Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DePodesta on Hoffman (and Giles)

First of all, congrats to Paul DePodesta on being promoted to EVP. Pretty nice title if you ask me, and seemingly the heir apparent to sitting GM Kevin Towers. Yeah, I'm happy for him.

Onto his frank discussion about Hoffman:

This is an intensely personal situation for Trevor, the Padres, and the fans. I haven't been here that long, but even I have a connection - my oldest son's favorite player is Trevor Hoffman. Trevor is the all-time saves leader, an organizational icon, and a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. This isn't easy.
{Facts and stuff}
Again I'll say that I don't think the above facts are all that important. The reason is that there is simply no graceful way to handle this situation. Trevor has meant too much to this franchise for any kind of separation to be seamless. No matter how the situation is handled, if Trevor pitches elsewhere in 2009, it will be deemed to have been handled poorly. We know that.
Talk about a tough spot to be in. DePo does a nice job in laying out what he sees as the facts in this situation. I italicized "he sees" as this is only his side of the story; maybe Hoffman and his agent have a different view on the events and facts.

I think that a well below market value offer for a legend is insulting --just ask Joe Torre-- and should not be used as a negotiation kick-off point. Rather than lobbing an offer you know won't be accepted, just come out and tell everyone you are rebuilding and as much as you'd like to have Hoffman return, it doesn't make sense for the organization at this time, ("we're going a different direction"). Sure the fans can hate it, but at least that's the truth talking. We, the fans, have to accept that sometimes the business of baseball gets in the way of the fandom in baseball. I've mentioned this many times before in recognizing the way the RedSox have dealt with these situations the best recently as they have let their own legends walk away (Pedro, Damon, maybe Varitek this year, etc.) for the good of the current and future team*. Players know this is a business and if you discussed the move as a "business decision", these hurt feelings could be muted or avoided altogether.

*I can see this coming to the Yanks when Jeter's contract is up in 2010, which, ain't that far away. Don't say you weren't warned.

As for the Giles stuff, that's less relevant to me as I don't find too much fault in the move and DePo's explanations are fine by me and very well crafted. To summarize his three reasons:
Reason #1: We're always trying to win.
Reason #2: Brian is precisely the type of player we want our younger guys to emulate.
Reason #3: This is the raw business end of the deal.
I don't have a problem with this at all. Do you?

1 comment:

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Surprisingly honest, but it's essentially what we figured anyway. Still, it's nice to hear him admit it. I also agree with him that there was no good way to handle either situation.