It was always only a matter of time, but the Padres did set the date on Thursday: they’ll retire Trevor Hoffman’s No. 51 on Aug. 21 after a game against the Marlins.
After spending his final two years in the majors with the Brewers, Hoffman retired over the winter and took a job as a special assistant to Padres club president and COO Tom Garfinkel.
Baseball’s all-time saves leader, Hoffman recorded 552 of his 601 career saves with the Padres. He was traded from Florida to San Diego in his rookie season in 1993 and pitched for the club through 2008 before signing with the Brewers. He had his best season in 1998, when he saved 53 games in 54 chances and finished with a 1.48 ERA. He finished second in the NL Cy Young balloting that season and again in 2006.
Hoffman joins Steve Garvey (No. 6), Tony Gwynn (No. 19), Dave Winfield (No. 31) and Randy Jones (No. 35) in having his number retired by the Padres.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.