FanDuel - WFBC

June 08, 2007

Hell's Bells, That's a Lotta Saves!: San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman increases his own MLB record for career saves by notching The Big Five Oh...OH. Fitting that he struck out a Los Angeles Dodger (Russell Martin) for number 500, but with an outside fastball, not his trademark changeup. Hoffman gets a ride off the field from his teammates, and a lot of votes for the Hall of Fame.

posted by The_Black_Hand to baseball at 06:17 AM - 10 comments

Out of all of the comments from the writers on that link John Delcos put it the best: "There's no denying Rivera's greatness, but had the Yankees had Hoffman instead, I believe they would have been just as successful.'' No doubt with the couple of blown saves and the losses plus the inflated ERA for Rivera, I'll bet the Yankee's wouldn't mind having him this season.

posted by jojomfd1 at 07:14 AM on June 08

I was there!

posted by LionIndex at 09:53 AM on June 08

Hoffman is a great guy with a real respect and appreciation for the game and the writers love him. I'm not surprised there were no votes against his getting into the Hall of Fame. I think he deserves it all the way, but even if he was borderline (like some of the other closers currently on the ballot) his personality and love of the game would push him in. He's one of my favorite players in the game. That said, I don't follow Delcos's theory at all. In Game 3 of the 1998 World Series both Hoffman and Rivera entered the game with a lead and a runner on base. Long story short, Hoffman got the loss, Rivera got the save (working through the meat of the Padres' order). Hoffman is awesome, a first ballot Hall of Famer, but to say you can swap Rivera out with Hoffman or any other closer and still have the same level of success shows a real failure to appreciate what Rivera has done and does him a real disservice. (And if you think the Yankees would right now, straight up, trade Rivera for any other single closer in the game, you are crazy. Don't let that (fast deflating) ERA fool you -- remember, Al Reyes has a 2.03 ERA. It's still early for closers - Rivera has only pitched 20-some-odd innings.)

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:06 AM on June 08

And if you think the Yankees would right now, straight up, trade Rivera for any other single closer in the game, you are crazy. Really? Not even someone young like Francisco Rodriguez?

posted by bperk at 10:20 AM on June 08

Yeah, I should have clarified that I meant based on current ability and for this year alone. My point is simply that the Yankees are not looking at Rivera and wishing they had somebody else doing the closing this year. Not Hoffman, not anybody.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:37 AM on June 08

Really? Not even someone young like Francisco Rodriguez? Well, look at it this way, no way would L.A. trade Rodriguez for Rivera, not at this point in their careers. That said, I don't follow Delcos's theory at all. In Game 3 of the 1998 World Series both Hoffman and Rivera entered the game with a lead and a runner on base. Long story short, Hoffman got the loss, Rivera got the save (working through the meat of the Padres' order). Hoffman is awesome, a first ballot Hall of Famer, but to say you can swap Rivera out with Hoffman or any other closer and still have the same level of success shows a real failure to appreciate what Rivera has done and does him a real disservice. But we really don't know, do we? Maybe Hoffman shuts down the Red Sox in 2004. Who knows. But it's not an insult to Rivera, nor does it take anything away from what he's done to say that New York may have had very similar success from another first ballot hall of famer. In fact, it seems more probable that New York's success would have changed very little. I also think it's a mistake to look at one game as a measuring stick. If I recall the 1998 version of the Yankees had a much more potent offense than the Padres. Rivera has always been a great reliever surrounded by great teams. And this rings very true: He's not at the level of Mariano Rivera, in part because he hasn't had a chance to leave his mark on the postseason.

posted by justgary at 10:47 AM on June 08

Congratulations to Hoffman, in my opinion his a lock for a first ballot HOF'er. It really, really amazes me that Hoffman has saved 500 games with basically one pitch, the changeup. The pitch is absolutely filthy. Hitters can sit on that pitch because he has an average fastball and breaking ball and still can't hit it. It makes my mind hurt thinking about how him and Tom Glavine built Hall of Fame careers with only one dominant pitch. Truly amazing accomplishments. Note to Dads with sons who want to be pitchers. Teach them the changeup before you even begin to teach them a breaking ball

posted by erkno11 at 11:30 AM on June 08

Maybe Hoffman shuts down the Red Sox in 2004. The problem with closers is that their failures are much more memorable than their successes. But I will retract the statement. Maybe the Yankees would have had the same success with Hoffman (or more -- after all, Hoffman has a better regular season save percentage than Rivera). And whether they would have or not, I do think it does him a disservice to make grand unprovable arguments against him in this thread -- there is no doubt that if the Yankees didn't have Rivera over the past dozen years, the guy I'd want down there is Hoffman. Erkno! Where are you working, man? I looked for you recently, but you're evading Google.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:19 PM on June 08

I firmly believe that both are clearly Hall of Fame bound (Rivera and Hoffman) and if one exchanged places with the other, many of the same successes would be repeated, only Hoffman would get the 'superman, Enter Sandman' press and Rivera would get the 'down in San Diego history is being recorded' press. Not bad for the most overrated position in sports.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:47 PM on June 08

Hoffman deserves to be in the Hall of Fame just for lasting long enough to get to 500 saves. Only time will tell if he gets on the first ballot, seems like, there are enough of the people that vote that just don't realize what he has done all these years. There may have been better arms and better pitchers but he is the only one that is over 500 and still going.....If the relief pitcher position is the most underrated position in sports than it is a better sad state of affairs for baseball and sports fans..........

posted by The Old Man at 04:12 PM on June 08

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.