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Padres Dub Dominant Bullpen 'PENitentiary'; Will It Stay Intact?

Jun 18, 2010 – 9:48 PM
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Tom Krasovic

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Nick Hundley and Heath BellSAN DIEGO -- Every great bullpen deserves a colorful nickname, and Padres relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams have come up with one for San Diego's best-in-baseball bullpen.

The "PENitentiary."

Padres relievers distributed "PENitentiary" shirts in the clubhouse before Friday's game against the Orioles.

In blue print against a gray background, a National League logo is depicted behind jail bars. Nearby is the phrase: "Got 'em in lockdown!"

Bell proudly displayed a shirt. "It's awesome," said the closer, who is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 17 saves.

Adams, the eighth-inning specialist, enlisted his tattoo artist to create the "PENitentiary" logo.

Having sent a raft of opponents to the clink, San Diego's 'pen leads the majors in ERA (2.66), strikeouts (231) and batting average allowed (.207).

Jed Hoyer, the team's general manager, likes both the style and the substance behind the message

"Things like those shirts are great," he said. "I feel great bullpens are a unit, and I think things like that are part of the camaraderie."

The $38 million Padres don't have a great offense, but, led by their bullpen, they are atop the National League West. With the July 31 trade deadline looming, it remains to be seen whether Hoyer will deal from a position of strength and trade a reliever for a hitter, but the GM told FanHouse on Friday that he prefers to keep the bullpen intact.

"That's a slippery slope when you start trading pitching to get hitting," he said. "Your pitching depth could evaporate. I'm disinclined to trade pitching depth to get hitting."
Filed under: Sports