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Marlins' Bell says he wasn't criticizing Guillen

The SportsXchange

Miami Marlins relief pitcher Heath Bell believes comments he made on a radio program on Monday were misinterpreted as criticism of manager Ozzie Guillen, so he went back on the radio on Tuesday to try to clarify things.

"I was never criticizing Ozzie," Bell said on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM on Tuesday. "I don't think that's 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. Sometimes it's hard to respect a guy when he doesn't tell you face to face and tells you in the media. And that's basically what I said. I never said I don't respect him as a manager or a person.

"It is interesting, I think, to play underneath a manager like Ozzie because he talks to the press and he does a lot of things and he's loud. But you know what? You know, I've had good managers, I've had bad managers and I don't think Ozzie's the reason why we really stunk this year.

"And the thing is, I think this organization can do great things. I just think everybody's trying to point fingers why we didn't win. And, you know, did I say something I probably shouldn't have? Yes, I did. I'm going to own up to it. But you know what? I'm not going to back down from anybody.

"Apparently I just have to keep my mouth shut. Next year I'm not going to talk to anybody for the simple fact [that] it's not doing me any good. I had to get off Twitter, I had to get my whole family off Twitter and Facebook because everybody, even my 14-year-old daughter, my oldest daughter was hearing things and people were writing things and saying things that weren't true. And it was just hitting me personally."

On Monday, on a different radio program, Bell said, "It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth or doesn't tell you face to face. There's probably reasons why."

Bell, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract last December, feels he was never given a chance to regain the closer role he lost to Steve Cishek in the second half of the season.
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