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