Guy Hoffman – 1988 Donruss

September 3, 2010

I Drive A Dodge Stratus!”

This is Guy Hoffman, a fair non-descript nomadic journeyman pitcher.

Guy was not drafted, yet made the bigs just one year after signing with the White Sox. Of course, he went 0-5 with a 5.34 ERA for the White Sox in 1979, as it’s a fairly big step from Bradley University to the AL West. After 9 games in Appleton, he was either in AAA ball or the Major Leagues, so he’s got that going for him.

After scuffling a lot in Iowa and Edmonton for the ChiSox, the Cubs picked him up and he was fairly decent for them in garbage relief and spot starts (garbage relief being a Cubs stock-in-trade for years). Then in a trade that shook the baseball world, the Reds dealt for him for Wade Rowdon. THE Wade Rowdon. (As a Cubs fan, I did have high hopes for THE Wade Rowdon. But then, I had high hopes for Herm Segelke.)

If anyone had doubts back then if the Hit King was gambling, then the 1987 Reds staff could have been prime evidence against him. Hoffman lost his first start, then pitched 8 impressive innings against the Padres on April 20 to even his record at 1-1.

His next start was…June 13. And it’s not like Pete used Hoffman in pressure situations. The team was 4-10 in his relief appearances, and he won THREE of those games himself. He entered the game once ahead, once tied, and 12 times when his team was behind. Only once did he have a ‘high leverage’ relief appearance. He had no holds, no saves, no blown saves. He was a body.

Meanwhile, the Reds were farking around with the decaying corpse of Jerry Reuss (0-5 with a 7.79 ERA – the zombie Reuss somehow turned it around in 1989), using Ted Power in the rotation, trotting out a not-ready (and never-ready, as it turned out) Pat Pacillo (but he was a #1 pick ya know), and seeing if there was anything left in Mario Soto’s arm besides frayed tendons and loose cartilage. Oh, and Pete used a four man rotation for a while to see if Browning, Power, Soto and Gullickson were real men. After all of that stuff THEN, only THEN did they turn back to Hoffman. The Reds were in first place, but the staff was wrecked for the season.

Pete may have never bet against the Reds, but odds were he didn’t bet when Reuss, Pacillo and Soto were starting.

Guy wound up with fairly mediocre stats (9-10, 4.37 for a team that went 84-78) but then signed a free agent contract with Texas. Then he got hurt, and that was that.

In this card, Hoffman looks like he was already prepping for a career as the Regional Manager for Office Depot covering Chicagoland and Central Illinois. (Actually, that’s not what he’s doing, at least I don’t think so…but he definitely looks like middle management in this card, doesn’t he??)


One Response to “Guy Hoffman – 1988 Donruss”

  1. […] Robinson joined the rotation in mid-season. I wrote about the train-wreck decisions Rose made in my Guy Hoffman piece (side note: he still looks like a middle manager at Office […]

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