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Bell says Guillen 'doesn't tell you the truth'

The Sports Xchange

Marlins relief pitcher Heath Bell criticized his manager, Ozzie Guillen, during a radio interview on Monday, suggesting Guillen was not truthful with him.

Bell started the season as the Marlins closer but was replaced in that role after struggling early in the season. Bell, 34, is in his first season with the Marlins after signing a three-year, $27 million contract. He has a 5.19 ERA and has converted 19 of 26 save opportunities this season.

"It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth or doesn't tell you face-to-face," Bell said on "The Dan Sileo Show" on WQAM in Miami, according to ESPN.com. "There's probably reasons why."

Bell has a 3.12 ERA since being replaced as the team's closer but says Guillen has not given him a chance to reclaim the closer role.

"I stunk in April, plain and simple," Bell said. "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."

At first, Bell's only reference to Guillen during the radio interview was, "It's been an interesting year with Ozzie."

But he later suggested Guillen was not always up front with players.

"It's just one of those things that -- what you see is what you get," Bell said. "I'm not going to be two-faced. I'm not going to sneak around your back and say this and that.

"We need a guy that leads us that everybody respects and looks up to. That's what we need."

On Sunday, Guillen told Fox Sports Florida why he has stuck with Steve Cishek as his closer, but Guillen also said Bell would be given the opportunity to close in 2013.

--Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly angry at Guillen over comments the manager made about him recently and they may lead to his firing, the Palm Beach Post reported Monday.

The newspaper reported that Loria did not appreciate being "called out" by Guillen on Friday.

"If Jeffrey doesn't think I'm doing the job I should do ... it's not the first time he's fired a manager," Guillen said. "Look yourself in the mirror and ask why so many (expletive) managers come through here."

The Marlins have had six managers since 2002.

Guillen has made several comments recently about his job safety and others around him. The Post reported that it is not clear exactly which comments angered Loria.

Guillen said last weekend, "When you are in last place you need a better manager, better general manager, better owner, a better everything when you are a last-place team because we all failed. Whoever works for the Marlins and denies that he should be fired is full of (expletive)."

The Post reported that a source indicated that there was a 75 percent chance Guillen would be fired.

It was reported by several Florida media outlets last week that baseball operations president Larry Beinfest's job was safe but Guillen may be on the way out.

But USA Today reported Thursday that Beinfest was going to be let go and Guillen would keep his job.

--The Marlins' philosophy for years has been that pitching, more than offense, is the most important aspect of winning games.

Their starting pitching this season has underperformed. To pitching coach Randy St. Claire, the bigger disappointment has been the bullpen.

"For me the starting pitching was fairly decent. They gave us a chance most games and kept us in ballgames. The bullpen scuffled," he said.

Marlins relievers went into Tuesday with a collective 4.03, 10th among National League teams, while allowing opponents a .265 average, 14th worst among NL bullpens.

Miami also has blown 20 saves, tied with the Cubs for the fourth most among NL teams. The biggest culprit was Heath Bell, the three-time All-Star who signed a three-year, $27 million contract in December. He lost the closer's job at the All-Star break and is 19-for-26 in save chances with a 5.19 ERA.

"Those games that you lose when you are leading by three or four runs, those are gut-wrenching losses," St. Claire said. "We had a number of those, and I think it just takes wear and tear over the course of the year. That's been the biggest disappointment."

Once again, the Marlins will take a hard look this offseason at rebuilding their bullpen.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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