Blog Entry

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

Posted on: November 11, 2008 6:33 pm

You can argue the merits of San Diego's apparent decision to bid farewell to a closer in the twilight of his career.

You cannot argue that icon Trevor Hoffman's request to meet with owner John Moores was anything but reasonable and should have been granted, and that the Padres are utterly ham-handed in showing the closer the door.

But then, that's the way this amateur-hour mess of a club is doing business these days as an unaccountable, absentee owner hides in the shadows while his messy divorce proceeds.

If the best Moores can do for a franchise icon is remain invisible behind club president Sandy Alderson as a one-year, $4 million contract is yanked from the table and Hoffman's request to meet with the owner is rebuffed, then he should sell the franchise sooner rather than later.

Or turn it over to his wife, Becky, in the divorce settlement.

Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader, earned $7 million last year while saving 30 games for a club that won only 63.

Following that 99-loss debacle in '08, the Padres won't contend in '09, either. So it's a reasonable question to ask what the point is in worrying about who's pitching the ninth innings, anyway. Let alone whether Hoffman, at 41, will be worth the multi-millions he'd be paid.

While the one-year, $4-million, incentive-based contract that was pulled wasn't exactly a slap in the face to Hoffman, the salary cut was a clear indication that the Padres weren't exactly viewing him as a must-have commodity.

From a purely baseball perspective, hey, that's show biz.

The problem here, however, is that Hoffman is a civic icon who, along with Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, is one of the two most important Padres in club history.

Beyond that, as the club's marketing department has leaned on him time and time again through both good seasons and bad, Hoffman has never grumbled. He's done whatever's been asked to help promote the club and baseball in San Diego -- hell, in China, too, for that matter. He was one of the most public faces last spring in the Padres-Dodgers promotional trip to that country. He's never been anything less than friendly, courteous, cooperative and stand-up.

Now, should that earn him a lifetime scholarship in Padre-ville?

No. In the end, with all players, you remove emotion and make baseball decisions. And if this is Hoffman's time to go, so be it. Nobody can play forever, no matter if he's still a very young 41. Lord knows, there was enough chirping on postgame radio shows every time he blew a save. Not everybody who follows the Padres will be sorry to see him go.

However. There is a way to do things, and this wasn't it.

It is not an owner's obligation to meet with every player who requests an audience.

But given what Hoffman has meant over the past 16 seasons in San Diego, the least Moores could do was haul his butt out of hiding to meet with Hoffman.

Especially since Hoffman's ascent after San Diego acquired him from Cincinnati during the Padres' Fire Sale of 1993 coincided with the return of the Padres after Moores rescued from the inept clutches of former owner Tom Werner.

If anybody knows Hoffman's importance, it should be Moores.

Now, maybe the conversation doesn't go how Hoffman wants it to go. Maybe the owner's message is simply, "Trevor, look. We're reducing payroll, and our baseball people say that your game has slipped too much and we're just not going to re-sign you. Thanks for everything, and you'll always have a place in this organization."

Maybe that's the message, and if it is, that's fine. Nobody plays forever. Some players, sad as it is, must be told when to go.

But this isn't the way to do it.

And the fact that the club has chosen this path says far more about the deterioration of Moores as an owner and as a human being than it does about the deterioration of Hoffman's skills.


Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2008 4:11 pm

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

Guys guys guys. Some of you are missing the point. The point isn't if Hoffy was worth $7M last year or is worth $4M this year. The fact is that the Pads OFFERED HIM $4M this year. Then (without even notifying him there was a deadline) pulled the offer off the table because Trevor wanted to sit down and talk. That's inexcusable.

Like NC wrote in the UC Trib today -- John Moores, coming from a NON Padre fan living in San Diego who loves baseball and loves this town, PLEASE sell the team now!!!!

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: November 13, 2008 11:42 am

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

I think you've got it wrong.


Hoffman still had a very effective year: 45 inning, 38 hits. Not bad. 30 saves in 34 opps; again, not bad. His downpoint was allowing 8 HRs. the Cardinals sure would have gone far with his numbers.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: November 13, 2008 11:33 am

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

Great article! Dead on with this one. I agree that Trevor is old, but he has been so committed to not only the Padres but the community and charities in San Diego for 16 years! There is no respect or appreciation in this organization.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2008 10:51 am

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

It's not that they did it. It's how they did it. Hoffman is probably at the end of his career, but you don't fax a guy to tell him to look elsewhere. Especially when he is one of your greatest players ever and has been loyal for 15 years.

If the Padres had decided to move on, that's fine. It is only business. At least have the class to sit with the man and tell him face to face. I'm not saying throw the man a party, but it should come directly from somebody's mouth.

