I hadn’t given much thought to Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame candidacy since baseball writers seemingly decided that the closer role and the save stat weren’t particularly important to them any longer. It was a defense mechanism I’m sure. It would be too sad for me to watch Hoffman passed over for a second time.
Not that I’m a scout or even a moderately good judge of baseball talent, but I watched Trevor Hoffman in his 16 years with the Padres and in his 10 year prime and I was pretty certain I was witnessing a future Hall of Famer. Any doubt that I may have had was assuaged by these very same baseball writers that were telling me on the reg in print that he was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
A few weeks ago, the Mighty 1090’s Darren Smith shared with his radio audience the twitter handle @NotMrTibbs. It was the account of Ryan Thibodaux, a fan, who was tallying Hall of Fame ballots. At the time Trevor had, I think, 76% of the votes. While only 60 ballots were in, he was clearly trending in the right direction. Since then I’ve been watching as Hoffman’s numbers have steadily stayed near the 75% Hall of Fame cutoff. With each passing day, my hope for him grew. I became more and more invested. Only recently has Trevor’s decline begun and my worry for him increased. He now sits at 70% of the public ballots. My hope now is that the private ballots will push him over the top, before baseball’s stat nerds can shame them for their votes and flawed reasoning.
If Trevor garners the votes and becomes immortal this summer, I will quickly switch my stance on the closer role and shame all those that defend it. This will have a two-pronged effect. First by raising my nose and scoffing at the closer role, people will think I’m really knowledgeable about baseball. Second, we can turn the tide on Mariano Rivera. Not because he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, he does, but baseball writers favor him much more than Hoffman. It’d be funny to watch them back track and squirm while they suddenly have to try to defend his candidacy.
I also think this would be the perfect year for alleged steroid cheats Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their numbers are also trending in that direction due to the Bud Selig Effect. How great would it be to see former commissioner and steroid enabler Bud Selig forced to share the stage with them? As Selig was whisked into the Hall by a newly created committee filled with his cronies, it would seem fitting that his reputation and induction be tarnished by being placed between these two. I’d watch that.