The Nationals released Heath Bell Monday, and today, the 37-year-old reliever said he would retire. Watch him sprint to the mound in the 2011 All-Star Game.
Bell's best days were with the Padres; he found a role as the eighth-inning man for closer Trevor Hoffman. When Hoffman left for the Brewers in 2009, Bell took over the role. He posted three straight seasons with at least 40 saves and an All-Star nod in each one. Then, he signed with the Marlins in 2012 during their ill-fated shopping spree, and everything fell apart. Bell blew three saves in April, and it took him until about halfway through May before his ERA was under 10.00.
Bell bounced around on a few other teams after a horrible experience in Miami, but he never returned to being the sure thing he was in San Diego. He came to the Nationals as a significantly lighter man this year, but the change apparently wasn't enough to earn him a role. Let's just remember him as the boulder who went full-speed from the bullpen to the rubber.