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After two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers -- Trevor Hoffman never did look quite right in that uniform -- baseballís all-time saves leader (with 601!) has announced that he's hanging 'em up before the 2011 season gets underway. As one wire service put it so aptly, he's "thrown his final changeup, deciding at age 43 to retire and return to the San Diego Padres in a front office job." Hey, he's been "retiring" hitters regularly for so many years -- it's about time he took a stab at this "retiring" thing hissownself!

I'm rolling thunder, pouring rain
I'm coming on like a hurricane
My lightning's flashing across the sky
You're only young but you're gonna die
I won't take no prisoners won't spare no lives
Nobody's putting up a fight
I got my bell I'm gonna take you to hell

Hoffman rings Hells Bells for final time | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 11 2011 @ 11:24 PM EST (#228671) #
Trevor Hoffman never did look quite right in that uniform

I respectfully disagree on this point.  The current uniforms of the Brewers and Padres actually look quite similar.  I thought Hoffman looked right at home in a Brewers uniform.

Now if Hoffman had gone to the Diamondbacks or Phillies, he would have looked strange.
Smithers - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:37 AM EST (#228675) #
Sorry to see Trevor Hoffman go, he was a real class act and without a doubt one of the greatest relievers ever.  The ESPN article reliving Tony Gwynn Jr.'s at bat against Hoffman at the end of the 2007 season is a classic read and gives a glimpse of the type of person he is.  Dirk Hayhurst also paints a very favourable depiction of Hoffman in The Bullpen Gospels as those who have read the book could attest to.

So the big question is:  Trevor Hoffman, Hall of Famer?

christaylor - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:39 AM EST (#228676) #
Am I correct in believing he never pitched at the dome? My doing a quick bb-ref search only comes up with 27 pitches thrown and one SV against the Jays, June 18 & 19, 2004.
92-93 - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:39 AM EST (#228677) #
Trevor Hoffman is the type of player I will have never fully appreciated as the closer of a West Coast, NL team - not the kind of player you see a lot of here.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 01:05 AM EST (#228678) #
If closers are to go in I'd have to think 600 saves would be enough to get you there. 300 was thought to be a high level back in the 70's and early 80's, then 400, but to reach 600 you need 60 saves a year (basically near the record) for 10 years. That is not an easy feat. Or 30 for 20 years, again not easy to do. Especially given each team has no more than 1 guy who gathers more than a handful of saves (unlike HR or hits or wins which many can get).
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 09:02 AM EST (#228680) #
Hoffman was a fine ace reliever, but no more.  He was a lesser pitcher than Henke, Billy Wagner or Quiz and maybe a little better than John Franco.  Hopefully, the Hall of Fame learns from the obvious Sutter error.  If you are going to include any modern closers in the Hall other than Rivera, there are better choices than Hoffman. 

We surely know enough now to look at #s of saves as unimportant for the merits of a Hall case. 
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 09:43 AM EST (#228682) #

BBRef has a feature story and poll about Hoffman and the HOF:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/9655

Looks like a wide  majority see him IN.

FWIW, I

m one of the few so far who has voted, "No, he doesn't deserve it but he'll get enough votes one day anyway."

lexomatic - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:13 PM EST (#228695) #
I'm going to disagree with you on the Hoffman issue Mike, because it doesn't recognize the change in how the game is played over time. Otherwise we'd only vote in pitchers who routinely threw 3-400 innings and won 30-40 games per season. Being the best of an era IS important. Comparison to other times isn't the be all, even if that's all we have to go on sometimes.
I'm not saying there should be a ton of closers voted in, because the save is a flawed statistic, but I am saying that Hoffman is one of the few who deserves consideration outside of Rivera, probably Wagner too. Who do you think is better, really? Sure Petco helped hide his decline, but he did do ok in a launch-pad for one year. I can understand your favouring Wagner over Hoffman, due to his numbers seeming more dominant, and if they pitch to the same age Wagner's numbers will likely be better (except for save totals) but Hoffman deserves consideration, and I won't be upset if he gets in.
Henke has his late start and "early " retirement to hold against him. Quisenberry is also hurt by the fact his career is only peak. Not that Franco was a bad pitcher, but I think the comparison is insulting to Hoffman - Hoffman pitched in a higher offense era and had better component stats.
There's a thread on Fangraphs at the moment, that deals with this issue, one poster mentions consistent excellence goes a long way. To get the counting stats that Hoffman accumulated, you have to be good for a very long time. That deserves consideration (doesn't necessarily deserve election, but consideration? yes.)
He was consistently one of the top relievers, and occasionally the best. I think his counting stats are noticeably better than Lee Smith's and Tekulve, other names that get thrown out in comparison.

To recap for the TLDR crew: Hoffman shouldn't necessarily get in, but he deserves legitimate consideration, same with Wagner of the non-Rivera group. Nobody else in my mind is close to those 2 for the sub-Rivera consideration, and that includes "better" pitchers.

Chuck - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 12:29 PM EST (#228696) #

1089 IP, 2.87 ERA, 141 ERA+. Would a starting pitcher get consideration with these numbers?

What if it we apply a 1.5 leverage factor to Hoffman's innings given the context of when they were pitched. Would a starting pitcher with 1600 IP get HoF consideration?

Hoffman's counting numbers are superficially dazzling. But they're just saves, basically the baseball equivalent of Pez.

mathesond - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 01:27 PM EST (#228704) #
As far as I can tell, no pitcher with 600 or more saves + 5 years retirement has not been elected to the HOF
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 01:47 PM EST (#228708) #
1089 IP, 2.87 ERA, 141 ERA+. Would a starting pitcher get consideration with these numbers? What if it we apply a 1.5 leverage factor to Hoffman's innings given the context of when they were pitched. Would a starting pitcher with 1600 IP get HoF consideration?

Probably not, although Dizzy Dean's numbers are not superficially much better.  But you also have to adjust the ERA+ to reflect the difference between starting and relief innings.  Let's put it this way.  Billy Wagner has a career ERA+ of 187. 
Chuck - Wednesday, January 12 2011 @ 08:22 PM EST (#228726) #

But you also have to adjust the ERA+ to reflect the difference between starting and relief innings.

Good catch. I agree entirely.

Hoffman rings Hells Bells for final time | 12 comments | Create New Account
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