…is not Mariano Rivera. It is Trevor Hoffman. I am not saying this because of Hoffman’s save record. Saves, while the statistic that closers are generally measured by, is not representive of a closer’s performance, because the closers’ teammates drastically effect the number of save opportunities a closer gets, which to a certain extent determines the number of saves recorded. Rivera was at the top of this luck, while Hoffman was near the bottom, I am not saying that Rivera would have been an average closer on a different team, I am simply saying that Hoffman was better.
- During his career, teams with Trevor Hoffman have gone a combined 1258-1365. Hoffman has saved 575 (46%) of his teams’ wins.
- During his career, teams with Mariano Rivera have gone a combined 1225-807. Rivera has saved 508 (41%) of his teams’ wins.
Mariano Rivera is acclaimed for winning championships, he won them as a cog in the Yankee Machine. Trevor Hoffman was the pitching soul of the Friars, just as Tony Gwynn was their hitting soul, he didn’t win a title, but he drove a losing team. Mariano Rivera has the legacy, but Trevor Hoffman has the soul. For what he has done with mediocre teams, trumps what Mariano has done with a New York dynasty. Trevor Hoffman is the greatest of his generation.