Padres closer Heath Bell won Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year Award in 2010 with a shiny 1.93 ERA and 47 saves in 50 chances.
His winter has not gone as smoothly.
First he was named in several different trade scenarios, then he came down with typhoid fever while vacationing in the islands of the south Pacific Ocean.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Bell caught the bug while staying on the Fijian island of Tavarua. It didn’t hit him until a few days later, when he was in Hawaii and hoping to renew his marital vows with his wife Nicole.
Instead of enjoying the sun and beautiful beaches of Maui, Bell spent most of his time in an emergency room as doctors fought a battle against bacteria in his bloodstream.
All is well now.
Typhoid fever varies from serious to mild and Bell escaped without any long-term effects. He was spotted at the Padres’ Holiday Caravan in good health and good spirits, and he should be back to 100 percent health by the opening of spring training.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.
Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.
While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.