Updated Aug 13, 2013 - 1:13 pm
Diamondbacks' Heath Bell dispels notion that money can affect a baseball player's performance
This season, amidst the reliever's copious struggles, questions arose about a potential influx of pressure to prove himself worthy of the figure or a potential loss of drive following the extension.
After payday had come and gone, did Hernandez lose his survival instinct and, with it, his competitiveness? Did he feel bogged down by the seeming need to show that he deserved the money?
No way, says bullpen-mate Heath Bell.
"That's just a media thing," Bell said Sunday, when asked about his teammate. "I really think that's just something the media says.
"Everyone that I know who signs a contract, doesn't try to do anything more the next year."
In the discussion, Bell was clear -- money wasn't to blame for Hernandez's forgettable season.
"Let me put it this way," he went on, "when you don't have a contract, if you don't do well, they're going to get rid of you. So you're going to bust your butt. Now that you have a contract, if you're busting your butt to live up to the contract, it's the same thing as busting your butt when you're trying to get a contract. It's just different wording."
"So I believe that's just a media thing."
Bell, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Miami Marlin before the 2012 season, knows what it's like to hear that money is the root cause of a performance problem.
Despite tallying 134 saves and a 3.06 ERA over his first eight seasons in the major leagues, Bell struggled profoundly in his first season after signing that gargantuan contract, blowing eight of his 27 save opportunities, while compiling a 5.09 ERA in 73 appearances for the Marlins.
"A lot of people said that about me last year," he explained.
"But I had a lot of off-the-field issues last year that I wasn't going to talk about."
Bell said he thought the same was true for Hernandez's 2013 struggles.
"You've got to have confidence in yourself, which I think David started lacking, started questioning," he said.
"He'll go down to Triple-A, build that and he'll come back here and be better than he ever was."
- Mark Grace named D-backs minor league hitting coach
- Luis Gonzalez: Mark Trumbo a Christmas gift for Paul Goldschmidt
- Diamondbacks extend relief pitcher Brad Ziegler
- D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy: Protective headgear will be available in 2014
- The Pulse: 'Let's wait and see' on Addison Reed-Matt Davidson trade
- Luis Gonzalez, D-backs World Series Legend - Friday December 20Gonzo discusses the Trumbo trade and what it means for the D-backs.
- Brad Ziegler, D-backs Pitcher - Wednesday December 18D-backs trying to win now, Ziggy talks about what that means for the clubhouse.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB analyst - Thursday December 12Did the D-backs pick up a true power hitter?
- Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks Outfielder - Wednesday December 11Mark Trumbo joins the show to discuss being traded to the Diamondbacks.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday December 11Why did the D-backs add Mark Trumbo and will they make more moves?