Heath Bell Does Not Care For Your Coverage, ESPN

April 14, 2009 – 12:55 am by Ryan Phillips

While you might think I’d use this space to inform you that Jody Gerut’s leadoff homerun at Citi Field last night was the first time a ballpark has been greeted with a homerun in the opening at bat, or to blab along about the San Diego Padres being 6-2 right now, I’ll spare you that. Instead I’m going to let you know just how great it is to have a microphone on when Heath Bell is in the room. Remember, this is the same guy who told a reporter his kids’ Wii Fit told him he was obese, so he lost 25 pounds using it.

Yesterday, Bell was in rare form, going off about ESPN’s bias towards teams in certain media markets, while ignoring others (specifically the Padres).

“I saw John Kruk on “Baseball Tonight” and he said, ‘They’re playing really well, but I don’t believe in them,'” Bell said before Monday’s game. “And I saw ESPN’s promo for tonight’s game. They mention the Mets are opening Citi Field, they mentioned the starting time, but nowhere did they mention the Padres. That gave me the (expletive).”

Bell was just getting warmed up in his pregame commentary.

“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and Yankees and Mets – and nobody else,” said the closer, a former Met. “That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’ When Jake Peavy threw 8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”

Can I just come right out and say that I now officially love Heath Bell. I liked the guy before, he’s pretty funny and has always been a great set-up guy, but this just seals the deal.

He’s not saying anything crazy, just exactly what we’ve all been thinking for a long time. The fact that a player finally said it, is awesome. He’s basically saying that ‘Baseball Tonight’ sucks (which is does) because they show tons of Yankees/Mets/Red Sox highlights and spend very little time on the rest of the league. Though he doesn’t mention it, I’m sure the fact that they have 10 analysts cover the exact same topic over and over again gets on his nerves as well.

So bravo Heath Bell, you keep being ESPN’s Unwanted Ombudsman. And keep enjoying the MLB Network, since you’re the only one and all.

*Photo from Getty Images

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  1. 75 Responses to “Heath Bell Does Not Care For Your Coverage, ESPN”

  2. Do you guys even read all the comments, or just regurgitate the first comment you agree with? Even if those teams have a larger fan base (for the sole reason of being in much larger urban areas than most other places in the country), these teams spend ludicrous amounts of money to bring in superstars. This doesn’t make these teams any more newsworthy, mind you. That’s like saying movies with only big-name actors should be seen, even if the movie is crap. Granted, big-name actors usually bring in more money, but that doesn’t make the movie better.

    Baseball fans shouldn’t care about names, they should care about quality. Unfortunately for the boston/new yorks/cubs, their fans do not care about quality. Blame it on the yankees for starting this trend, if you want. Just don’t go acting like your team is better just because you have more starry-eyed fans. Don’t you see how this is a downward spiral of baseball? If the sports channels mostly cover only those four teams, then most of america will only be familiar with players from those teams. In which case, why even have all the other teams? Just have 4. Yeah… that sounds like a great idea.

    By Castro on Apr 14, 2009

  3. Sorry felleas but you cannot include the Cubs in the ESPN ass-kissing Club. Perhaps very junior members of the last 2-3 years but I have lived outside the market for 15 years and every year my wife has to hear me bitch and moan about how there is next to no highlights or national games to watch.. Last year and this year will be a bit better, but it still pales in comparison to the sawks and yanks.

    That being said, most companies exist to cater to the larger markets. If they didn’t they would go under. Sorry gang nobody is watching a Padres Pirates game in April, May June July August or September for that matter. No need to even mention October.

    By outsidechicagocubbie on Apr 14, 2009

  4. EJButler…it doesn’t matter, don’t you get it? You say yourself a crappy movie with big names makes more money. Did you think ESPN was in it for the quality of play? You have tyo understand they cater to those that pay the bills. not the best baseball. unfair, agreed but stop lying to yourself thinking that ESPN is some sort of innocent presence on the national scene. They exist to make money. i exist to make love, but that is beside the point.

