Trevor Hoffman, the poor mans Mariano Rivera?
Trevor Hoffman, the poor mans Mariano Rivera? That’s what a lot of baseball fans not familiar with the Padres Hall of Famer seem to think. I, like most of you I assume, think differently. For me Trevor Hoffman was the best pitcher I’ve ever watched make that slow walk out from the Bullpen. But a lot of his work is over-shadowed by the fact that he mainly played on a team that struggled to make the playoffs at a consistent level. Where as his counter part Rivera was doing it in the biggest market on the biggest stage a ball player could be on.
Of course the two met in 1998 in the World Series, but I’d rather just pretend that didn’t happen. Mariano passed Hoffman’s save record of 601 in September of 2011. He ended his career with 651 saves. To a majority of baseball fans I talk to that aren’t faithful to the friars this must mean that clearly he was the better player out of the two. But the fact is you have to have the lead in a game to even have an opportunity to get a save. and that is a huge advantage that Mariano had on Trevor.
There weren’t a lot of opportunities that Hoffman had, where as Mariano was playing on a team that hasn’t had a season under .500 since the year I was born in 1992. A losing Yankee team isn’t something I’ve ever seen, but I’ve seen plenty of losing Padres seasons. Hoffman’s ability to break the save record on a team that really wasn’t giving him a lot of opportunities to go out there and actually get a save is the reason why I view him as the best closer the game has ever seen.