Origins of Operation Shutdown


In the spring training of 2002, after batting .173 the previous year, Derek Bell was expected to compete for a starting job. However, he thought that he didn't need to, saying that "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.