Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 14, 2006
BASEBALL: Breakfast With The "Pennant" Race

What a wake up for Padre fans - the Pads and the Reds are on at 12:35 EDT today, which is 9:35 in the morning in San Diego.

No starting lineups yet but I'm guessing that Piazza, who caught last night, will not be catching.

UPDATE: He didn't. Padres win, 4-2, Pads lead the Phillies by 2 games, and Trevor Hoffman gets his 474th save, 4 off the record. Hoffman will have an interesting Hall of Fame case - thus far, the pure closers to go on the ballot (i.e., mainly 1-inning pitchers, not heavy-workload aces like Fingers, Sutter, Wilhelm or Gossage or half-career starters like Eck) have had short careers (Henke) or not really been all that dominant for more than a year or two of their careers (Reardon, Lee Smith, Aguilera). And Mariano Rivera is sui generis because of his postseason accomplishments. Hoffman will test whether a guy who's a genuinely outstanding (2.70 career ERA and almost 90% save conversion rate) closer over a long career can be taken seriously as a Hall of Famer despite never having thrown 100 innings or won 10 games in a season.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:17 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

I would say that Lee Smith is as deserving as Hoffman and was dominant for more than a short period. He finished 2nd, 4th and 5th in various Cy Young voting over the years and was top ten MVP in '93.

What's amazing, though, is that Hoffman has two pitches, including a fastball that tops out around 84 mph.

Posted by: RW at September 14, 2006 7:01 PM

Piazza pretty much catches two games in a three-game series, with Bard getting the other (thank you, Red Sox). As for Rivera, his postseason accomplishments and the exposure he gets from playing in New York make him more of a lock than Hoffman, who has saved 66 more games and blown the exact same number of opportunities as Rivera over their respective careers.

Posted by: Geoff Young at September 15, 2006 10:06 AM
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