Years ago, when Larry Lucchino was still president of the Padres, he and general manager Kevin Towers and manager Bruce Bochy pulled up to a Pittsburgh hotel in a cab, and as they pay the driver from the backseat, a silhouette charges the front of the car, and the cab shakes suddenly, the hood, the roof.
"What in the hell was that?" Bochy asked, shaken.
"That," Towers said, glancing at a form disappearing into the night, "was our closer."
Hoffman had sprinted over the car, like the Incredible Hulk. The Padres' officials had to talk the cabbie out of filing a police report.