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March 6, 2013

Heath Bell

David Hernandez


THE MODERATOR:  We have got Heath Bell and Dave Hernandez with us.  We'll go ahead with questions.

Q.  Question for both of you guys.  Number one, David how does it feel to start this game tonight here in your own spring training facility?  And, Heath, how does it feel to be back on the team for a second time around?
DAVID HERNANDEZ:  It is my first start since 2010 and it's probably a good reason why I've turned into a reliever since, so we'll just play it by ear.
Greg told me how much time I needed, and I told him I'll wait for the other team to take the mound.
HEATH BELL:  I'm honored to be back on the team, and I think Maddux has talked to me, just to influence some of the guys, what it's going to be like because it's a playoff atmosphere and just go out and try not to do too much.  Just go out there and just do your thing.
So I feel really honored to be‑‑ this is my second time, so I'm just proud to be an American.

Q.  You were still on the Padres when Maddux was there, right?
HEATH BELL:  His first two years there I was there too.

Q.  What kind of influence did he have on you there?
HEATH BELL:  He influenced me a little bit.  It wasn't as much as I hoped, just because he was a starter and I was in the bullpen all the time and he was in the clubhouse, but he was really good.  He would just come over and tell you certain things, like, hey, I know this scouting report says throw this guy away, but with your stuff, just pound him in.
He was a good guy to have in the clubhouse.  He was always fun and made good jokes and just made us loose.  And you think of that kind of caliber kind of guy, future Hall of Famer and he's just fooling around with the rest of us, it made everybody at ease and really easy to listen to him.  He would do some funny things and we kind of tried to do it too.

Q.  Do you have any examples of funny things?
HEATH BELL:  When you throw the balls into the bucket, usually it's a ball boy.  He would try to hurt‑‑ not necessarily hurt him, but he would try to hit him in the ankle every single time.  And I never once really saw him play catch with anybody, but when we go out and play catch he would pick up a ball and throw it against the wall and just consistently dot that one little area.  And that's how he warmed up.
Or occasionally when the balls were rolling in from the pitchers BP, he would just go and try to hit the ball that was coming towards him and half the time he was hitting it.  So we all tried to do that and we were no good at it.

Q.  David, you talked about this a little bit, but here you're thinking you're going to be on Team Mexico and now you find yourself on the USA team.  What's your train of thought being switched so quickly like that and to have a different mindset for the team you're on?
DAVID HERNANDEZ:  I think it was always going to be the same mindset.  You always want to go out there and prepare either way, whatever team I was going to be on.  I was teetering there for a second, didn't know if I was going to be on a team or if I was going to be allowed to play.
But I was just grateful and honored that Team USA had a roster spot open and Joe Torre had extended the invite, and of course there's only one answer to that question.

Q.  Heath, going back a few years, your first stint doing this, anything from those days that kind of made this a no‑brainer in terms of when you were asked to join the team?
HEATH BELL:  When I got asked to the team last time in 2009 I was just a huge honor to represent the UnitedStates.  It's like playing for the Olympics and all the guys in the clubhouse were amazing and they're all like maybe future Hall of Famers, they're students.  And it was just a huge honor to be a part of that.  We almost won it in 2009.  We were basically one game away.  So I would love to kind of finish what we have started in 2009 and win it this year.

Q.  What's the clubhouse been like for you guys, and is there anybody that surprises you in the personalities that you've seen there now that you guys have been together a couple days?
HEATH BELL:  There was a lot of cakes today.

Q.  Explain the cake that you saw in the clubhouse today, please.
HEATH BELL:  Well, I will say that one of the cakes was a birthday cake and the other cake was to Bloomquist, our teammate during the season because the pitchers were rewarded‑‑ David and I‑‑ cakes for going to the World Baseball Classic, and Willie was kind of heartbroken that the hitters didn't do it.  So I think they got together and sent him a cake today.

Q.  Any other teammates that you were meeting for the first time or guys that you're getting to know, stories that you have?
DAVID HERNANDEZ:  Not really, just an honor to be able to meet these guys.  I played against them and just to be able to say hello and introduce myself, it's just kind of eye‑opening how far we have come.
HEATH BELL:  One thing that's cool, I know some of the players but the guys that I didn't know, they knew who I was and I think that's pretty cool.  Because these are pretty good studs around the league and they just walk up, hey, Heath, how you doing?  So it's kind of it's a nice honor that the guys know who you are around the league.

Q.  Talk about playing for Joe Torre and what that's like with not just Joe but that whole coaching staff?
DAVID HERNANDEZ:  It's a Hall of Fame coaching staff is what it really is.  Growing up you see a lot of Yankee games, Yankee postseason games, and there's probably not a better manager that Team USA could ask to have.  And definitely not a better pitching coach.
HEATH BELL:  Just get a lot of autographs.

Q.  David, you’re facing Mexico in your first game.  What's that going to be like for you?
DAVID HERNANDEZ:  I'm going to hope I get three outs before they score a run, otherwise I'm sure I'll probably get some backlash.  But, no, I'm just going to not even regard ‑‑ it doesn't matter what team's up there, I'm going to try and get three outs before they score.  That's the ultimate goal.

Q.  Has Joe Torre had any special messages or talks with you guys?  There's a guy, a manager with so much playoff experience, and is he trying to guide you to think certain way during this competition?
HEATH BELL:  He told us to win.  Plain and simple.  We could do something that the UnitedStates team has never done before and win this.  And Japan's won the first two and we could be the first team, the first USA team to win.  So don't take it lightly.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you guys very much.

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