heath bell getty

Heath Bell [all together now!] claims he was taken out of context


Yesterday Heath Bell was on a radio show and ripped Ozzie Guillen.  It was pretty straight forward, yes?  Well, no, because like just about everyone else who didn’t realize that they said something controversial until after he said it, Bell has gone into damage control mode and now claims he didn’t mean what everyone heard him say.

He was on “Power Alley” with Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio today — you can listen here — and he said he didn’t think he said anything wrong. When asked if he was misinterpreted, he said:

“I think it was.  I was never criticizing Ozzie.  I don’t think that’s what I was doing on the radio.  I was choosing my words kind of right …  I never said I don’t respect him as a manager or a person.

Wait, time out, Heath: this is what you said:  “It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face to face.”  And then you said Ozzie Guillen didn’t tell you the truth and didn’t tell you face to face.  Now I’m confused.  Let me think … I want to give you the benefit of the doubt here because I kinda like your style, so let me be your spin doctor …. thinking …

Got it!!  Though it is hard to respect such a man, you fought through that crap and did it anyway.  Really, Ozzie should be thanking you for your strength!  You’re one HELL Of a guy.

Bell went on:

It is interesting, I think, to play underneath a manager like Ozzie because he talks to the press and he does a lot of things and he’s loud.  But you know what?  You know, I’ve had good managers, I’ve had bad managers and I don’t think Ozzie’s the reason why we really stunk this year.  I think for me not performing to the next guy not performing.  And that’s the reason we didn’t win this year.  It’s not because of Ozzie.

Heath Bell pivots pretty quick for a big dude.  OK, Heath, Ozzie isn’t the problem. Who is?

Everybody’s trying to point at Ozzie or somebody in this organization … I just think everybody’s trying to point fingers why we didn’t win.

But not, you, right. You didn’t try to point a finger and say something you shouldn’t have, did you?

And, you know, did I say something I probably shouldn’t have?  Yes, I did.  I’m going to own up to it.

Good. Nice to see that humility. This is actually progress:

But you know what?  I’m not going to back down from anybody.

But … but … with the owning up and the … I’m so confused …

Apparently I just have to keep my mouth shut. Next year I’m not going to talk to anybody for the simple fact [that] it’s not doing me any good.

OK, we’re back to agreeing on something. Nice interview, Heath.

Heath Bell on Ozzie Guillen: “It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth”

Heath Bell

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.

Heath Bell swears off Twitter, Facebook to avoid the idiots

Heath Bell

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)