Trevor Hoffman

Why Bruce Bochy will miss Giants' game Sunday vs Brewers

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Why Bruce Bochy will miss Giants' game Sunday vs Brewers

Bruce Bochy made Houston, New York and San Diego his homes as a player, and San Francisco -- after making it back to San Diego -- his home as a manager. There is no doubt Bochy has a future home in Cooperstown, NY. Over the weekend, the future Hall of Famer will be there supporting the newest class of baseball prestige at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. 

To support Trevor Hoffman and Alan Trammell, Bochy will miss the Giants' home game Sunday against the Brewers to be in attendance for the ceremony.

In San Diego, Bochy managed Hoffman for 12 seasons. Over that span, Hoffman recorded 457 saves with a 2.58 ERA, made five All-Star Games, and finished in the top five of Cy Young voting three times. 

Hoffman finished his 18-year career with 601 saves. At the time of his retirement, Hoffman was the all-time saves leader. Mariano Rivera broke Hoffman's record one season after he retired and the Yankees great finished with 652, which is currently the career record. 

Trammel is going to Cooperstown for his 20-year career with the Tigers where he was named an All-Star six times and won four Gold Glove awards. But, Bochy will be there for Trammel the coach. For three seasons, 2000-02, Trammel served as Bochy's first base coach in San Diego. 

On Tuesday, Bochy tied Casey Stengel for 11th place on the all-time wins list with 1,905 in the Giants' 4-3 win over the Mariners. The win brought Bochy to an exact even 1,905 victories to 1,905 losses in his 24-year career as a manager with the Padres and Giants. 

Bochy won 951 games in San Diego, and through the middle of his 12th season in San Francisco, he has won 954 games for the Giants. The 63-year-old has also won four National League pennants and three World Series titles.

Hall of Fame voters' biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?

Hall of Fame voters' biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?

With Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines, and maybe even Trevor Hoffman about to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, we have re-entered the hellish debates about who should vote, and why they should vote, and whether needles are good or bad and whether both are trumped by cashing the checks those needles made possible and why being transparent about their votes is good and why being transparent about their votes is actually bad.
 
In other words, the Hall of Fame isn’t actually about players any more. It’s about the voters.
 
The Danes call this “rampant narcissism.”
 
We have danced around this central fact for years now, hiding behind debates about performance enhancing drugs and the profiting thereof, voting limits and their degree of strangling artificiality, and the new writers vs. the old veterans, and who should be vilified, justifiably or otherwise, by whom.
 
Yay hatred by proxy!
 
But the process arguments ultimately aren’t the central point here. The argument is really about something more basic.
 
Are voter/journalists supposed to help enhance the mythology of the sport, or dispassionately tell its story? Who are they working for when they vote?

To that end, every vote tells a story well beyond the names checked off or the blank ballots submitted. One man, Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs, to you), has been invaluable in delving into the voting minutiae from the growing number of voters who release their opinions early. But, and he’ll admit this if you strike him often enough, that’s still a process discussion, and the core of the debate is found elsewhere.
 
Baseball writers are like football writers and basketball writers and hockey writers and curling writers and blah-blah-blah-de-blah-blah, in that they are prone to love the sports they cover beyond their journalistic mandate. That’s probably true of most journalists in most fields, but baseball has the Hall of Fame outlet to allow this internal debate to play itself out before our faces.
 
So the question becomes whether their votes are the representation of dispassionate analysis, or a defense of the mythos of the sport and the concept of the Hall itself. Boiled down to its essence, who are the voters defending here, the sanctity of the myth, or the ugliness of the reality?
 
The answer, as it usually is, is, “Depends on who you talk to.”
 
Hall of Fame debates usually lump all voters into one amorphous blob, a level of lazy and stupid thinking that should in a more perfect world be punishable by death. Okay, we kid. Life on a Louisiana prison farm, with parole after 25 years.
 
In fact, voters cover a fairly wide swath of opinion, and for whatever perceived shortcomings they might have, there are enough of them (about 450) to be a fairly accurate measure of the diaspora of baseball opinion across social, cultural, sporting and chronological lines.
 
But the argument about whether an individual voter feels more responsible to the job he or she is paid to do or to the game he or she covers as part of that job remains largely unconsidered, or at the very least masked by other considerations.
 
This manifests itself all the way down to the hot-pocket word “cheating.” Baseball is about cheating, and about honor. It’s about racism, and trying to overcome it. It’s about greed, and selflessness. It’s a sport, and it’s a business. It’s America, in all its glorious and hideous manifestations. To employ “cheating” as a word is in itself dishonest, and given that everyone got rich off the PED era and kept all the money they made makes PED use a de facto workplace condition approved by management and labor.
 
That may be unsavory, and it certainly is illegal without a proper doctor’s prescription, but because by their inaction the owners decided not to punish it (and in fact chose to reward it with contracts and extensions for users even after testing was instituted), it isn’t “cheating.”
 
And even if that argument doesn’t heat your rec room, it isn’t the role of the writer to punish it. It is the role of the writer to reveal it by journalism means, but that’s where the journalist’s role ends. The people who ran baseball took the journalism, acknowledged it, and did nothing until it ramped up detection and did little other than blame the union for a failing that both sides share equally.
 
So in the end, Raines’ votes or Barry Bonds’ votes or Curt Schilling’s votes or Edgar Martinez’ votes are fun to debate, but they aren’t the issue. It’s whether the voters think when they sit down and confront their ballot every year who exactly they’re working for – the job, or the sport.
 
And yes, I vote. Voted for the maximum 10. You’ll find out tomorrow the contents of my ballot. Then you can make that a process story, too.