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Heath Bell gets his medicine

     ATLANTA -- Heath Bell wasn’t punished by the Marlins for saying it was "hard to respect" manager Ozzie Guillen. Not formally. But Bell was made to pay in a way that was potentially more painful.

     He was made to listen Guillen talk about it.

     As Bell sat in front of his locker before Tuesday’s game in Atlanta, unidentified teammates cranked the volume on Guillen’s weekly radio call-in show on 790-The Ticket and listened to their manager answer questions about the controversy.

    Asked if he still respected Bell, Guillen replied, “As a player, yes. As a guy, I don’t know.”

   Guillen also said that Bell had a habit of throwing others under the bus.

   “I am the No. 10 guy he’s talked about this year,” Guillen said in answer to another question. “This kid has been saying so many things all year about a lot of people. It was my turn this week.”

   Reporters walked in unknowingly on the awkward clubhouse scene before being detected by players and ushered back out by Greg Dobbs. But sources said the point was to show they supported their manager.

   And Bell acknowledged later that, in the aftermath of his incendiary comments ripping the manager, his teammates probably had little respect for him anymore.

  “Yeah,” Bell said, “I’ve pretty much lost all that.”

   Bell tried to soften the damage on Tuesday, saying some of what he said in his interview on WQAM was taken out of context and that “I’ve always given Ozzie respect.”

  Bell said he phoned Guillen Monday night to say he was sorry.

   Guillen said he didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number. He also said that, by accident, he erased the message that Bell had left thinking it was from a media outlet wanting to talk to him about the incident.

  “No matter what he said,” Guillen said, “it’s not going to resolve anything.”

  Guillen said the comment from Bell that bothered him most was one in which the reliever said “it’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face to face.”

  Guillen said that he’s truthful, sometimes to a fault.

  “When you say I’m not honest with players, that I never tell people to their face how I feel, you have to have a lot of doubts on that one,” Guillen said.

  Guillen said he will continue to respect Bell as a player, but less so as a person because of the way Bell has blamed others for his failures, from pitching coach Randy St. Claire, to the training staff, and even Showtime’s “The Franchise,” which he complained portrayed him in a negative light.

  “It was my turn this week,” Guillen said of Bell’s latest criticism. “Last week it was somebody else, the pitching coach. The week before it was the catchers, and the week before that it was the scouting report. When all these things pile up, then you don’t have respect for someone.

  “When you read every week, it’s another (excuse), another, another....all kind of stuff. You have to have principles. You have to look yourself in the mirror and blame yourself.”

  Guillen said he felt he had the support of many of the rest of the players. Many, he said, texted him to say they were with him. Justin Ruggiano and Brett Hayes tweeted their support on Twitter.

  “He got himself in trouble,” starting pitcher Mark Buehrle said of Bell. “He put himself in this mess. I’ve never looked at Ozzie the way he’s saying.”

  Buehrle played under Guillen with the Chicago White Sox.

  “I can’t answer for anybody else, but I feel if I’d wanted to talk to him (to air out differences), I’d go to him and not through you guys (reporters),” Buehrle said.

  Bell vowed that he would not only refuse to answer reporters’ questions for what little time is left in this season, but through the remainder of his contract, which expires after the 2014 season. By then, Bell will likely be long gone from the Marlins, who hope to trade him.

  “I’m pretty much done talking,” Bell said. “After today, after the next two minutes, you guys are done. You won’t hear from me until 2014 plain and simple. You guys are going to write what you want to write because apparently all year long you have.’

Comments

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Carlos

Heath needs to STFU and get on the treadmill.

Camera Mike

God dammit! Am I the only one sick and tired of Dunn? It seems to me every time he plays it only means one thing, the lead is done.

Lou

Dear Camera Mike, It's a bad team. The only reason I watched last inning is I hate Atlanta so much and I'm really worried about the Nats blowing this lead. That won't aggravate many here as many seem to have gone to THE Bolles School in Jacksonville.

Bell may be one of the most dispicable guys in the Bigs.

Camera Mike

Lou, I have no allusions about the Marlins being anything but a horrible team this year, but watching Dunn give up hits like that is still frustrating. I have been a fan since '93 and know I will always root for them, but year after year of Jeffrey Loria and his cohorts is starting to take its toll on my emotions. I am also fully with you on dislike for Atlanta (how come everytime I see a game there or even highlights from there this season the stadium is as empty as Marlins Park? shouldn't there fans turn up for a winner?) and your opinion of Bell.

give up

why do you think his name is Dunn/Done

Marlin Fan

Another fine bullpen performance to overshadow a good starting pitching performance and Solano's two hrs.

bob

BURN SON

Flav C.

