MIAMI -- With the Marlins in the midst of a 1-8 stretch, frustrations appeared to come to a boil late Wednesday night.
Turns out, it was just a misunderstanding.
Manager Ozzie Guillen went to pull closer Heath Bell with two outs in the ninth of the Marlins' 10-2 loss to the Red Sox. Bell had given up a pair of hits in the inning, but he just struck out Will Middlebrooks for the second out of the inning before Guillen came out to pull Bell and bring in Sandy Rosario. As Bell walked off the field, he turned back and said something to Guillen.
"I just said I could get this guy out," Bell explained. "He wanted to protect me. I understood what he was saying. It kind of looked like I disrespected him, but I didn't mean it that way."
Bell was only pitching to get in some work since the Marlins are off Thursday. Guillen wanted to get him 15 to 20 pitches, and the third strike on Middlebrooks was pitch No. 19. Despite having two men on, Bell wanted to show his team he could get them out of the jam, but said he understood Guillen wanted to save his arm. Bell added that when the team is struggling like it is, minor miscommunications seem to get blown out of proportion.
"He wanted to give me some work, but not too much work and it was basically like two bulls just hitting the head," Bell said.
After Bell returned to the dugout, he explained the situation to bench coach Joey Cora and asked him to make sure Guillen didn't take it the wrong way. Bell and Guillen then patched things up after Rosario recorded the final out.
"If you're a pitcher, you're a hitter, you have to be upset [about being taken out of the game]," Guillen said, "but it was a misunderstanding. We already talked it over and it's over with."