(09-10) 04:00 PDT San Diego -- One of the better subplots in this series and the division race is the battle between closers Brian Wilson and Heath Bell for the National League saves crown, and perhaps the major-league title.
Bell is a Wilson fan. He called his Giants counterpart "a dominant closer" and said, "He has an amazing arm and an amazing fastball. He's got a fastball I would love. I think he's a great closer. You've got to be a little quirky, a little weird. I think he's got all that."
Bell is modest about his own fastball, which reaches the mid-90s and makes it tough for hitters to look for a big 12-to-6 curveball.
At 32, Bell is 4 1/2 years older than Wilson. They have topped the NL saves leaderboard for much of the season. The Padres' recent 10-game losing streak has enabled Wilson to push ahead, 41-39. Wilson also co-leads the majors with Tampa Bay's Rafael Soriano.
Wilson also has an edge in time spent doing crunches.
"I've never seen him in the shower or anything, but he's ripped," Bell said.
"He looks like he's strong. I think closers might work on their abs. I work on one ab, and that's the big one, my au naturel ab," Bell said, pointing toward a belly that looks more Sunday beer league than Mr. Universe. Bell then grabbed a potato chip out of a bag and said, "Look. I'm working on my ab now."
More seriously, Bell called Wilson "one of the best guys around. If I get labeled with him in the same sentence, it's a huge honor because he's definitely having one of the best years any closer is having. He's good, and he's got magic shoes."
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