Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The disaster that has become the Miami Marlins seasons is almost mercifully over for the team and for fans, but not without a player versus manager scandal that will likely end up with one or both of the parties gone at the end of the season.
Monday, closer Heath Bell said it was hard to respect manager Ozzie Guillen as a guy “that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face-to-face.” Bell made the comments on the radio, but that didn’t stop him from Tuesday trying to say he was taken out of context.
“All I have to say is what was taken yesterday on ESPN was out of proportion,” Bell told reporters, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I was not criticizing Ozzie one bit. I’m not retracting anything I said but that report on ESPN News, I’d say 80 percent of it was false.”
Yet later in the same interview with reporters Bell said he was implying that Guillen wasn’t been honest with him. “Yeah, there’s a few things. I’m not going to get into specifics right now for the simple fact of I’m done talking to you guys,” Bell said via the Post.
Tuesday, things took another bizarre turn when the Marlins’ Greg Dobbs kicked the media out of the Marlins clubhouse, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer. The Herald reported players were listening to Guillen on the Dan Lebatard Show.
During the interview, according to Spencer, Guillen was asked if he respected Heath Bell: “As a player, yes. As a guy, I don’t know.”
Bell said that he was done talking after Tuesday, but the damage may have already been done. Bell was signed last offseason, along with Guillen, to a large contract. Guillen is reportedly on the hot seat after the Marlins season quickly went up in smoke in July.
Bell struggled at the opening of the season and then had a prior spat with Guillen after the closer was removed from the closing pitching job by Ozzie.
This season Bell went from being a 40+ saves man to saving just 19 games through Monday’s action. Bell’s ERA in 2011 was 2.44, but in 2012 is 5.19 through Monday. Bell was signed in the offseason to a four-year $35 million contract that will keep him with the Marlins through the age of 37. Guillen is signed for four years, $10 million.
The Marlins have turned into a sideshow at this point in the season. The team is 66-87, 27 games out of first place and between the Bell vs. Guillen comments and team owner Jeffrey Loria and former manager Fredi Gonzalez taking shots at each other; it’s hard to see the Marlins falling much further.
While Loria and the team are planning on cutting spending in 2013 and going forward, the drama surrounding the team should make the offseason very interesting.