Being an Alumni of THE Bolles School of Jacksonville , I wish the best to Chipper Jones.

Dunn was sent to the Marlins in the Uggla trade because the Braves didn't see anything special on him. If they did, he would still be part of that bullpen.

Stan M

My son and I attended last night's game and had a wonderful time, even before the game began. I got a laugh and retort from Tommy Hutton when I yelled a "thank you" for not using the meaningless phrase, "A good piece of hitting". Rich Waltz came over to us and gabbed for several minutes and couldn't have been more magnanimous. A really nice guy. Then Clark came over and spent at least 15 minutes with us and was a font of information. It was a genuine pleasure talking with and learning from him. Craig Minervini, although about 15 feet from us, was more dismissive. One tidbit I can pass on. I overheard one sportswriter talking with another as they passed in front of us and heard him say, "This whole team sure hates Bell". We could have left then and considered the 6 hour round trip very worthwhile...but what a ball game!
Eovaldi pitched beautifully. His fastball was conssistently 96 and sometimes hit 97 mph. His breaking ball was 87 and changup 75. And he changed speeds regularly and logically. Several Braves were swinging when the ball was already in Bradley's mitt. At this stage, I find it very difficult to criticize the Hanley trade. This Eovaldi has talent; a lot of talent.

The fact that the Braves won and the way that they won was more exhilarating than heartbreaking, even for a Marlin fan. More power to them. What is it with us and LH spot relievers? First Petit and now Dunn. Both talented and both disasters. Please note that Andrew Miller did very well in that role with the Bosox.

Lou, I was so glad that you joined Flav in praising Chipper. Heartwarming to hear he is a gentleman with his fans.

In case someone didn't notice, Anibel pitched the Tigers into a tie for first place with what was described as one of the most domineering starts of this year. Good for him! It troubles me when the pundits criticize Miggy for his fielding in his quest for the MVP. No one mentionns how he unselfishly moved to 3B to accomodate Fielder at 1B. That should be taken into consideration in my opinion.

LOU

Cabrera lacks a LITTLE range but everything he gets to he grabs, also a cannon for an arm---MVP!!! MVP!!!! MVP!!!! Sanchez' 7th complete game and 5 of those have been shutouts

Is it possible I saw you on TV? Were you really close??

Stan M

Very close, Lou. Marlin's on deck batters were about 10 feet in front of us.

laurelbowie

Stan M,
You said you'd be there and I wanted to watch for you, but it was as tough as watching for Lou at the Nationals games — because I have no idea what either of you looks like. I tried scanning the stands near the dugouts for a really old guy in Marlins gear, but I guess I missed you.
By the way, if either you or Lou wants to run for President, we should start your write-in campaign THIS WEEK. All we'll need is a billion dollars and a handful of volunteers. I'll provide the money if you round up some folks to produce some idiotic, insulting, uninformative TV commercials (to keep up with the competition) and hire some telemarketers to bug the hell out of 30 million homeowners with incessant phone calls during the dinner hour. And buy a heavy coat, because it's usually cold in D.C. on Inauguration Day.

Aldo the Apache

I confess I'm not a Marlins fan, but a baseball fan. In that context, notwithstanding the pom pom-waving posters herein, today's Bell article is one of the more cowardly pieces I've ever seen. From the catch-all "unidentified teammates" to the ubiquitous "sources" declaring that the intent was to HUMILIATE Bell. Even if you concede that Bell is the biggest jerk in baseball (a title that Guillen may give him a run for) and that Bell was totally unjustified in his remarks about Guillen, is it the proper and considered response to humiliate him ... or ANYONE for that matter? Clark "The Forehead" Spencer really fell into the orcestra pit on this one. Methinks he's been spending too much time watching daytime soaps.

Stan M

LB, I know all about the incessent phone calls. Sorry you missed me at the game. I was the incredibly handsome older gentlemen handing out autographs to all the women flocking over to touch or get a glimpse of me. My son kept trying to get them in line peacefully, but with all the shrieking and jumping up and down, it was an impossible task. Then, of course, I woke up! The seats we had are always available on the internet. Section 108, row 2. We paid $75 each this time and have paid as much as $120 in the past before the Marlins stunk. Turner Field is a fun place and the fans are rabid, as well they should be. If Dunn was intimidated, he had every right to be. The whole joint was shaking with lights flashing all over the facade between the tiers in the stands.

