Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Two years after the Padres traded for Trevor Hoffman, a new regime came aboard and accused Randy Smith, the club's GM, of retaining Hoffman in the closer role in order to justify the trade. I suppose we all say things that look stupid years later. The Padres and Hoffman parted ways after the 2008 season, ending a remarkable run that began in June 1993. The Padres didn't miss Hoffman because Heath Bell pitched so well last year, while Hoffman was having an incredible year with the Brewers. Yet the all-time save leader remains popular with several Padres employees who are ecstatic that Hoffman nailed his 600th save on Tuesday in Milwaukee. Among them are Glenn Hoffman, the team's third-base coach and one of Trevor's older brothers; Mark Merila, the former bullpen catcher who sits in San Diego's dugout; Todd Hutcheson, the longtime trainer whom Hoffman partly credits for his longevity; and Smith, who gets choked up sometimes when he talks about "Hoffy." Here's what I wrote about Hoffman.