For the better part of 16 seasons, a ninth-inning lead in
That tune has changed. It's Heath Bell's time now. In an exclusive interview,
"If you actually listen to the song, it works great as a closer song,"
The Padres are counting on
"I'm not going to be as mellow as Trevor,"
If you think he won't make it, it wouldn't be the first time someone doubted him. He originally signed with the New York Mets organization in 1998 out of an open tryout. His signing bonus: 400 bucks.
Now he has the most pressure-packed pitching job in baseball: getting the final three outs
"It's kind of make or break because I'm getting an opportunity to do what I want to do which is close," he said. "If I don't do it, I'm 31, I might not get that opportunity again so it's kind of make or break. I like the pressure."
The guy he's replacing has no doubts
"I think it's a tremendous opportunity for him," said Hoffman, now the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers. "I think he brings a lot of attributes to the role that are needed. (He has) a lot of confidence, throws strikes, great stuff. He's going to do fine in that role."
For most of his 16 years, Hoffman was the undisputed leader of the Padres bullpen while mentoring young pitchers and leading by example.
"One of my major goals, besides saving 30-40 games this year is to rebuild our bullpen,"