Miami Marlins reliever Heath Bell was critical about Ozzie Guillen in a radio interview Monday, hinting that he does not respect the Marlins’ opinioned manager.
Bell, who was removed from the closer role after struggling earlier this season, made the comments on the radio in Miami.
“It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face-to-face,” Bell said. “There are doubtless reasons why.”
Bell, 34, has a 5.19 ERA and has changed just 19 of 26 save opportunities this season, his 1st since signing a 3-year, $27 million deal with the Miami Marlins.
Bell has posted a 3.12 ERA since the demotion from the closer role but asserted that Guillen hasn’t given him the chance to reclaim the job.
“I stunk in April, plain and simple,” Bell related. “I expounded I stunk, I worked hard, I busted my butt. I think I have had a tremendous 2nd half. I am not closing — I’m sure that. But I just kept my gob shut because I want to regain what I had, and I feel just like I cannot do that.”
Bell attempted to clarify his comments in a different interview with MLB Network Radio, saying that he didn’t criticize Guillen.
“I wasn’t criticizing Ozzie,” Bell recounted. “I don’t think that is what I was doing on the radio. I was choosing my words kind of right. Apparently, I didn’t get it too right, but the thing is I respect Ozzie as a manager.”
The last-place Marlins own a 66-87 record in Guillen’s 1st season with the franchise. Bell accepted part of the blame for the Marlins’ disappointing performance during his interview Tuesday, also acknowledging that he shouldn’t have made his comments on Monday.
“I don’t think Ozzie’s the reason why we actually stunk this year,” he revealed Tuesday. “I think … Me not performing to the next guy not performing, that is the reason we failed to win this year. It’s not because of Ozzie. It’s getting totally blown out of all proportion for the simple fact (that) everybody’s looking for a scapegoat. Everyone’s attempting to point at Ozzie or someone in this organization. … I just think everyone’s trying to point fingers why we did not win. And did I say something I probably shouldn’t have? Yes, I did. I’m going to own up to it.”
Bell initially made no comment directly about Guillen during Monday’s interview, saying only “it’s been an interesting year with Ozzie.” Baseball odds
But though he did not state Guillen’s name, Bell finally offered tough feedback, presumably aimed at the mercurial manager.
“It’s only one of those things that — what you see is what you get,” Bell recounted. “I’m not going to be two-faced. I am not going to sneak around your back and say this and that.”
Monday’s interview came one day after Guillen related that he defends his call to replace Bell with Steve Cishek. But Guillen further said that Bell would be given the chance to close again in 2013.