Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/4/13
SAN DIEGO -- When Heath Bell entered the game in the eighth inning Saturday night, San Diego fans let him know exactly what they thought of his five mostly remarkable seasons here. Catcalls, combined with a smattering of appreciation. Three 40-save years does not buy much any more. Bell knew it was coming. He got the same thing last year, when he returned to Petco Park after signing a free-agent deal with the Marlins following seasons of 42, 47 and 43 saves with the Padres. That run began in 2009, when he took over as closer from Hall of Famer-in-waiting Trevor Hoffman. Not that it bothered him Saturday. Bell got Jedd Gyorko to ground into an inning-ending double play after entering with the bases loaded and one out in an 8-1 game and finishing with a 1-2-3 ninth. A poor reception comes with the territory for alien invaders, but some fans here seem to believe that Bell deserted the Padres. The truth is nothing like that. Bell signed a three-year, 27 million contract with Miami in the winter of 2011 only after the Padres made him a lukewarm, below-market -- some might consider relatively insulting -- offer of two years at 11 million. This after Bell made 7.5 million in 2011, settling rather than taking the team to arbitration. It was reported at the time that Bell had been offered three years and 21 million to stay in San Diego, and that appears to be the source of much of the animosity. I was never offered that. My wife gets those questions all the time. 'Whyd you leave?' Well, we never got offered that. There is new ownership now, so you cant really say anything, Bell said. Bell was a perfect fit in San Diego, and he and his wife and four children still make their home here. He was a popular as he was effective. He had a line of well-wishers at his locker on his first day back Friday afternoon, with clubhouse attendants, Petco Park personnel and others taking time to check in. When Bell was here, he included those people in the pizza parties and barbecue dinners at his house. He had hoped to finish his career with the Padres, but he has had to re-evaluate. I loved my time here. Great city. Coaches were great. Pitching coach really molded me into who I am today. (Manager) Bud Black, same thing, Bell said. Now, I am hoping to finish my career as a Diamondback, past this contract that I have now. When I have some place I really like, especially like the Diamondbacks, I want to stay here for a long time. I dont want to play two more years. I want to play past that. Bells contract runs through 2014, and the D-backs hold an option for 2015. One of Kevin Towers great finds, Bell was acquired by the Padres from the Mets before the 2007 season and served as Hoffmans setup man for two years before taking over as closer. Pitching coach Darren Balsley and the Padres be-who-you-are mentality helped enormously, he said. He just let me pitch the way I wanted to pitch. In New York they didnt like my short stride. They didnt like my herky-jerky-ness. They thought I was not flexible enough and that I was too big. I came here and they just said, Keep the ball down and get people out. Thats all we care about. I was, 'OK, cool,' Bell said. They helped me along, kind of like Nags (D-backs pitching coach Charles Nagy). When I have a bad outing, he just says maybe you are just rushing a little bit, or you missed your spot. You get that confidence feedback. And the next day you go out deal and dominate. Being back in town is kind of like seeing your brothers, Bell said. I said hi to everybody. Hopefully I go out and get them out now, he said. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly


Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker