Tag Archives: Hoffman

Once again, time to strip the HOF ballot from some BBWAA members.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Baseball HOF ballots are being counted (and new, if any, members are to be announced January 24) once again we see that the BBWAA should seriously consider stripping voting privileges away from some of its members.

This year’s case in point (so far): Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who only voted for two ex-players: former Indians Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

If he wants to skip over known and suspected steroid users like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez, that is one thing.

But what about others who may need every vote they can in order to receive the 75% it takes to get in? Ex-players like Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez?

If someone like Mussina winds up with 74.7%, they don’t round up. Hoffman missed by only a handful of votes last year.

And, if someone like Mussina just misses, he has a legitimate gripe against voters like Livingston.

Voters like Livingston (and others who vote for candidates clearly not HOF worthy just to give them a vote—maybe they were drinking buddies with that player?) should have their voting privileges revoked.

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Trevor Hoffman retires

Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader with 601, has decided to retire.

Hoffman is 42 saves ahead of Mariano Rivera on the all-time list. Since Mo signed a two-year deal, Rivera is expected to surpass Hoffman (health and skills permitting) in 2012.

Hoffman, 43, started his career with the 1993 Marlins, then went to the Padres later that year. He pitched for SD from 1993-2008. He finished up by pitching for the Brewers in 2009 and 2010. This past year he went 2-7, 5.89 with 10 saves.

For his career, Hoffman was 61-75, 2.87 (ERA+ 141) with those 601 saves. He was a 7x All Star, finished in the top 10 for MVP voting twice, and twice was runnerup for the CYA. In postseason play, he was 1-2, 3.46 with 4 saves. One of his losses came to the Yankees in game 3 of the 1998 WS, courtesy of a Scott Brosious HR.

He led the NL in saves 2x, the majors once. He pitched in 1035 games, and besides being the all-time leader in saves, is also the all-time leader in games finished with 856.

Voting for relievers for the HOF is so subjective (see my post about Smith vs. Franco), but Hoffman should be in the HOF. If not on the first ballot, shortly thereafter.    

Milestones.

Don’t know if you caught it, but congrats to two players in reaching some milestones in their careers.

This week saw Trevor Hoffman get save #600. Hoffman is 2-7 with a 6.09 ERA and 9 saves. Who knows if that save could be Hoffman’s last? Hoffman turns 43 shortly after this season ends.

This week also saw Jim Thome hit HR #586, tying Frank Robinson on the all-time list. I know he can’t play the field anymore, but I was kind of hoping the Yanks might grab Thome (instead of Nick Johnson and now Berkman) last off-season for a one-year deal. Thome’s swing is just perfect for the Stadium. Even at 40 (turned that just a couple weeks ago), Thome is at .278-22-52 in limited duty. His OPS+ is a ridiculous 178. He and Thames could have been a brutal l/r platoon. I see the problem however. Neither is good defensively, and Thome would have just added more age to a team that already has Andy, Jeter, Alex, Mo and Posada all over 35.

I do wish that Thome would have had one year as a Yankee, just to see what kind of damage he could have done.    

This doesn’t mean I want Thome for 2011. Odds are that the DH spot will most likely be split between aging players. Namely, Posada, Alex and Jeter. If Alex and Jeter, could we be seeing more of Nunez or Pena in the field (or someone else?)

Just a reminder…Pettitte does rehab in Game 2 of Trenton’s AA playoff series tonight. We’ll see how he makes out.

Yankees lose two in the Rule 5 draft.

My bad. I thought Zach Kroenke might be a candidate for Phil Coke’s replacement. I didn’t realize he was going into the Rule 5 draft, where he was grabbed by Arizona. Sorry. I guess Kroenke is one of those guys who just needs to get a chance somewhere else or someone who projects to be AAAA. After 7-0, 2.85 (AA/AAA) in 2008, he was grabbed by Florida in the Rule 5 but sent back to the Yanks. This year in AAA he went 7-1, 1.99 this year but never even got a September callup. You would have thought those numbers deserved a look.

Some guys just need the right team and the right chance. Good luck to him. NY apparently wasn’t the place.

LoHud’s Chad Jennings has this, Cashman on Kroenke:

Cashman confirmed that Kroenke can elect free agency if he’s not kept by the Diamondbacks. That means there’s a solid chance the left-hander is gone no matter what. “Kroenke’s probably toast,” Cashman said.

Also taken was Kanekoa Texeira, who was 9-6, 2.84 at AA Trenton. Seattle grabbed him.

The Yanks grabbed Jamie Hoffman (that Nats’ pick from the Bruney deal). He was 4 for 22 as a Dodger this year. 2 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI. The righty hitting OF (25) played in 97 minor league games (AA/AAA) .291-10-64 and 15 SB.