Since: May 7, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2008 7:38 am

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

i hate to agree with you... but i do.... I'm also a padre fan  but not been following them the last couple of years tooo close........
i think Hoffman is a hall of fame closer... and has had a great career in San Diego......  but i think he has lost it... you cant have a  closer with a ERA close to 4.00......   the padres  should have handled it better.. but there is always a time when a  players value isnt worth it at a certain age.... his fastball isnt good enought to set up that change-up anymore...... he made 7 mil last year with a 3.77 era.....
in some ways i dont know why he wants to play another year ... unless it is just to add saves to the record..... it is going to a long 40-50 win season next year!!!!
but i think they signed Giles since to buy him out would have 3 million... so really they keep him for 6 million.....  he is a average RF.. but one of the only 'name" players they have..... and he is a san diego guy... and gets on base....  he is a .290-.300 hitter.. and    so i guess they figure one more year is ok for 9mil.. or pay him 3 mil.. to leave!!!
well i hate to see a team give away a stud like peavy.. every team needs a really good  number 1 pitcher..... peavy is that........   and to give him away for some prospects is like playing craps in vegas...... how many "good" prospects dont make it.... at least 50%......  but i guess i look at it as it is will be great  for Peavy...  is it fair to have him getting 1 run a game of offense... and having a 2.60 era...  and being 9-13 or something next year???    well trade him and i guess keep the AA team out there...... we might as well just put a few metal bleachers on the field.. since that is all that are going to be going to the game.... will be like a nice high school game...

 i advise people to go to SDSU see tony gwynn  and his aztecs basball team....... better fun.. better team!!!!
well i would just rather see the team leave than to see them not try to field a decent team.... i am sure Mark Cuban doesnt want the padres.. the baseball market  just isnt good  in san diego...... to much to do....... go to the beach every day of the year!!!

Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2008 1:38 am

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

What are u saying dankachron???????Was up blogger

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: November 12, 2008 8:38 pm

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

Great article.

Screw the Padres!

Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: November 12, 2008 7:55 pm

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

For years San Diego baseball fans have poured money into John Moore's already inflated pockets even when the product on the field was less talented than the minor league Lake Elsinore Storm. We came because we love baseball & we were promised a world class baseball stadium with a world class team. Boy, do I feel like a chump. I drank the Kool Aid, I bought the dream not realizing that the dream wasn't mine. That dream belonged to one John Moores when he stacked the deck in 1998 & we filled the "Q", we bought the concessions, we believed. I feel like that commercial where the voice over says "If within 30 minutes you don't know who the chump is, you're the chump."

I can't tell you all the nights I stayed until the 9th inning to see "Trevor Time" as he trotted out from the left field bullpen. Everyone in the stadium including the entire opposing team knew the change up was coming, but they couldn't hit it. He provided so many great baseball moments for us fans.

Look what he did for the Marines EVERY Sunday bringing our boys in by the bus loads just so they could watch an MLB game.

Terms like Top Shelf, First Class, a man with integrity, high morales, Incredible Father all apply when referring to Trevor & he deserves better treatment by the man who monetarily benefited from Trevor's change up.

Instead he sends the hired help to break the bad news. Sounds alot like the way they treated the only other baseball icon this city has known. 

So now we say goodbye to Trevor Hoffman. You will be missed & you certainly can't be replaced. There is & will be only one Trevor Hoffman & we got the privilege to watch you work your night time job. It just isn't going to be the same without #51 in the lineup.

If you're as tired as I am of the second rate team that the Padres continue to throw out there knowing we'll show up then try something different. Stop buyng tickets & concessions.Yeah, yeah, I know; it's an extreme move but try it. It really isn't that difficult & you'll live through it just fine.

Mr. Moores, you are not welcome in the great city of San Diego &  take Sandy Alderson with you My belief is that Mrs. Moores might not do a better job but at least it won't be worst.



Since: Jul 27, 2007
Posted on: November 12, 2008 7:04 pm

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

You've got it wrong.  Hoffman shouldn't have played out his contract negotiations in the media.  I'm a Padre fan, look at my username, but Hoffman is long in the tooth and has been on the decline.  He's great for the community but not the bullpen.  I'd rather have Heath Bell closing over Hoffman this year.  It should have happended last year. 

Why keep Peavy when you can get multiple prospects?  What good does he do on a cellar dweller team?  Charlie Morton, Jo Jo Reyes, Yunel Escobar, and others is a decent trade when a tema is rebuilding.  The Padres stunk last year and Chase Headley and Nick Hundley are not the sole answers...they are pedestrian at best right now. 

I feel your pain but baseball is a business and the Padres need to re-vamp their whole team.  You don't keep a team together who had one of baseball's worst records.  I'm surprised they kept Brian Giles and took his 9 million buyout too. 

Since: Jul 13, 2008
Posted on: November 12, 2008 6:56 pm

Mistreating Trevor Hoffman in San Diego

I think he would be a fine fit in the Rays bullpen!

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