Stan M

Aldo, you are flat out wrong. If you check other sites, you will see that Clark was far from the only one to report on this unique and very rare occurance. This is not a few players who are fed up with Bell. It is the entire team backing their manager and after all of Bell's pityful excuses and denegration of virtually everyone in the organization, he damn sure had it coming. As far as unidentified teammates goes, at least 3 were quoted by name in the article. And in defense of Clark, we wouldn't all be chatting here if not for HIS BLOG. If you don't care for him, there are other sites available to you. It's one thing to criticize him, quite another to make fun of his looks. Last night at the game, I found him to be a hell of a nice guy, and you, sir, are out of bounds.

laurelbowie

Aldo,
I was in the process of writing a rebuttal to your comments when I noticed that Stan M had beaten me to the punch. With the utmost respect, I'm mystified by your response to what was actually a very solid, well-written, much-needed story. The only place on this page that I've seen the word "humiliate" was in your post. Those "ubiquitous" anonymous sources you refer to were mentioned once in Clark's story, and — again — the only place "unidentified teammates" were cited was in your comments. As Stan mentioned, several sources, including Guillen, Bell and Buerhle, were cited by name.
Regardless of who's right or who's wrong in this brouhaha, the fans who spend their time and money on the Marlins are clamoring for information about what's going on with this team and Clark did a very good job of giving us a little peak inside the clubhouse. How that comes across as cowardly to you is baffling to me.

Aldo the Apache

Stan, first, the facts at hand. The reports you mention on other sites are simply citing the Herald piece, so you're using disingenuous circular logic to validate Spencer's words. Second, your two players with names? Neither one is quoted in the "humiliate" aspect, which was my entire point. And one is Mark Buehrle, who came here from Chicago with Guillen ... no surprise there, while the other is Brett WHO? A guy who wouldn't even be a Double A scrub for most other franchises. Third, this is not SPENCER'S blog but the Miami Herald's ... let's get it straight - the Herald's BUDGET dollars, mostly funded by advertisers, provide us with this blog in footing the bill, not Spencer. Finally, your personal comment, inviting me to post elsewhere? What is that, exactly ... your version of "love it or leave it"? Please ... spare me that nonsense. I have as much right to express my opinion here, agreeable or not, as you do (pom poms and all). It has nothing whatsoever to do with Spencer being a nice guy,and that, sir, is IN BOUNDS.

laurelbowie

Aldo,
You'll notice that I never took a cheap shot and referred to you as anything akin to the title of your favorite movie.

Aldo the Apache

laurelbowie, why would you refer to me as The Godfather?

Aldo the Apache

And, btw, laurelbowie, the "humiliate" aspect that you failed to find is found in Clark Spencer's article, NOT this blog. That is what I'm referring to.

laurelbowie

One more thing, I can't say for sure whether Clark gave us a peak inside the clubhouse. What I meant to say was that he gave us a peek inside the clubhouse.
And Mr. Pitt, who do you think you're kidding with this Godfather crap.

LOU

Well, I'm not getting involved with any more internecine rivalries.

Aldo, Stan and Laurel--Everyone!! say what you want as long as you don't mind it coming back. Hell, I got whacked for speaking about Mr Hooters, and also had a post deleted for what I thought was a whimsical play on words. Even my "buddy", Dave O'Brien, gives me more leeway in the much read AJC Blog.

Stan, I did see you and I know what you look like. Laurel, give me a call. I lost your phone number, could be because i turned 65 on the 15th. I feel bad about using that Socialistic Medicare. And it is Socialism so if you use Medicare, PLEASE include that comment in any mention related to deriding other programs. And don't say you are getting back what you put in because that would only be true if you leave this orb about 73.

laurelbowie

Lou,
This isn't internecine warfare, this is friendly banter among sports fans. Internecine warfare is what happens around the Laurelbowie dinner table every night.
I'll call you when I have a chance. The rest of today and evening will be spent on the Columbia River, far from any phones or Marlins telecasts. And man, don't start thinking 65 is old. I'm so old I can't remember how old I am.

Flav C.

I agree with Aldo on regards this being an open forum. Whether we agree or not with some of the comments here, most of them are fair game, and they reflect an opinion of someone who took his/her time to read the blog, to read the comments, and finally write down whatever they had in mind.

