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Derek Bell

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Derek Nathaniel Bell

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Derek Bell is most infamously known for the "Operation Shutdown" incident of 2002. After a terrible 2001 in which he hit .173 for the Pittsburgh Pirates (and a paltry .162 in 22 games at AAA Nashville), Bell was displeased when at spring training, it was announced he would have to fight for a position.

Quoth Bell:

"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 did just that in the end of March. Unsurprisingly, he was released and never played in the majors again. The Pirates paid him over 4 million dollars that year. Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette brilliantly stated: "Derek Bell becomes the ultimate Pirate: lives on a boat and steals money."

Derek Bell was a member of the 1980 Little League World Series USA Champion team from Tampa, Florida. They lost in the championship game to Taiwan's Hualien County, 4-3. One of Bell's teammates was future major leaguer Gary Sheffield and another was first-round pick Ty Griffin. Bell was 0 for 3 with a RBI in the finale, hitting 5th and playing right field for Tampa. He played in the 1981 Little League World Series as well to be the first two-time LLWS player who would become a major leaguer. Tampa (this time without Sheffield and Griffin) again won the US title. In the finale, Bell hit third and went 1 for 3; he also pitched, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 wild pitches and 4 runs while fanning 9 in 5 innings in a 4-2 loss to Taichung, Taiwan.

On April 19, 2006 Derek Bell was arrested in Tampa for cocaine possession.

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