Heath Bell wasn't particularly pleased when Ozzie Guillen lifted him with two outs in the ninth inning of tonight's 10-2 monstrosity of a loss to the Red Sox. Bell was clearly unhappy with the decision and his anger showed when he entered the dugout and exchanged words with bench coach Joey Cora. Guillen also appeared angry when speaking with Cora about it.
"It kind of looked like I disrespected him," Bell said. "I didn't mean it that way."
Bell said that after a couple of fielding gaffes -- one by Donovan Solano in left and the other by Hanley Ramirez at third -- extended the meaningless ninth, he wished to stay on the mound after striking out Will Middlebrooks to finish the inning. Instead, Guillen summoned Sandy Rosario to finish it off.
Guillen said he was merely using Bell to keep him "sharp" and didn't want him pitching unnecessarily in a blowout loss. He said he didn't want Bell, who threw a total of 19 pitches in the inning, add to his pitch count even further, and especially for no reason. Afterward, Bell said he understood Guillen's decision, but not after putting up a mild protest.
"I just said 'I can get this guy out,'" Bell said. "He wanted to protect me. I understand where Ozzie was coming from. I apologized and I don't mean any disrespect."
Guillen called it a "misunderstanding" and didn't seem put off by the incident in the post-game press conference.
"Not a big deal," Guillen said. "It's over with."
The Marlins optioned slumping outfielder Chris Coghlan following tonight's game to Triple A New Orleans. The former National League Rookie of the Year has been unable to get on track and is hitting just .140.
No word on who the roster replacement will be, and the Marlins don't have to make a decision until Friday when they open a three-game series in Tampa.
One strong candidate is outfielder Scott Cousins, who has been on a tear at New Orleans. Cousins, who is hitting .295 overall, has gone 13 for 35 (.488) over his past 10 games.