Bell had it coming and I don't feel sorry for him. This is exactly what he was looking for: a wait out of Miami. As if his blown saves were not enough.

Luckily for the Marlins, Bell is not THAT stupid. He wants out and he's shown it publicly through his babbling and backstabbing. But also, he's shown to baseball people that he still can be effective as a bullpen guy. Lost in this whole shenanigan is Bell's 0.90 ERA in September, with 11 SOs in 10 innings played. He showed very good control of his fastball and curveball. And these are good news for the Marlins.

Teams like the DBacks, Astros, Mets could be interested, as far as the Marlins eat part or most of Bell's salary. Maybe a trade between 2 bad contracts, where the Marlins could pick up a player who is not performing well and his contract, but still has some upside (i.e. Ike Davis).

There are options out there and the Marlins will certainly be on the losing side of it, financially speaking. But even greater loss would be to keep Bell. Not because he is a bad pitcher, I think he would do alright next season. But because there is no more atmosphere for him in the clubhouse.

marriedtoapatsfan

The sad thing about all of this for me is that I find myself not caring about any of it. I have followed this team relentlessly since '93. All the fire sales, all the bad trades. And yes the two titles:) We live about three hours from Miami but we would still go down to at least 3 to 5 games a year. Not cheap when you factor gas, 4 tickets and everything else. But we gladly spent that money. Now it is the biggest mess I have ever seen in a sports franchise. And I am also a Dolphin and Magic fan. So that is saying something. My point in all of this is that if they can push me away a person who has labored over draft picks, trades and coaches being fired. What is that casual fan that they try to attract every year thinking. Anyway, It just makes me sad!

Stan M

Flav, I too agree that it an open forum. I was angry as heck when I wrote that retort. If I didn't come across clearly, my position is that Aldo, or anyone else has a right to criticize anyone whom they wish. My objection was that cheap shot about Clark's looks and I still think it stunk.
Regarding other sites simply citing Clark's piece, Juan Rodriguez, Joe Capposi, Fox Sports, and the Associated Press all carried this story and unless I missed something, none credited Clark for the background. Disparaging Brett Hayes does not change the fact that he was a teammate of Bell until about a month ago. The other Player, Ruggiano has been his teammate for several months.
Please understand that I was at the game and about 25 feet away as at least 10 sportwriters quizzed Ozzie for well over half an hour to aquire this story.
Regarding who is ultimately responsible for the blog, Clark is currently the only person reporting on this team. Navarro has now switched to football so who else creates this atmosphere? FYO, I am an old man who has followed baseball since the late 40's, spend countless hours reading about it, and feel priviledged to be able to post here with so many other knowledgeable fans. I think if you stay around and read the various posts you will realize that this is a unique forum where there is much intelligent criticism that helps to balance my pom pom pieces.

Lou

Stan, i have learned a great deal from your "pom pom" pieces and also Laurel's great stories--I feel honored to know laurel's real name--- I relish reading any stories that can distract from this disaster.

I do have a question without an answer.If the Tigers and White Sox finish tied for 1st place will there be a 1 game playoff to determine division winner. Neither of the 2 teams will qualify for the 2 Wild Card spots. I wasn't sure with the 1 Game Playoff system already set up IF MLB would want another 1 game playoff which would delay start of the playoffs or would they use an arcane tie breaker to determine Central Division winner? it seems the only rational thing would be the 1 game playoff but then again MLB allows Loria to own a team and how rational is that?

Lou

To all the Bloggers going back to 1961 and the halcyon days of the Washington Senators of Dick Donovan, Herbie Plews and Bud Ziphel---what would be your candidate for the most disappointing team of the last 52 years?? I'm racking my enigmatic brain trying to come up with some candidates but I can only think of that rapid demise of the Yankee team in mid 60's. It's really hard to recall a team with 2 recent Batting Champions, the most prolific young slugger in the game, a young "Brett Like LF", an All-Star 1B from last year, a speedy CFer, an apparent solid Starting 5 and an "ace" coming out of the bullpen that could have been this bad??

Any choices???

Flav C.

Lou,
Yes, Tigers and White Sox would have to play one playoff match, if they end up tied.

Now, there is an interesting scenario:

White Sox, Tigers, Orioles, A's, and Angels, all finishing 90-72. Improbable? yes. Impossible? No.

In this case, White Sox and Tigers would have to play the extra game to define Division champion. Winner takes it all.
The team that loses, would finish 90-73, automatically out of contention for Wild Card play-off game. Sucks.

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