Watching the Padres, Trevor Hoffman is already feeling deja vu. "I think they're being underestimated again," he said. Explaining his confidence, he cited the "due diligence" of Bud Black and Padres coaches.
Hoffman livened up today's pregame festivities to the home opener by trotting in from the bullpen to Hells Bells. He then threw a ceremonial pitch to his brother Glenn, the team's third-base coach, with former Padres bullpen catcher Mark Merila calling it strike one.
Wearing a suit and tie, the save king isn't nostalgic for pitching. "Very comfortable, happy, no regrets," he said.
He described his role with the Padres as an "observer" who "floats" to various parts of the organization. He said he's enjoyed advising several minor leaguers. During spring training, he invited Brad Brach, the organization's Pitcher of the Year in 2010, to play golf with him. "He's done a lot of things like that," said Padres president Tom Garfinkel, to whom Hoffman reports.