The man whose save record soon could be broken by Mariano Rivera says he is in awe of the Yankees closer.
"His consistency is a marvel to me," Trevor Hoffman told this blog today. "He definitely makes it look easier than it is."
With his next save, No. 601, Rivera will match Hoffman, the longtime Padre who retired after the 2010 season and had his jersey No. 51 retired by the club last month.
Hoffman plans to watch tonight's Yankees-Mariners game from his home, "in between homework" being done by his three sons and "getting to and from things."
"I'm just happy for him, man," Hoffman said. "I think it's a great thing. Obviously he's been a great closer and a great teammate for a long time. He's stayed healthy and been able to continue to roll. I'm pretty proud of him."
The Padres asked Hoffman if he wanted to speak to the national media leading up to Rivera's big moment, or to tape a comment that would be aired at the ballpark where Rivera gets No. 601 or 602. He declined, saying today, "It's not my moment; it's Mariano's moment."
Hoffman said he will congratulate Rivera "in a private way."
Laughing, Hoffman said Rivera's ability to amaze goes beyond pitching excellence.
"I saw a picture of him the other day from '95, and it's amazing," he said. "He looks the same as he does now. He almost looks younger than when he started."