It's all been said, but I'm going to put my two cents in anyway.
Not the ending we wanted. I'm feeling what you're all feeling; I can't believe it's over, just like that. We got screwed. The umpires hate us. All that. I feel you. But the bottom line is, we didn't execute when we had a chance to win. The Rockies did. They move on. We don't. But let's think about what we saw this season:
Jake Peavy: The best pitcher in baseball. Does he choke in big game situations? Absolutely not. He has the opposite problem. Chokers don't want the ball, they don't want any responsibility or accountability. Jake wants it too much. He gets too pumped, too amped. His attitude and personality are a big part of why we love him, along with that magic right arm. But when he learns to pace himself, to dial it down when the situation calls for it, we will see a great pitcher evolve into a great big game pitcher. It will be wonderful to watch.
Adrian Gonzalez: Can we say "superstar"? 30 -100 while playing most of his games in the best pitchers park in baseball. A great (though erratic at times) glove. There is not a first baseman in the game, Fat Albert and Ry Ho included, who I would take over our home-grown kid. Here's to many years of AGone's sweet swing lighting up the National League.
Kouz: What does it say about a kid who is struggling to hit .100 at one point in the season and finishes at .275? And he will only hit for more power. Any fears about the second coming of Sean Burroughs have been laid to rest. Kouz will be a solid major leaguer at third base for a long time to come.
"Dammit" Khalil: Almost a 30-100 season with next to no plate discipline isn't an easy thing to do. And he can do things with the glove that other shortstops can only duplicate on the video game system of their choice. He may be a K-Bot, but he's OUR K-Bot.
Uncle Milty: Re-sign him? Hell yes. He brings something we sorely need to clubhouse: passion. Will he go off every now and then? Of course. Will his bat go off a lot more frequently? No doubt. He's an exciting, talented player. We need him on our field.
Mike Cameron: Re-sign him? Unless Torii Hunter is willing to take a San Diego discount, we pretty much have to. And I'm fine with that. He can cover an outfield like few others, and he plays with absolutely no fear. Sure, he'll throw in the more than occasional K, but he can also go deep at any moment. I'll take Mike Cameron on my team.
Bud Black: A few rookie mistakes aside, I thought he did a decent job. Stop playing all the scrubs on the same day, know your personnel a little better, and learn the proper way to restrain a player who's going off, and maybe you can hang around as a big league manager. He's going to be our manager for the next few years at least, so we're going to have to learn to live with him. Let's hope he learns from his mistakes.
Trevor Hoffman: Let's start this by saying this man has done more for baseball in San Diego than anyone, save one guy they made a statue of. His dedication to this team and this community is beyond question and his performance on the field has been a rare combination of greatness and consistency for more than a decade. If there is a gold standard for Hall of Fame closers, Trevor Hoffman is that standard. That being said, the writing is on the wall. Nothing lasts forever. The days of Trevor as big time closer are over. And there is no shame in that. Everyone ages. Even Rivera has shown the effects this season. For Trevor to still be as effective as he is, with another 40 save season, is a testament to his greatness. But the intimidation factor is gone. The "Oh shit" factor is gone. Hell's Bell's don't ring as loudly as they once did. There is no shame in recognizing that.
Trevor is still a highly effective pitcher. As someone said in the thread, average hitters (i.e. most of the hitters in baseball) will still be handcuffed by Trevor Hoffman. But the big time hitters, the great ones....man, it's a tough thing to say, but do we really want Trevor facing any of them with a 1 run lead? He doesn't need to retire. He can obviously still help us, and he's earned the right to go out on a better note. I'm thinking he should split time with Bell at closer next year. If it's a three run lead, it's Trevor Time. Maybe even a two run lead against a weak hitting team. But if it's a 1 run lead against a good time, it's time for the Cookie Monster. They can share the closer role, and it would work out for everyone. You can't just demote Trevor. First off all, you can't do that to the guy. Secondly, 42 saves isn't an accident. Clearly he still has something left in the tank. We just need to be more judicious with the way we use it now. There is no shame in that.
I still love Trevor Hoffman. I will cry when we retire his number and when his statue takes its place next to Tony's. I will cry during his Hall of Fame speech. The sun is setting on a great career.
Lastly, a HUGE thank you to all the members of GLB. I found this place midway through the season and now I can't imagine Padres baseball without it. Everyone brings their own unique perspective and personality to the mix, but we are united in our passion for our team. Regardless of age, gender, or geography, we all found a place we can come together, and I just think that is the coolest thing. Thank you Dex and jbox for all your hard work and dedication in supplying us with this outlet.
I will be checking in over the off season. There will be pictures from another Compadres event in November (sdgaucho taking his cuts in the cage baby! Look out Western Metal Building, I'm coming for you!) And maybe a Spring Training road trip.
Take care everyone. The best to all of you.