Trevor Hoffman and Anagrams

To the person who stumbled onto Ducksnorts by searching for "geoff’s tattoos" I offer this sad revelation: I have none.

To the rest of you, let’s talk baseball.

There’s an interesting problem here in Padreland that folks have been reluctant to talk about because it involves one of the team’s most popular players. But it’s starting to generate some heat over at Fanstop so I’ll mention it here. For all the discussion of the obvious black holes behind the plate an in the middle infield, there is another issue that may prove more troublesome to solve.

Trevor Hoffman.

With the retirement of Tony Gwynn, Hoffman is the senior Padre player. He’s well respected and liked by teammates, the media, and fans alike. He’s a solid member of the community. Basically, he’s everything Gwynn was, on a smaller scale (no pun intended). And like Gwynn, he holds several Padre records. Heck, he holds the big-league record for saves with one team. Hoffman is a cultural icon here in San Diego.

So, what’s the problem?

The Padres are blowing a quarter of their payroll on a guy who works 60 innings a year. As much as it pains me to admit this, because Hoffman is one of my favorite players in the game right now, I’m not sure that’s a wise way for an organization that refers to itself as "small market" to be allocating its resources. Hoffy has done a great deal for the city and the ballclub, and he seems like a heckuva good guy. But he isn’t young, and he isn’t cheap. And on a team that constantly cries "small market" that’s not a winning combination.

Please don’t send me hate mail (oh, go ahead if it makes you feel better); I’m just reporting the facts. No, I don’t have a solution. The very thing that makes Hoffman a problem (his contract) also makes it difficult to fix that problem. What team can afford to take on 9+ million bucks for a 35-year-old pitcher who appeared in just over 4% of his team’s innings last year?

I don’t know what the Padres can do. They can’t trade him because of his salary, and even if they could it would be a PR nightmare. People were upset that Euguene freakin’ Kingsale was run out of town and he was a spare outfielder who added little value and who only spent half a season here. Hoffman’s pitched over 600 games for the Pads and, as mentioned before, he’s almost universally loved in San Diego.

I guess the only two possibilities I can think of right now are: a) ask Hoffman to renegotiate his contract and take a pay cut (you know, like they always do with schoolteachers) or b) get John Moores or someone more willing/able to commit the money needed to build a team to pony up the cash for free agents and not use Hoffman’s contract as an excuse for making Jesse Orosco your biggest off-season acquisition.

I dunno, maybe we could hold a bake sale. Who’s with me?

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

The A’s and White Sox made a trade that seems to be generating a lot excitement. In case you missed it, Billy Koch went to Chicago, while Keith Foulke, Mark Johnson, Joe Valentine, and a wad of money came to Oakland. Statheads love this one for the A’s because they believe Koch is overrated, Foulke underrated, Johnson better than he really is, and Valentine possibly a useful reliever in his own right. The guys on SportsCenter see it as a salary dump.

Me? I don’t understand what the fuss is about. Two closers swap uniforms, some money changes hands, and that’s pretty much it. Talk of Foulke as a starter (didn’t he have endurance problems earlier in his career?) or Johnson as more than a backup frankly baffles me, and I don’t think that Koch is nearly as bad as some folks think he is (nor is he as good as others believe). Both of these guys are solid relievers; on balance I’d rather have Foulke, but the difference bewtween the two isn’t that great.

To me it looks like the key to this deal is that the White Sox were willing to pay some of Foulke’s salary. The A’s were able to cut costs without appreciably hurting their club (and possibly helping it a little–not a lot). A smart move, but not very interesting.

On the other hand, it’s not as boring as signing Jesse Orosco.

Stupid Web Tricks: Anagrams

Some of these work better than others.

  • Mark Kotsay Kayak Storm
  • Ryan Klesko Skylark One, Roan Elk Sky
  • Trevor Hoffman Father of Mr. Von, Tavern off Mohr, Eat VHF from Ron, Fat Vern from OH
  • Sean Burroughs A Rosebush Rung, A Bong User Rush, A Brush Surgeon, A Brush Urges On, A Bush Ogre Runs, Subrange Hours, Rehab Our Guns, Saber Gun Hours, Gus Bears Huron, Abusers Hug Ron, Bangs Our Usher, Brash Rouge Sun, Ban Guru Horses, Unbar Hog Users, Go Urban Ushers, Boar Users Hung, Shun Bar Rogues, Bar Unsure Hogs, Bar Shogun User, Rose Bra Hung Us, Bra Users Hog UN

Hey, I told you they were stupid. I’m outta here…

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