Omar Infante hit in face by Heath Bell pitch (Video)

Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante was hit in the face with a pitch from Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Heath Bell in the bottom of the seventh inning on Monday night. A two-seam fastball appeared to get away from Bell and hit Infante square in the chin.


Fortunately, Infante did not suffer any type of serious injury. He needed six stitches to close a cut on the lower left side of his face but avoided a concussion or fracture.

“I think he’s going to be OK,” Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters, via MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel. “We’re just going to have to have to take a little bit of time with him. He could hardly talk last night, he couldn’t even open his jaw and that’s what made me nervous, but it’ll be OK.

“It’s a lot better than it could have been, that’s for sure.”

Infante was diagnosed with a strain of his right jaw because of the impact, so hopefully he won’t see any long-term effects from that. He is still being evaluated, but it sounds like the the veteran infielder was lucky. Here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery.

Heath Bell: My mom gave me advice on how to get Skip Schumaker out

Heath-Bell-DiamondbacksSkip Schumaker has enjoyed a great deal of success against Heath Bell throughout his career, and that continued on Wednesday night during the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bell was brought in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth and did just that, but not before Schumaker led off with a double.

Schumaker was brought in to pinch hit because he was 4-for-8 in his career against Bell. He is now 5-for-9 with four doubles, and Bell acknowledged after the game that he has had problems getting the 33-year-old out. Fortunately, Heath’s mom is going to help him with that.

Schumaker is batting only .151 this season in 28 games, so there are plenty of ways to get him out. It sounds like Bell’s mom has discovered one of them that should work, which is great news for the Diamondbacks going forward. Maybe they can even arrange to get her in the dugout as an additional pitching coach.

H/T Hardball Talk

Ozzie Guillen fires back at Heath Bell: ‘I don’t respect him as a person’

If Ozzie Guillen winds up keeping his job in Miami next season, Heath Bell may have to be traded. It has become evident this week that there is little to no respect between the manager and closer. During a radio appearance on Monday, Bell said it is hard to respect Guillen since Ozzie lied to him and led him to believe he would have a chance to win back the closer’s job. On Tuesday, Guillen told reporters the lack of respect is mutual.

More specifically, Guillen said Bell has blamed his struggles on others all season long.

“It was my turn this week,” he said. “Last week it was the pitching coach. The week before it was his teammates. Every week it’s something. That’s why I don’t respect him as a person. You have to have principles.”

Before Tuesday’s game against the Braves, Bell backtracked and insisted his words were “taken out of context” and that he never intended to badmouth Ozzie.

“I’m not retracting anything, but I never meant to criticize Ozzie,” Bell said. “Everything gets twisted. I’m not talking anymore. I didn’t mean anything toward Ozzie. I wasn’t talking about Ozzie.”

Bell also said that he has likely lost the respect of his teammates after making the comments about Guillen. He tried to call Ozzie on Monday night to apologize and Ozzie said he didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number, adding that it’s “not going to resolve anything anyway.”

Somebody should probably learn to not say things when they’re frustrated, because Bell was clearly talking about Ozzie. Everyone — including Ozzie — knows he was talking about Ozzie. If both are going to be Marlins next season, they will have to smooth things over without microphones in their faces.

Photo credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Heath Bell rips Ozzie Guillen: ‘It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth’

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.

Heath Bell reads about his own trade rumor in USA Today, is amused (Video)

Many players pretend like they don’t read about all the trade rumors when in fact the converse is often true. Episode 3 of “The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins” on Showtime showed us that players do follow trade rumors, and some are even fascinated by them.

In the above clip (shared by Jimmy Traina), Marlins reliever Heath Bell is seen holding a USA Today page that discusses a trade rumor. Bob Nightengale reported that the Marlins contacted the Red Sox about a potential Heath Bell and Hanley Ramirez for Carl Crawford trade. The deal never went down, and Hanley was dealt to the Dodgers, but seeing Bell’s reaction was pretty funny.

Of course there is the possibility that the scene was staged and that they had Bell hold up the paper after Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers, so that would explain his carefree attitude.

The episode was excellent just like the previous two, and if you’re not watching them you’re missing out. In another scene, Hanley Ramirez is seen watching his own trade rumors discussed on MLB Network. And in possibly the episode’s funniest moment, Omar Infante thanks the club for trading him away to the first-place Tigers.

Heath Bell rocks a T-shirt that looks like a 1970s hippie outfit (Picture)

If I had to guess what the attire was of a pitcher who has recently gotten his season back on track and converted four straight save opportunities, I’d probably go with tuxedo T-shirt. Marlins closer Heath Bell has not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances. He’s given up only two hits during that span. Obviously he has been getting down to business every time he takes the mound lately, so a tuxedo T-shirt would seem more appropriate than the hippie shirt you see above. Then again, he is a closer.

As we know, closers are their own breed. Those guys do everything a little differently, so when Bell is amidst a hot streak and feels like taking a picture of himself in an elevator rocking a 70s-themed vest/hippie necklace shirt you just take it for what it is. Do you, Heath. It seems to have worked over the past week or so.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Heath Bell says Marlins trainer thinks he’s working too hard

Heath Bell was supposed to be one of the free agent additions to improve the Marlins, but the All-Star closer has struggled with his new team.

Bell is 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA through three weeks of the season. He has blown three of his five save chances and allowed eight runs over 5.2 innings. You might think the pressure of being a big-money player — he signed a three-year $27 million deal over the offseason — is the reason for his struggles, but the team’s trainer has another theory.

“Apparently our trainer says I work too hard,” Bell explained after blowing a save on Thursday night. “I’m busting my [butt] on the treadmill, the bike and working out. Maybe I need to start listening to him and stop working so hard. I do everything you should do, do everything I’ve been doing for the last five, six, seven years.”

If that was an excuse, Ozzie Guillen wasn’t hearing it.

“I don’t think the trainer (threw) 10 balls in a row. I’ll just be honest. I don’t like to talk about my players. Maybe he said that because he has his own reasons. I don’t know why.

“Is that going to be his excuse? I hope not. What does a trainer have to do with how you perform? Maybe he can disagree if Randy St. Claire said something about pitching. But a trainer? I don’t know if that’s a good excuse or that’s the truth. If that’s the truth, we have to find out.”

We’ve heard about over-training as a reason for fighters struggling, but could that be the reason Bell is struggling? The guy’s been a top reliever the past three seasons. You figure he’d have his routine down by now. If he’s changed it, he should go back to what was working. And if he hasn’t changed his routine, well, then he has a much bigger problem on his hands.