MLB: Marlins' Heath Bell critical of manager Ozzie Guillen
Miami • Miami reliever Heath Bell was critical of manager Ozzie Guillen in a radio interview Monday, the latest in a series of turbulent comments for the disappointing Marlins to deal with as their season winds down.
"It's been an interesting year with Ozzie," Bell told Miami station WQAM. "That's pretty much all I'll say about that. It's just been really interesting to have him manage."
However, pressed with more questions, Bell kept talking, eventually saying the Marlins need a manager "that everybody respects and looks up to."
Bell's struggles were one of the biggest issues for the Marlins this season. He signed a $27 million, three-year contract over the winter, then eventually lost the closer role after a disastrous start to the season, which included an 8.47 ERA after his first 21 appearances with Miami.
For the year, Bell has 19 saves in 26 opportunities, with a 5.40 ERA in those games. He has appeared 43 times in non-save situations, going 3-0 with a 5.06 ERA.
Bell's seven blown saves were the second-highest total in the majors this season entering Monday. Two players had blown eight opportunities.
"You know, I stunk in April, plain and simple," Bell said in the interview. "I said I stunk, I worked hard, I busted my butt. I think the second half, 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."
Miami was off on Monday. At 66-87, the Marlins are in last in the NL East and have the sixth-worst record in the majors a far cry from what the team expected when it went on a spending spree last winter. The Marlins signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Bell to contracts worth a combined $191 million.