Sam Borden at LoHud has Melky/Gardner rumors (sure to crop up now that the Yanks have Granderson).

Word is the Royals checked in on Gardner after the Granderson deal, and certainly The Grittiest One would be a cheap outfield option for a low-budget team.

Is that likely? Who knows. But it’s possible. And I wouldn’t rule out Melky Cabrera being shopped either (at one point the Cubs were said to be intrigued).    

Will the Yanks kick the tires on a Sheets or Duchscherer? Mark DeRosa’s name has come up. DeRosa, 35 in February, doesn’t fit the “younger” mold, but can play anywhere. The righty split 2009 between Cleveland and St. Louis, hitting .250-23-78 (OPS+ 99). He’s a .275 career hitter, OPS+ 97.

Chad Jennings states about Rafael Soriano:

Cashman met with reliever Rafael Soriano’s agent — Soriano ultimately accepted arbitration and was quickly traded to Tampa Bay — but the Yankees were never serious players for the right-hander.

Hmm…with Hughes and Joba preparing as starters, you think they would have been in on the mix. You wonder who (Robertson?) would serve as the 8th inning setup guy for Mo if Hughes and Joba are 4 and 5 (whatever order) behind CC, AJ and Andy. Let’s not forget a very important part of the 2009 season—Phil Hughes and Al Aceves stabilizing a bullpen that was as shaky as a wet noodle under Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Veras. Yes, Hughes struggled in the postseason, but his stellar work during the season helped to propel the Yanks to the AL East title. Hughes and Joba as 4 and 5? Ok, but let’s not go back to the bullpen woes of early 2009. Does that mean only one will go into the rotation and the other will stay in the bullpen (with Mitre, Gaudin and possibly Aceves battling it out in spring training for the #5 position)? Who knows. Of course if the Yanks wind up pulling a blockbuster deal for Halladay (Joba or Hughes/Montero/Melky or Gardner [because of Granderson]) then #5 after CC/AJ/Andy and Doc can easily be Gaudin/Aceves/Mitre with the Joba/Hughes survivor setting up Mo.

I’d hate to lose Montero, as those of you who have read me for some time know. But is Romine the better catcher? Some think that despite the big bat, that Montero is best suited for 1B or DH and 1) Teixeira is at 1B and 2) you don’t want to have a 21/22 year old stuck as full-time DH…especially when some other players (Jeter, Alex, Posada) are aging.

Apparently the Yanks are taking their time with Damon and Matsui. If coming back, apparently it’s on the Yankees terms—meaning not long-term, and not for $13M. Things will be interesting on this front.

One move. Pedro Feliz, 3b of the NL Champ Phils, who the Phils let go after the WS, is going to Houston.

Oh, in case you are wondering? Especially in regards to DeRosa as a utility man—Hairston is a F.A., as is Hinske.  Here is a list from MLB.COM:

Reports are that Cincy’s Brian Kelly is bound for ND. I really feel sorry for the Cincy kids. They are undefeated, Sugar Bowl bound and now this distraction where their coach may not be coaching them in the biggest college game of their careers vs. Florida. To Kelly and ND…maybe it couldn’t have waited, but for the sake of the Bearcat players, maybe it should have.

You are kidding, right? Mariano, hands down.

I see ESPN has a poll up.

 

Vote on the greatest players at each position since ESPN began airing MLB games. Final All-Star team will be announced Sept. 20 on Sunday Night Baseball.

CURRENT POLL
  • Who’s the top closer?
  • They’re kidding, right?

    What gets me are some of the comments. I mean, it’s down to Eckersley, Hoffman and Rivera and Mo has a comfortable lead. But some comments are asinine.

    Let me repeat something that maybe some knuckleheads don’t understand. Rivera has had EIGHT, count them, EIGHT, years of ERA’s UNDER 2.00. Entering 2009, no other closer has had more than FOUR of those years. One knucklehead, in voting for Eckersley, pointed out that Eckersley won the MVP and CYA. Maybe he defends the Colon over Rivera in 2005 (which I still think was a travesty, the three men who voted for Santana over Mo had a better case than the 17 who voted for Colon over Mo). Granted, Eckersley had some good years. But Mo could have won a couple of MVPS and CYAs himself. He did finish top 10 twice for MVP.

    Four times, Mo—a closer and we know the bias against them for the CYA and/or MVP—has finished 2nd or 3rd in the CYA voting.

    Besides, how many SETUP men finish 3rd in the CYA voting, as Mo did in 1996?

