Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why Hoffman Will Never Be Rivera

After Saturday saw him blow his last save opportunity, forcing his team into a Wildcard tie and subsequent one-game playoff, Trevor Hoffman then blew a two-run lead in that play-in game. The devastating loss results in the San Diego Padres sitting at home during October as the Rockies dance around Coors Field.

If the playoffs were on the line, and Mariano Rivera were the on the mound with a two-run lead, you better believe the G.O.A.T. closes that ballgame. Bringing up Hoffman in the same conversation as Rivera has always been an aberration and now it's just a joke. The saves statistic has always been overrated as a true barometer of a closer's worth and Hoffman is the prime example.

Though he is consistently good, he never converts the "life or death" save opportunity. Scott Brosius in the '98 World Series comes to mind. Blowing a 2006 all-star game where NL home field advantage in the Series was at stake is another. Then there is Saturday and Monday's successive choke jobs, each of which would have meant San Diego playing postseason baseball.

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