A day after Ozzie Guillen told another local radio station in Miami he was going to go with a closer by committee approach to start the second half of the season, Heath Bell took to the airwaves on Wednesday and said his weight has nothing to do with his first half struggles.
"I came into camp in shape, ready to go, just like I do every other year," said Bell, who blew six saves in the first half and lost leads a handful of other times without being credited with a blown save.
"The first thing people say when I don't do well is 'Oh, he's fat.' If you saw me in regular street clothes you'd never think I'm as big as I am. But I do have a big lower half and I do have big legs and in a baseball uniform I look real fat."
Bell, 34, is listed at 6-2, 260 pounds.
Three years ago, before he went on a run of three consecutive All-Star appearances with the Padres and saved a major-league best 132 games, Bell weighed 275 pounds. He then dropped 25 pounds and began his run of success.
"... I'm a big guy. I've always been a big guy. But if you ask anybody, I work hard," Bell told WQAM on The Dan Sileo Show. "I just don't eat cookies and chips all the time. I'm having my protein shakes like everybody else. I try to eat right.
"I don't drink as much as other guys do who are skinny. I'm not going to name names but there are a lot of guys who drink a whole lot of beer and this and that. The thing is they're real skinny. There's a lot of guys who crush food all the time that probably eat three times as much as I do and are way skinny. God made me a big guy. God made me this size. I'm not going to look like Giancarlo Stanton."
Bell, who after Sunday's latest blown save took full responsibility for the Marlins being under .500 at the All-Star Break, said he respects Guillen's decision to go with a committee approach -- even if the manager hasn't spoken to him about it directly yet.
"It's one of those things that I haven't gone out there and lived up to what they wanted...," Bell said. "I got to go earn my job back. And if somebody is going to do better for the sake of the Miami Marlins, we need to go with that guy. I think I can go out and do the job, but I haven't done it and I haven't proved it. Ozzie is trying to win. I want to win and for whatever reason, I'm not getting the job done. Hopefully I can in the future.
"I'm a big team player. If we're doing better with somebody else closing it's going to kill me inside, but maybe it's going to drive me to work even harder than I am right now. Maybe the tides will change for me. I'm not going to second guess my manager."
In Wednesday night's debut episode of Showtime's The Franchise there is a scene from the end of May when Bell speaks with Guillen in his office and tells the manager he feels like he doesn't have his back. Guillen laughs it off and tells Bell: "I'm the only one who wants you out there. Nobody else does. Not the owner, the GM, the fans..." In another scene later on, President David Samson asks Guillen if he's keeping Bell in the closer's role because of the three-year, $27 million contract the Marlins gave him. To which Guillen responds angrily: "No [bleeping] way."
> Asked if Bell's woes were related to his weight on The Dan LeBatard show on 790TheTicket Tuesday, Guillen defended Bell: "... This man works hard, very, very hard. This kid is one of the first ones in the clubhouse, working on the field. I don't think that's his problem. It's about location."