Former Blue Jay/Padre/Astro/Met/Pirate Derek Bell was arrested last night in his hometown of Tampa and charged with four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. It was his second drug-related arrest in three years and I haven't read a lot of statements we've read that are sadder than "Arrest records show he lives in Valrico and is unemployed." It's enough to make you feel bad for him, until you remember his most famous major league moment and then the smiles come back again. Ah, memories....
Back in 2002, when the internet belonged only to rich oligarchs, Bell was just a lonely Pittsburgh outfielder, horrified to learn that his .173 average was not enough to secure a spot in the starting lineup.
"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."
Well, that streak is still intact, because he hasn't played in a game since. Now, he's a two-time loser and hopefully still in possession of at least some of the money he earned in his 11-year career. Seriously, it's sad. But also kind of perfect? (And sad.)
Former baseball player arrested on drug charges [Fox 13 Tampa]