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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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From the Top
Rays pitcher Bell still a bachelor, just not 'The Bachelor'
By MARC TOPKIN
Published March 13, 2005
It seemed like the perfect match.
Devil Rays pitcher Rob Bell, who fashions himself as the team's ultimate bachelor, had a chance this offseason to be on the ABC-TV show The Bachelor.
Bell's agents, the New York-based Levinson brothers, got a call last fall from the production company asking if Bell would be interested in being a candidate for the show's next season.
As the Levinsons ran through the details, a number of the women who work in their office urged Bell to proceed. "They were losing it, telling me I'd be awesome for it," he said.
Bell, who is usually on the, um, cutting edge of personal care and fashion trends, gave it serious consideration. He's about as metrosexual as they come, which would probably play well on TV. And he figured to present better than the show's last pro athlete, Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer.
But after poring over the preliminary application, Bell, 28, decided there might be, well, too much exposure.
"It would have been a great opportunity," he said. "But the timing wasn't right."
That doesn't mean Bell - whose preference is for "normal, dynamic women with great qualities" - isn't interested in playing the role of the bachelor.
"Hey," he said, "I'm single."
SEEN AND (OVER)HEARD: Here's some coffee talk - Bucs fullback Mike Alstott is rumored to be opening a Starbucks near the west end of St. Petersburg's Central Avenue. . . . Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson on surviving a bad auto accident in Tampa: "You wonder why you survived. . . . Now I have a second life." . . . Pro volleyball star/model Gabrielle Reece, who prepped in St. Petersburg at Keswick Christian, stars in an upcoming movie, Cloud Nine. But don't expect great cinema. The New York Post says the film features Burt Reynolds as a sleazy con man who organizes a group of L.A.-area strippers into - imagine this - a beach volleyball team. . . . Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui hosted his annual dinner with the New York beat writers at Donatello's. . . . The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy crew is headed to Fort Myers to make over Kevin Millar, with help from a handful of other Red Sox. If they were to stop in St. Petersburg, how about a session with Aubrey Huff? . . . With legendary restaurant Malio's closed, Yankees boss George Steinbrenner is supposedly eating out at an IHOP on Dale Mabry.
NEWS BRIEFS: Fred McGriff still wants the chance to hit the seven homers he needs for 500, but for now will hit the airwaves with a weekly radio show. McGriff, after studying at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, debuts on In the Batter's Box at 10 a.m. Saturday on WDAE-AM 620. Matt Sammon co-hosts. . . . Prolific St. Petersburg-based author Peter Golenbock teamed with Boston's Johnny Damon on an upcoming book, Idiot: Beating the Curse and Enjoying the Game of Life, which is due out April 4. "If you want to find out what happened behind the scenes, it's the best book to buy," said Golenbock. "And that's not hyperbole." . . . The Lightning has sold more than 3,000 pink hats to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Order through www.tampabaylightning.com or call 813 301-6590. . . . Manny Upton, father of Rays prospect B.J., is one of the officials working the ACC men's basketball tournament. . . . Brooksville's Bronson Arroyo last week finished recording his CD, Covering The Bases, at a Fort Myers studio, with teammates Damon, Lenny DiNardo and Kevin Youkilis doing some background vocals. The disc drops July 12.
* Would you feel better about the Bucs' chances to improve if you knew what they were trying to do in free agency? Or how about if they knew?
* Will there be anything left to say or write by the time the Red Sox and Yankees meet for the first time when it counts on April 3?
* Wasn't it sweet of former Bucs defensive back Dwight Smith to note the concern other teams had about his legal problems by saying: "You've got to understand that they've invested a lot of money in their players and they don't want their money to be in a jail cell more than on the football field?"
* Does USF's late run of success in Conference USA make the Bulls wish they weren't stepping up in class next year to the Big East?
DID YOU KNOW?
Rays winning percentage through first seven seasons: .399
Lightning winning percentage through first seven seasons: .381
Bucs winning percentage through first seven seasons: .361