Guillen backs Bell as his closer

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said Sunday he's sticking with embattled closer Heath Bell in the closer's role -- even though Guillen removed Bell from the ninth inning Friday and Saturday in games the Marlins won.
Guillen said the best way to get Bell back on track is to help him gain confidence. And the only way he can do that is to continue giving Bell the ball in save situations.
"My vote of confidence, maybe a lot of people don't (agree with) that, but I'm the manager and I'm not going to kick the guy when he is down," Guillen said. "I will take full responsibility if we fail in that department. My job is to put him there and create more confidence."
Bell -- who saved at least 40 games in each of the previous three seasons, all with San Diego -- signed a three-year, $27 million contract with Miami in December. He has a 8.47 ERA for the Marlins this year and has blown four of 11 save chances.
"It's easy to bury somebody when he is down. I think my job and my coaching staff's job is to continue to believe in him. He's not hurt. He's still throwing pretty good. I just wish he'd throw me strikes. So does he," Guillen said. "I will bite the bullets from the fans, from the front office, from anybody. That's what I'm here for -- to bite the bullet for my players."
The Marlins had no need for a closer Sunday, as starter Ricky Nolasco got the loss in the 3-2 defeat against the Giants. San Francisco and Miami split the four-game series.

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