ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins lost Sunday's first half finale in frustrating fashion. But even before Heath Bell blew his sixth save of the season, Hanley Ramirez lost his cool in the Marlins dugout.
After grounding out to second base in the sixth inning and falling to 2-for-22 on the road trip, the third baseman returned to the Marlins bench and punched a cooling fan in the dugout, slicing his knuckle and forcing him out of the game. Ramirez had two stitches put on his knuckle just above his ring finger. But Ramirez and the Marlins expect he will be fine for the start of the second half.
"Very stupid injury, very immature," an angry Ozzie Guillen said afterward. "You're going to hurt yourself because you can't hit? Good hitters don't do that. Good hitters battle back and try to get better. Your injury doesn't just hurt yourself, you hurt your ballclub."
Ramirez was replaced by Donovan Solano, who struckout with the bases loaded to end the ninth. The Cardinals then rallied with three runs off Bell to win the game.
"I got mad," Ramirez said of why he punched the cooling fan. "I think its starting to bother me because I know we can do better than this. Personally, I'm not comfortable with what I'm doing right now. I know I'm playing hard, but at the same time I have to produce more."
Ramirez came into the season with high expectations. Some in the organization thought he might in the MVP discussion. But he's hitting just .248 with 12 homers and 44 RBI.
"I think for me, I'm struggling right now. I'm not frustrated at all. But I get mad because I know I do better than that," Ramirez said. "It's going to be better than that."
His manager, however, isn't amused.
"I don't pay attention to stupidities," Guillen fired when asked to explain what happened. "That made me mad. Players get hurt for no reason -- hitting stuff. That's very childish. We're not kids. We're grown people. When you struggle and you're a great player you have to try and be better. To be honest with you I didn't even ask him, I was so disappointed.
"We built this ballclub around him. This is the man in this ballclub and I never criticized Hanley Ramirez for not having the season we thought he had, but I will for hurting himself."
> As for Bell, it appears Guillen has reached the point where he knows something has to be done. He said the situation will be discussed and changes will probably be made after the All-Star Break.
"I stand behind him, but on another hand he's got to be better than that. He is better than that," Guillen said. "If he doesn't get better, I'll find a solution. I will find a solution because I just get tired to watch this, very disappointing to watch this everyday. I try to give this kid confidence, hopes, but you get to the point where we have to win some games. A game like that, it hurts. We've been hurting a lot.
"I have to make a decision, a solution, it will be drastic. But I will do it. We'll wait until the All-Star Break and I will pick whoever is better out there to do the job."
Bell, who has blown six of 25 save opportunities and relinquished the lead a few other times this season, said he understands if his manager has to make a move.
"That's Ozzie decision. He's had my back and I like Ozzie as a manager. But he has to do the best thing, the right thing for the team and right now I plain out suck," Bell said.
"I feel like I've let the whole organization down. I'm the reason we're 10 games back, plain and simple. I've had the worst first half I've ever had and I think all my teammates can definitely blame me. If I had been doing my job we'd be right in the hunt."
Bell said he didn't apologize to teammates afterward because he's giving it his all.
"If I come in here and say I'm sorry that means I didn't go out there and give 110 percent. But I went out there doing the best I can," Bell said. "Did I let them down? Yes, of course. But I think my teammates know I'm going out there and giving everything I have. For some reason, it's just not working. Right now my job -- is one of the main reasons we're under .500 and not five games above."