Most of you probably remember just how awesome Heath Bell is. In case you needed a reminder, he’s the guy who called out ESPN’s baseball coverage, saying it was biased towards the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and New York Mets. He then implored anyone listening to tune in to the MLB Network instead. Then a few days later he talked about how he had a bunch of friends on the Mets and that they were an incredibly talented group of players, they weren’t really a “team.”
Normally we would probably dismiss this as a random player popping off the first time someone shoved a mic in his face. But with Heath Bell, it’s different. Why? Because he’s dominating.
Last night Bell notched his Major League-leading (tied with three others) 11th save, pitching a perfect ninth inning in the San Diego Padres’ 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. So far this season Bell has appeared in 16 games, tossed 17.0 innings and has yet to allow a run. He’s saved 11 games in 11 chances, carries a 1-0 record, has allowed just seven hits, and walked five while striking out 22. Those numbers translate to a 0.00 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. When you compare him to the rest of the league statistically, he’s been the most dominant closer in baseball this season.
Honestly, the fact that Bell is dominating doesn’t make us love him as much as his personality does. The 31-year-old righty is also the same guy who was spurred to lose weight this past offseason because his character created by his kids’ Wii Fit was obese. It’s also hard not to love a guy who toiled in the minor leagues for seven years and was never given a shot by the Mets.
That same guy was recently quoted by Tim Kurkjian as saying, “I got my first check of the year the other day. They took out $25,000 for taxes. Can you believe that? I’m making $1.255 million. I’m a millionaire! I’m a millionaire! How cool is that?”
To repeat: We love Heath Bell.