It was March 18, 2002. The Pirates were in Bradenton for spring training. The plan, as always, was to get the players warmed up for the regular season. But, also as always, there was the evaluation of talent to make sure the best players were on the field. One of the positions being evaluated was right field. Armando Rios, Craig Wilson and Rob Mackowiak
all good prospects were being given a hard look to start there. This did not sit well with Derek Bell, the incumbent. So, Bell made the following announcement.
“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 seemed to believe all he had to do was show up and he would get the rightfield job. Nothing else was required. He had a big contract so it was unthinkable that he would get beat out of the right field job. But then manager Lloyd McClendon had other ideas. Bell would have to perform. Hit. Field. Most importantly, do what he was asked to do. This was not the way Bell wanted his world to work. So, he “shutdown”. When Bell did none of what he was asked to do, he was released. He never played in the Major Leagues again.
Last week Pastor Jeff talked about how we were to be disciples in a world that is not the way we want it to be. This week Pastor Jeff will preach about how to act like disciples in a world that is not like we want it to be. Will we go all “Operation Shutdown” or will we do what disciples of Jesus are called to do? Come to the John McMillan Presbyterian Church parking lot at 10am or watch us live on Facebook. You can also watch recordings later on Facebook or YouTube. We hope you will join us.