Happy Belated Birthday Derek Bell
Today we honor the most hilarious Met ever. If you don't know whether to love him for his self-assured suckiness, the milestones he set for athlete entitlement, his house boat, crack smoking, or the way his tongue uttered the single most ridiculous thing an ex-Met ever said*, I say, why decide?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEREK!
*In spring training 2002, while with the Pirates, Bell, who had hit .173 the previous season, did not feel that he needed to prove he was worthy of a starting job.
On March 18, Bell told reporters:
"Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they're going to do with me. I ain't never hit in spring training and I never will. If it ain't settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain't going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown.' Tell them exactly what I said. I haven't competed for a job since 1991."
Bell jumped the team on March 29, was released on March 31, and never played in the Majors again. The Pirates ended up paying him $4.5 million not to play for them.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports columnist Mark Madden summarized the incident with "Derek Bell becomes the ultimate Pirate: Lives on a boat and steals money."