The San Diego Padres suck. We all know this. Following a 2-0 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday night, the Friars are currently 33-41 and 14 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West race. Why do I bring this up? Because despite the level of ineptitude on the roster, the Padres have two guys who unquestionably belong in the All-Star game.
Adrian Gonzalez is going to make the game. No question about it. He’s hitting just .271 right now, but his 24 home runs (2nd in the NL), 47 RBI (16th), .413 OBP (7th), .585 SLG (5th) and .998 OPS (4th) mean he’s one of the best hitters in all of baseball right now. He’s also leading the NL with 61 walks against just 53 strikeouts. He’s also the reigning gold glove winner at first base. He’s in. No doubt about it.
The other guy who should be going is everyone’s favorite closer, Heath Bell. But with how awful the Padres are, will Bell’s fantastic season get overlooked? It shouldn’t, because when you look at the statistics, Bell has been the best closer in baseball thus far. Bell got a save on Sunday, giving him 21 on the season. That ties him for the major league lead with Brian Fuentes of the Angels.
Here are Bell’s number so far: 3-1 record, 1.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 21 saves (1 blown), 32.1 innings, 36 strikeouts, 20 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 0 home runs.
-Fuentes has three blown saves and a 3.76 ERA.
-Francisco Rodriguez of the Mets has 20 saves and a 1.23 ERA. But he’s blown two saves, has a 1-2 record and a 1.15 WHIP.
-Brian Wilson of the Giants has 20 saves but has blown four chances, has a 2-4 record and a 3.63 ERA.
-Huston Street has blown just one save, has a 2-1 record, 19 saves but a 2.91 ERA.
-Ryan Franklin of the Cardinals has a legitimate claim, but he has just 18 saves (has blown one). He also carries a 0.93 ERA.
I could go over the minute details all day but take my word for it, Bell has the best numbers.
Here’s the real reason we want to see Heath Bell at the All-Star game: We want someone (ESPN or the MLB Network) to mic him up on the field during all of the festivities. Given his past history of saying anything and everything that’s on his mind, this would be broadcast gold. They wouldn’t even need Erin Andrews to walk around and give awkward interviews with guys who are clearly checking her out, just throw Heath in there and he’ll get everything you need and then some.
I’m giving this idea out for free, that’s how badly I want to see/hear it. This HAS to happen. But first Bell needs to be put on to his first All-Star team.