The acquisition of Heath Bell is one of a series of high-profile moves that did not pan out for the Marlins this season. Coming off three straight seasons with over 40 saves, Bell was expected to step in and immediately solidify the back end of the bullpen for Miami. Instead, he blew three saves in the month of April alone, settled in for a bit from May through June, and then lost his job permanently after blowing two more saves at the beginning of July.
Despite the fact that he has pitched well in the set-up role over the past month of so, Ozzie Guillen has not given Bell an opportunity to reclaim his job. From the sound of it, the situation has strained their relationship.
“It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face-to-face. I stunk in April, plain and simple,” Bell told “The Dan Sileo Show” on 560 WQAM in Miami Monday according to ESPN.com. “I said I stunk, I worked hard, I busted my butt. I think I’ve had a tremendous second half. I’m not closing — I know that. But I just kept my mouth shut because I want to regain what I had, and I feel like I can’t do that.
“It’s just one of those things that — what you see is what you get. I’m not going to be two-faced. I’m not going to sneak around your back and say this and that.”
Guillen was adamant about defending Bell in July when he was struggling, so you can see how he might have received mixed signals. A recent report indicated that Ozzie is already on the hot seat after less than one season in Miami, so it’s possible Bell smells blood and is trying to help push him out the door. Since the Marlins owe him nearly $20 million over the next two seasons, it’s safe to assume Bell will be given a shot to earn the closer’s job back during spring training. Whether it’s Guillen or another manager who gives him that shot remains to be seen.Google+