    117 1/3 innings in the postseason. 34 saves, 8-1, ERA 0.77. Eckersley in the postseason, 1-3, 3.00. 15 saves. Not shabby. Not Mo.

    Someone brought up Game 7 of 2001. Um, Eckersley of course had Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 WS, which everyone remembers, but how many people remember him losing Game 2 of the 1990 WS, where Billy Bates (you are forgiven if you are saying “who?”) singled off Eckersley, then Sabo singled and then Joe Oliver doubled to win the game? Hoffman gave up the HR to Brosious in 1998, Game 3. 1-2, 3.46 and 4 postseason saves. So what is the person’s point? Mo is the only man to close out three consecutive WS. With the Division and Championship Series, it is harder to do. 

    Besides, he does have some MVP awards….ALCS 2003 and WS 1999. 

    Should this even be a debate?  

    Yanks beat Toronto 3-1 in S.T. action. Andy is Dandy.

    Up until yesterday, A.J. Burnett was having a great spring training. Today, Andy Pettitte continued his great spring training.

    These are the 3 and 4 starters? If they can continue to do what they have done in spring training (pitch more like an ace or a #2) and Wang and CC do what they are expected, well….pennants are made of that.

    A 3-1 Yankees win today.  

    Andy was just superb. Check out the S.T. ERA. If he bounces back to go an Andy-like 15-10 instead of the 14-14 of last year (bad second half), look out if everyone stays healthy.

    NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    Pettitte (W, 2-0) 6.2 5 1 1 0 7 0 0.79
    Marte (H, 4) 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5.40
    Veras (H, 4) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.80
    Ramirez, E (S, 2) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.13

    Beautiful job by Pettitte today. Decent job by the bullpen. Given how Marte and Coke have respectively done this spring, how long will it be before Coke passes Marte on the depth chart?

    Teix had 2 hits and 2 RBI and flashed that glove. Gardner threw out a runner at 3B, but needed help by Ransom on a great play to accomplish it.

    Justin Snyder, who played 2B at Low-A Charleston last year, tripled and scored a run.

    Pitching Woes: The Brewers placed Trevor Hoffman on the DL with a strained oblique. Cole Hamels won’t be starting the opener for the Phils. The Angels won’t have John Lackey until the end of April. 

    Baseball has another problem. As if the ‘roids weren’t enough.

    From ESPN and Peter Gammons: MLB has officers in the D.R. who are cooperating with the FBI in at least two major scandals implicating the White Sox and Nationals involving falsified birth records, kickback scandals and smuggling of ped’s that evaded security. …  There are more than 70 young players who are being detained in the Dominican and other countries, and club official said it is his understanding that there “are some big so-called prospects on that list.” It’s a big immigration issue.

    Just what baseball needs as opening day approaches. Another scandal.

    Jay at the Boogie Down passes along this info:

    Hope you guys are all well.  I’ve got a contest running this week.  I’m giving away 5 copies of the Essential Games of Yankee Stadium box set.  The contest is tied in with this weekend’s exhibition series with the Cubs.  Details can be found here:
     
    http://boogiedownbaseball.blogspot.com/2009/03/win-some-yankee-dvds.html

     

    Yanks shopping an OF?

    MLBTR says the Yanks are shopping Swisher or Nady. According to their reports, the Yanks would like to keep Swisher and move Nady. Understandable, I would think. Swisher is a bit more versatile and is a switch-hitter. Bryan Hoch at Bombers Beat reports the same. Nady is due for salary arbitration and is a FA after 2009. He would join JD & Godzilla as FA’s after 2009.

    Meanwhile, I wonder who is the team that Pedro supposedly turned down in the AL? MLBTR has that. 1 year, $7M?

    MLBTR also says the Yanks interest in Cameron appears to be waning.

    As you now by now, Trevor Hoffman signed with the Brewers.

    Byran Hoch has this on Pettitte…from Newsday in describing Pettitte’s grievances:

    1. Pettitte believes that the Yankees should display more appreciation for all that he has done for them.

    2. While the Yankees are asking that Pettitte take a pay cut, the team clearly is not hurting financially, given its large investments in Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

    3. Pettitte thinks that his 2008 season wasn’t as bad as the Yankees are making it out to be.

    According to baseballreference.com, Andy has made $108M in his career, 30.5 M paid for by the years in Houston. More appreciation? $77.5M isn’t appreciative enough? Sticking by him with the HGH revelations wasn’t appreciation enough? C’mon, Andy.

    As far as a pay cut to $10M….talk to some people who have LOST THEIR JOBS recently and have difficulty finding work.

    Not as bad? 2-7 down the stretch isn’t much to stand on. 36, coming off 14-14, 4.54 raises red flags.

    Take the deal already.