No reason was given for Bell’s absence when the announcement was made a few minutes before the start of Sunday’s game. Spokesmen for both the Phillies and Mets said they did not know why Bell was not at Citi Field.
Bell was supposed to be at first base for the series finale. Instead, Laz Diaz moved from second base to first and the game began with three umps on the field. Crew chief John Hirschbeck had the plate and Scott Barry was at third.
The 46-year-old Bell, a big league umpire since 1993, worked the 2006 World Series. He returned to the field after having open heart surgery in 1999.