are not really good. They’re ugly looking. They’re not respectful. That I can’t pitch because I don’t have a beautiful wife. All those good things. Anything you can think of … It was everywhere.”
One of Bell’s kids has Down Syndrome, by the way.
I know that public figures are going to draw the idiots, and maybe public figures should do their best to ignore the noise, but there’s no excuse for that crap.
People are the worst.
(thanks to Jim C for the heads up)
When you sign a three-year, $27 million deal to serve as a team’s closer you tend to get plenty of chances and not surprisingly Ozzie Guillen is ready to give Heath Bell another crack at the Marlins’ closer role.
Bell hasn’t gotten a save opportunity since coughing up three runs to blow a game against the Cardinals on July 8, at which point he was 19-for-25 converting saves with a 6.75 ERA and 32/20 K/BB ratio in 35 innings.
Since then Bell has logged 10 consecutive scoreless appearances, throwing a total of nine innings with an 8/3 K/BB ratio and .107 opponents’ batting average.
“That was his job,” Guillen told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “He wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do and we made that decision. Right now, I think he’s pitched good enough to get back to the closer role.”
Fill-in close Steve Cishek has pitched plenty well all season with a 1.74 ERA in 47 innings, but this isn’t really about Cishek. It’s about Bell, Bell’s contract, and the fact that the Marlins owe him another $20 million or so through 2014.
UPDATE: Olney just killed everyone’s buzz. BUT I STILL BELIEVE, MAN!
2:01 PM: This sounds like a total hot mess of a trade rumor, but I freakling LOVE hot messes, so:
Nightengale has updated it with a longer story citing three sources. Wowzers. Where to begin.
On a dollars and cents scale, this would easily be one of the biggest trades in baseball history, as Crawford, Ramirez and Bell are owed nearly $240 million among them. It would also involve a big problem (Bell stinks this year) a lesser, but more chronic problem (Ramirez’s increasingly erratic production and always interesting attitude) and an absolute sell-low guy (Crawford, who is TWO GAMES back from injuries and still near the beginning of a monster deal).
Given the ascension of Will Middlebrooks, this would certainly mean that Ramirez would be a shortstop again. Which would make his bat more valuable, but it’s a position one wonders how long he can handle. Crawford’s game may be better suited to Marlins Park, but again, why the Red Sox would give up on him now when his stock can only rise? It’s not like the Marlins are going to take that whole contract on, are they?
Such a trade would raise more questions than it would answer. I don’t get it, and I suspect that this is just one of those things people shoot the breeze about more than they seriously contemplate it.
But if it were to happen? Wow!
Ozzie Guillen on Heath Bell in the second half. No pressure:
“If Heath Bell does not pitch the way he should be pitching, we are not going anywhere,’’ Guillen said. “If he continues to pitch the way he has pitched, we’re done.’’
Not that he’s wrong.
I didn’t see it, but I’m told that there is a tense scene in that “Franchise” show featuring the Marlins in which Bell goes up to Guillen and wants him to commit to Bell as the Marlins’ closer despite his troubles. Given Bell’s insecurity about it, given his continued poor performance and given Guillen’s comments here, being Heath Bell is probably not a lot of fun right now.