Trevor Hoffman: We Love You But It Might Be Time To Hang Em Up

April 29, 2010 – 11:45 am by Ryan Phillips

If you’ve followed this blog at all over the years you know that McD and myself are gigantic Padres fans. We both grew up in San Diego and have an affinity for the little franchise that could in America’s Finest City. It absolutely broke our hearts when the Padres let Trevor Hoffman walk away to the Milwaukee Brewers two years ago and we railed against the franchise’s decision to let one of its most beloved players drift away. Turns out, the move was the right one. As the beginning of this season has shown, it might be time for the 42-year-old Hoffman to walk away from the game.

Last year Heath Bell – Hoffman’s replacement in San Diego and his understudy for the previous two seasons – led the National League in saves (42) and awesome quotes. He was arguably the best closer in baseball. Hoffman had a great season, racking up 37 saves in 41 chances, while sporting a 1.83 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. But this season “Trevor Time” has been a nightmare for the Brewers.

In 9.0 innings, Hoffy has a 1-2 record, a 13.00 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP and just three saves in seven chances. He’s allowed 15 hits, 13 earned runs, six home runs and has walked three batters while striking out just five.

The greatest closer in the history of the game (shut up Yankees fans) may have lost his touch and it really pains me to say that. While it’s not certain that Hoffman has gone all Brad Lidge on us, it is undeniable that he isn’t what he used to be. Scouts are claiming that his velocity hasn’t diminished much (he’s still regularly hitting 85 mph on the gun and has even touched 88 this year) but it’s his money pitch that’s abandoned him. Apparently Hoffman is having issues controlling his change up, a pitch that has beguiled major league hitters for years.

Apparently Hoffman doesn’t have the confidence in the pitch that he used to as he’s had trouble locating it so far this season.

Brewers manager Ken Macha has claimed he has no plans to replace Hoffman as his closer, but he will give him a night off tonight in San Diego.

Again, I love Trevor Hoffman. McD and I saw him and his family all the time when we were growing up because they lived just a few blocks from us. He’s not only a great baseball player but he has always been a great guy. It sucks to see him struggle but it just might be time for him to come home to San Diego, sign a one-day contract and retire as a Padre. His number will be immediately retired and then he can just wait for the Hall of Fame to come calling.

I know that won’t happen. Hoffman is a competitor and he’ll at least finish out the 2010 season. But it pains me to see him getting knocked around the yard and hear people bad-mouthing him. He’s the best that’s ever done his job and nothing can take that away from him.

Don’t worry Hoffy, we still love you.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Trevor Hoffman: We Love You But It Might Be Time To Hang Em Up”

  2. As always, it’s better to walk away a bit early, rather than a bit late. The Packers found that out from the other side…

    Relievers, especially closers, might defy the odds a bit. However, once a pitcher gains that 4 at the beginning of their age, it’s really time to start considering where exactly to go from there.

    I will say it was cool to have experienced Trevor Time at the Murph (and seeing Tony Gwynn get a hit (and all in a victory against the Dodgers (the year after Kevin Brown ‘left’, too) for what that means…)).

    By Santa Claustrophobia on Apr 29, 2010

  3. As someone who started a “Heath Bell for Closer” campaign before the 2008 season even began, I’ve always thought Trevor should’ve retired when the Padres let him go. God, I love being right.

    By Red on Apr 29, 2010

  4. I hope he turns it around to at least have respectable numbers, but it’s almost time. I think Rivera will get out before he becomes ineffective (I assume he’ll decline at some point), but I’m not even sure about that.

    By Brad on Apr 29, 2010

  5. Well said! I hope that he recognizes the end before fans in Milwaukee have to declare it. That said, it would be nice to see him get to 600 saves.

    By Dr Chuck on Apr 30, 2010

  6. It’s hard to watch a great player slow down . . . probably because it is symbolic of us all growing old [insert psychobabble here]. But at the same time, when Barry Sanders retired, many people said it was too early. Hard to find that right time, I guess.

    One day contract idea is awesome. I’d like to think they’d give him a no-pitch appearance to give the fans a chance to say “thank you”, but that is probably out of the question.

    By Dr. JwB on May 1, 2010

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