Monday, August 16, 2010

Take it down or leave it up and pretend it's not there?

I keep thinking about that sign in leftfield. I wonder if it haunts him.

By now, we all know the numbers. Trevor Hoffman hasn’t been very good this year. For a time it seemed that he had earned his way back and would get a few spot closing opportunities so that he could reach 600 and retire gracefully. Last Saturday’s save, number 597, was emotional for Hoffman. It was sort of emotional for me. It was his first in three months.

"There were a lot of emotions out there, just hearing the song. I am very thankful for everyone's support during a personal struggle of trying to get back out there,” Hoffman said. "I don't think this would have happened had I folded up the tent and gone home."

Since number 597, Hoffman has made 3 appearances and given up 4 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 2.2 innings pitched. During that time he has had a 3.38 WHIP and a 13.50 ERA.

Despite being the MLB all-time leader in saves, Hoffman remains a notoriously hard worker and a nice guy (from what I can gather. We don’t hang out much.) I went to one of those Brewer block parties last season. It was 96 and humid. I wanted to see Ryan Braun but he was “delayed.” Not Hoffman—he was front and center, taking it all in. He seemed genuinely happy to be there, thanking the fans repeatedly with a big smile on his face. He has good hair.

Which is why deciding what to do now is so agonizing. I had no problem kicking Jeff Suppan to the curb. He seemed like a nice guy, too, but releasing him was awesome (other than that part about having to pay his salary). I don’t want to release Hoffman and I would strongly urge the Brewers front office to not do so. Here is the part where I’m a little torn. I want to win—even if they are somewhat meaningless wins at this point—but I’m not opposed to giving Hoffman a few more opportunities to reach 600. At least Hoffman hasn’t given up any homeruns in his last three outings. I think the Brewers should continue to use him as they have over the last several months; and they have to keep the sign up. As much as I would like for it to come down, I think that it would be embarrassing for Hoffman and I don’t see any point in doing that at this point in the season.  It's easier to pretend it's not there. Leaving it up would call less attention to it than taking it down.  And I think that's the key.

Rockies 6, Brewers 5 (Yep, the Brewers lost when Hoffman gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth. To be fair, the only reason that the game wasn’t already over is that Clint Barmes was unable to secure a pop-up that got caught up in the wind, which scored two Brewers. Still, you get a gift, you should use it.)
Game played 6-15-10

Did you know that in Hells Bells, the narrator has been sent to drag a soul into Hell? It’s true. Wikipedia says so.

Remember when Hoffman first starting blowing saves and we used Carlos Villanueva as our closer? It happened on May 18. Thank you, John Axford.

ESPN News, in discussing Francisco Rodriguez’s injury noted that the Mets bullpen has 13 career saves, while K-Rod had 25 this year. “Maybe it’s time to bring back Braden Looper. Just kidding. Mets fans aren’t that desperate yet.”

Hunter Pence tweet of the week: “Friday the 13th and my water isn't working...I’ll just use extra deodorant before breakfast. :(  “

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