"I harboured some bad feelings about [being moved to the pen] and from there I awfulized everything," [rob bell] said. "I felt like going to the bullpen was a demotion, I looked at everything in the most negative possible way, which is not a way I usually look at things."
There were other stresses, too.
The relationship with his longtime girlfriend had just ended and he was building a house in Tampa. When he got to the ballpark, Bell just couldn't shut off all the negatives and focus on pitching.
"I thought I was," he said. "How does someone who has never suffered from anxiety suffer from it to the point that he can't even throw the ball between the dugouts? What happens? Is it just baseball? No. I have a hard time at the end of the day agreeing with that.
"Sometimes it's good to be dumb in this game and to have a short memory, not overanalyze things. That's why guys leave here, you can beat yourself up about a lot of things on and off the field."
The Devil Rays placed him on the disabled list May 14 and he spent the following month visiting a series of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists while trying to regain his pitching motion at extended spring training.
At first, none of it went well. He got wilder on the mound and frustration grew, the constant discussion of his issues nearly consuming him. Tired of tearing himself apart, he stopped seeing the doctors and taking the medications prescribed to him, trying things his own way instead.
"The more I was talking about it, the more I felt I was feeding the monster," said Bell. "I just said I want to put this stuff in the closet, turn off the lights, lock the door and throw out the key. Whether it was right or wrong, I don't know, but coincidentally things got better from there.
"How many people do I really want to let know how shitty I feel about myself or how embarrassed I am? Sometimes you don't want to reveal your weaknesses. It's painful. You feel vulnerable. It just sucked."
Bell finished out the 2005 season with triple-A Durham, appearing in 22 games and posting a 1-3 mark with a 7.71 ERA. A minor-league free agent, he signed with the Cleveland Indians in 2006 and spent the entire year with triple-A Buffalo, going 9-10 with a 4.25 ERA in 30 games.
"I think there was still a hint of it there," he said of his first outing of 2006, a 1-2-3 inning of relief at Richmond. "A lot of dealing with the anxiety I had was discerning what was nerves and normal stuff I had always dealt with and what was something that was foreign and unusual."
By the end of that year, Bell was certain he had found a way to contain the monster. He signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles last November, intent on returning to the big leagues.
A strong spring put him in the running but he was among the team's last cuts. When health issues wreaked havoc on the team's staff in midsummer, he was brought up for an interleague series in San Diego.
"I wasn't going to leave the clubhouse, I was going to cry," he recalled of that first day. "I thought about how far I'd come, some of it was I felt like I'd cost myself a year of pitching in the big leagues. I was also overwhelmed with excitement.
"The older you get the smaller the window of opportunity becomes, I'm not an idiot. I relished the opportunity to come back here and pitch and compete and enjoyed everything that goes with it." [680 news]
awfulized is so going into my vocabulary.
aww is right...By June, at 11:49 PM <$BlogItemControl$>
"Sometimes it's good to be dumb in this game and to have a short memory, not overanalyze things."By Rich, at 11:25 AM <$BlogItemControl$>
Not just in "this game," but in life.
he's a smart cookieBy lupe!, at 4:35 PM <$BlogItemControl$>
Truer words...By Mr. Faded Glory, at 12:52 PM <$BlogItemControl$>
Not just in "this game," but in life.
False. It is far better to remember everything so that we don't repeat our mistakes, but also are better able to punish those who have transgressed against us.
By lupe!, at 1:02 PM <$BlogItemControl$>
oh hay dwight
that dude's a freaking genius. makes you feel sorry for him, want to kill him and laugh at him all at once.By June, at 6:21 PM <$BlogItemControl$>
lupe! :: permalink