Thursday, May 1, 2008

April is Over

By Nick McCann

"We're a better team than we've showed. We are," Heath Bell, said, after last night’s game where he threw a scoreless eighth inning that helped secure the Padres’ victory.

Heath then followed that statement with, "I really feel like times are changing. You could sense that we weren't backing down. I think the attitude was a little different today. ... I think that we needed a little meeting."

Thank God that the month of April is over. The Padres had a horrible start to the season and they finished their month of hell on somewhat of a high note with a Trevor Hoffman save, and a victory for Chris Young that included a substantial amount of run support.

I do find it interesting that Heath Bell implied that one of the main reasons for the victory last night was due to a team meeting. Athletes and coaches on every team on every level bring this up all the time and it is always after the team does something good. Nobody ever says, “We just lost five straight, so we needed to get everybody together and talk about it!”

Did the Pads get together and say come to the realization that Adrian Gonzalez should hit a homerun early in the game? Did they have a brainstorming session where they thought it would be a good thing for the bullpen to hold the lead?

It is great the Padres won last night, because it (A) showed they could score more than 2 runs and (B) because it showed they could work as team on all levels. But why did Heath Bell feel the need to credit an activity designed to build team unity to the media?

There has never been, or ever will be, sports interview where a player says, “yeah, we got our ass kicked tonight because we had this meeting where the overhead projector busted, the coffee was burned, and everybody just came up blank when were thinking of ideas on how to hit a 97mph fastball.”

It feels good to know that the Padres can talk. They are all in a hectic relationship that is truly a grind. However, next time I want to hear what is said in a meeting that helps them win and break a long losing streak, because I want to know exactly what they have forgotten.

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