Bell's nephew killed in Iraq

Bell's nephew killed in Iraq

BOSTON -- The Royals' Buddy Bell managed with a heavy heart Wednesday night.

Bell learned earlier in the day that his nephew, Timothy M. Bell, 22, was among 14 U.S. Marine reservists from Ohio that were killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.

"It made it a lot tougher because emotionally we wanted to pull this one out for our skipper," team captain Mike Sweeney said.

"We know the pain he's going through and he's our leader. We wanted to win this one for him and his family."

The Royals lost their sixth straight game, 8-5, to the Red Sox.

Royals players learned of Tim Bell's death shortly before the game.

"Our troops have been over there for a while and I lost a high school friend of mine awhile back and now the skipper's nephew. It makes the war personal," Sweeney said.

"It's thousands of miles away and you read about it in the papers, but when you see your skipper, the rock of the team, with tears in his eyes, it definitely makes it more personal. It's tough."

Sweeney expressed the hope that "all the faithful out there" would pray for Bell's family.

A moment of silence for the 14 soldiers was observed just prior to the game.

"That was probably the most touching moment of silence I've ever been through," Sweeney said.

Team spokesman David Witty said that Bell was expected to be in Boston for Thursday's game but did not know his plans after that.

Bell did not want to discuss his nephew's death following the game.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.