The Heath Bell Flap, Part One


Aug 11, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Heath Bell (21) wipes his face during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

In the visiting clubhouse before yesterday’s game in Atlanta, Greg Dobbs closed the door to the press. Prior to the door closing, the audio feed from a live Ozzie Guillen interview was being piped in. The subject was Ozzie’s reaction to comments made by Heath Bell. This past Monday, on Dan Sileo’s WQAM radio broadcast, Bell said of Guillen, “It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face to face. We need a guy that leads us and that everybody respects and looks up to.” Apparently, Bell’s opinion isn’t shared by the majority of his teammates, because the closed-door clubhouse session seemed to be baseball’s version of a boot camp blanket party. Acknowledging player requests for anonymity, several reports have surfaced indicating that most of the team still supports Guillen, and rumors of a loss of control in the clubhouse are unfounded.

Everyone in the Marlins’ organization is most mightily disappointed with the outcome of the season. Finger-pointing is an inevitable result, and it is also inevitable that some of that finger-pointing will wind up getting aired out in public. The fourth estate is piling on with glee, happy to seize on scraps of information leaking from the clubhouse and front office.  First to be identified as heading for the guillotine was Larry Beinfest, followed shortly by Ozzie Guillen. Naturally, nothing is confirmed. Hopefully, this latest episode with Heath Bell will highlight the need for the entire organization, from Lori on down to the bleacher sweepers, to clam up and approach the off-season with some dignity. While I agree that some shaking up is necessary after this season, I also feel that it needs to be done in a professional manner. It’s time for the Marlins to take the high road, and avoid airing out the dirty laundry in the press until rational decisions can be made, after the emotions of the disappointing season have had time to cool.