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Know your James Mungro Memorial Award Nominee: Trevor Bell, a new Chris Bootcheck?

This action shot showcases Bell's unorthodox release.

This action shot showcases Bell’s unorthodox release.

With only seven nominees fighting for this year’s James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by Kia, (hoping if I keep putting a company’s name there they’ll actually sponsor the award), we can get to know our brave competitors on a closer level before cuts are made. In the coming weeks, we’ll profile each one, going in alphabetical order. Unless I accidentally go out of order.

You don’t know Trevor Bell, but by the end of this you’ll be wondering where he was all your life.

See Bell is reminiscent of a young Chris Bootcheck. The parallels are many, and almost scary.

Like Bootcheck, Bell was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels. He was a compensatory first round pick, 37th overall, in the 2005 five draft. In total Bootcheck spent eight years in the Angels organization. In total Bell spent eight years in the Angels organization.

Like Bootcheck, Bell has come to the Tigers as a non-roster invitee, which puts him in the underdog position we all love.

Like Bootcheck, Bell has a semi-entertaining Twitter account. His profile lists him as a ‘Professional Zebra Trainer.’ Unfortunately he’s a little more self-aware of his actions and tries to be funny, which like all of us, works sometimes but doesn’t work most of the time. Nothing will match the pure joy and strangeness that Chris Bootcheck’s Twitter account brought us last season, but a Twitter/Instagram account is a good start.

And like Bootcheck, Bell isn’t even the coolest dude in his family. No, his dad is not a purple heart winner. Bell’s dad isn’t even interesting. It’s Bell’s grandfather, Bob, that puts every one else to shame.  Bob Bell was BOZO THE CLOWN. BOZO THE MOTHER!@$#ING CLOWN!

Confession: when I was like five I loved Bozo the MOTHER!@$#ING Clown, (he was known back then as simply Bozo the Clown.) While Bell’s grandfather was before my time, and out of Chicago not Detroit (I just learned there were different Bozo’s for each market) I respect the legacy he left.

Confession No. 2:

At one point in my life, I spurned Bozo to attend Jimbo the Clown’s Gymboree. No regrets. Jimbo’s Gymboree was a defining moment in my life. If the Tigers sign Jimbo’s grandson I would have quite the decision to make. But enough about me. Back to Bell.

Apparently, Bell’s brothers model and he even appeared in a couple commercials himself, making him no stranger to the spotlight. With the type of pressure and increased media scrutiny that comes from winning the James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by (sponsor pending), being comfortable with the cameras on is a good trait to have.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Bell and Bootcheck is the age difference. Bell is only 26, giving him a legitmate chance at the Tigers thinking he has some room for development.

To recap: Trevor Bell is a younger Chris Bootcheck except Bell’s grandfather was Bozo the Clown. For those reasons, Bell is the pre-preseason despite his boring name.

There are plenty of questions about whether he can live up to his favorite status, though. Unlike Bootcheck, Bell did not light up AAA last season. While Bootcheck was mowing down fools in the International League, Bell was struggling with the Sacrmento Bees in the Pacific Coast League. He pitched 37 innings in 10 games, going 1-6 with an 8.27 ERA. After those 10 games, the Angels just outright released him.

What did he do after that, I have no idea. It was probably the same thing you’re doing right now: reading about Trevor Bell’s highlights. Whether it’s you or him, you have to admit: It’s kind of fun.


(Sidenote: I have reached out via email to MLive.com’s James Schmehl regarding his reporting of Jose Alvarez sitting out the 2012 season due to surgery. He has yet to respond. CONSPIRACY)

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