    By outsidechicagocubbie on Apr 14, 2009

  5. I have to guess that the bleeped expletive was “…douche chills”.

    By PS49PS on Apr 14, 2009

  6. Count me as a Heath Bell fan. He nailed it, and I hate ESPN with a passion. Not only are their analysts complete fools, they are misguided enough to suggest changes to sports.

    I’ve watched whole games against one of their pet teams, and if you didn’t already know who the opponent was you sure wouldn’t find out during their coverage. If the Yankees/Red Sox/et al weren’t at bat, they wouldn’t show them. Oh, and let’s not forget the baseball classic last year, when they were so worried about the Red Sox leaving for Japan they forgot to show the game.

    ESPN sucks. If I could drop them from my cable, I would.

    By da shoes on Apr 14, 2009

  7. Maybe Baseball Tonight can hold one of their fake-ass news conferences to address Mr. Bell’s criticisms.

    By Erin Andrews Cult of Personality on Apr 14, 2009

  8. I’m a Heath Bell fan now. I’m a Card fan and I cheer on any team playing the Yanks, Mets, Red Sox and of course the cubbies. I’m now with the Padres and Mr. Bell.

    By TimB on Apr 14, 2009

  9. WAHHHHHH!!! Heath talk to us in September when the Padres are where they belong in there rightful place “CELLAR DWELLARs” enjoy your 2 weeks of 1st place in the NL West…

    By BigMarc67 on Apr 14, 2009

  10. The clap. “That gave me the clap”

    By Brian on Apr 14, 2009

  11. I agree but only to a point. ESPN also televises basketball and Cleveland is on every other game because of LeBron. The Knicks, justifiably, have not been on all year. They make a guess as to who is good and who people want to see and they have decided it is not the San Diego Padres

    By jam on Apr 14, 2009


    By cbizkit on Apr 14, 2009

  13. Hooray for Heath Bell. No offense, but I really like MLB TV so far — and continue to dislike ESPN immensely.

    By phil on Apr 14, 2009

  14. The poll right now on ESPN is which team’s good start is most surprising. The Padres are not included.

    By brett Campfield on Apr 14, 2009

  15. Hmmm…I think there’s more than one person enjoying the MLB Network, especially since they have better talking heads and they do a great job of popping in and out of live games to deliver information.

    And since they do just about everything in HD *cough* NFL Network *cough*, it’s great to watch on my HDTV. :)

    By Matt on Apr 15, 2009

  16. I was a Yankees fan growing up in the 50’s in So. Cal. mainly because of the “Mick”. But, as anyone from the “boomer” generation will tell you, baseball, football, and basketball are no longer sports, only business. Whatever sells to the top markets is what is shown. That usually means N.Y. and Bos. What is even more of a sin is East Coast bias even in college. Classic example is Marshall Faulk losing the Heisman to Gino “Who?” Toretta in ’92. He wasn’t even the best player on his team, but Faulk was from San Diego State. Need I say more? So as long as pro sports is all about the best team you can BUY in the largest market, things will stay as they are.

    By Randy Pogue on Apr 15, 2009

  17. They gave me “The high hard one” or the “Big FU”

    By Jazz on Apr 16, 2009

  18. I’m more annoyed at the sports “fans” who eat this crap up. ESPN is playing to its audience of retarded imbeciles who like to paint themselves as sports fans without actually knowing anything about sports. Sox-Yanks is sexy; Padres-Royals is not. If a Cinderella rises – and stays risen past a minute sample size – they’ll eventually get a maudlin Tim Kurkjian voiceover with a staid, somber string arrangement in the background. Because their audience of retards will look around and say, “Wait, there’s a team in San Diego?” And ESPN have to patiently explain what a “Padre” is, and that “Heath Bell” is not actually a desert.

    By AntBoy on Apr 20, 2009

  19. This is kinda how ESPN has an almost creepy obsession with Tim Tebow. By the way, ESPN has been putting down the Mets a lot lately. I’m a huge Mets fan and I agree. They talk about the Mets in a pessimistic way.

    Also, the expletive is “shit sliders.”

    By Phillyeagles on Apr 28, 2009

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