Don’t Hassel the Hoff

Forgive me if you’ve heard this headline before when it relates to the All-Time saves leader in Major League Baseball.

Now, I’ve never been one to praise Trevor Hoffman. He’s always had it so easy. Saving games long after the entire eastern seaboard was well on their way to dreamland, against a division that has never been renown for it’s hard hitting, the National League West. Pitching for a city that’s as laid back and relaxed as there is in the U.S., in San Diego.

When people would call him the greatest closer of all time, I could help but to laugh, and laugh, and laugh some more.

Greatest closer of all time? Trevor Hoffman?

We’re talking about the same Trevor Hoffman, who in his ONLY World Series as a big league closer, blew a lead in Game Three of the 1998 World Series when he served up an absolute bomb to then Yankees’ third basemen, Scott Brosuis?

We’re talking about the same Trevor Hoffman who coughed up a lead in the 2006 All-Star Game?

We’re talking the same dude, who was the losing pitcher in a one-game playoff with the Rockies in 2007, completing what some viewed as the greatest comeback in a pennant race, of all-time?

That Trevor Hoffman?

The Trevor Hoffman who’s seen three big spots in his career and blew them all?

Regardless of his past, Hoffman- who has watched his strikeout numbers diminish over the past few seasons, has been going through a serious reemergence in Milwaukee this season. Left for dead by most baseball fans (including myself), the numbers Hoffman has thrown up this season have been staggering. 12 ip, 11 sv, 0.00 ERA, 0.41 WHIP. He’s been as close to perfect as a baseball player can get.

Mix that all together with the fact he’s now pitching for one of baseball’s hottest teams in the Brewers, Hoffman might find himself in the sort of pressure cooker situation, that he’s had so few of in his career. After all Milwaukee is NOT San Diego. People in Milwaukee don’t spend winters wondering where the girls in the bikinis can be found or what’s a good location to longboard. People in Milwaukee want a winner- and need a winner. And if given that opportunity this year by the Brewers, Fans will have Trevor Hoffman on the mound during their most critical junctures this season, trying to close out, not just their hopes of a pennant- but also his long celebrated career, with a the big save that has always eluded him in his career.

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