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Report: MLB to name relief pitcher awards after Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman

Apr 9, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera

Jon Heyman has a scoop:

Major League Baseball will add two big touches of class to its top reliever award, with sources saying it plans to rename the annual honor for the best reliever in each league after brilliant all-time bullpen greats Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.

The work perfectly for that given that each spent their entire careers in their respective leagues and given that they are 1-2 in career saves.

One quibble, though: can we occasionally name someone who isn’t a closer the best reliever in baseball? It happens, you know. A guy without a gaudy save total being the best relief pitcher. Even before the awards were named after closers, relief pitcher awards of various stripes have almost always gone to closers. Now, I presume, they will exclusively.

  1. dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Trevor Rivera? Mariano Hoffman? Marvor Hoffera? Treano Rivman?

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Lol! I choose Treano Rivman.

  2. cktai - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Just because the award is named after the two guys with the most saves doesn’t mean you have to get saves to win it. Just like the Cy Young award winner doesn’t have to have the most wins. Or the golden glove winner doesn’t have to be a good fielder.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      That last sentence made me chuckle. Thank you.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      I wanted to thumb you up, but as you were at 42, I didn’t want to touch it…in tribute…

  3. renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Your pick guys.. For Mariano Rivera- Mariano award or Rivera award? As for Trevor Hoffman… I think Hoffman award sounds cool with it so no choices here.

    • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      I’m down with the AL Award being called “The Flaming Mo”.

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Jesus… Amounts of different kinds of elements is seriously killin that glass right now… Not to mention the way that gal is holdin that glass in her is just……………………………………………… DANG IT !! ( Must……stop….thinking….pointless..THINGS!!..) And yeah “Flaming Mo” sounds good.. Only if they allow it though.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Brother, if you drink one of those things do not drive for like…a week. Maybe longer.

        The Flaming Mo: for when you HAVE to get it right at the end.

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Dude.. If I drink those my stomach will die… Gastrointestinal virus isn’t even close to this when something like this occurs. And yes “The Flaming Mo” is definitely an awesome award name.

  4. Jeremy T - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    So does this mean that MLB doesn’t want that lucrative Rolaids money anymore?

  5. Chris K - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Is this a different award than the Rolaids Relief Man Award? The Rolaids award actually has a formula based on accumulated stats to determine the winner.

  6. renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    We got a vote here and 7 votes for Rivera award 2 goes for Mariano award. Voting is now closed.

  7. braddavery - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I love the A.L. Mariano Rivera Award, but I’m thinking they should wait on the N.L. award to be named the Craig Kimbrel Award, because he will most likely end up being the second best reliever in baseball history after Mo.

    • spudchukar - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      It is possible, but the wait will be long. To date Kimbrel has 142 saves, averaging 46 a year. He trails Hoffman by 459, that is 10 more years, at that pace to pass the namesake, and that has to occur without injury or hiccup.

    • dan1111 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      There is a bit of a mismatch between Rivera and Hoffman. It is hard to find any pitcher who is truly comparable to the one who has the best ERA+ in baseball history by a margin of over 50 points.

      Arguably, they should have called both the Rivera award. But if they want two, it’s hard to fault the pick of Hoffman. He is probably the second best reliever after Mo. Kimbrel is great, but he has a long way to go before becoming one of the game’s best relievers. Four years ago, people might have said the same thing about Papelbon (Think that’s a crazy comparison? Look up his stats–you probably forgot just how good Papelbon used to be).

      • braddavery - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        Kimbrel’s stats so far are legendary. Clearly I understand he has a ways to go and that’s why I said as much, but Kimbrel is ALREADY one of the best relief pitchers of all-time and he’s only 26. Rivera’s relief career STARTED at age 26 and Hoffman’s started at age 25.

    • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      I’m a Braves fan and damn Kimbrel is good! But let’s put this aside first until he gets the recognition he deserves. Kimbrel is an awesome closer but if were talking all time? It’s Mariano Rivera for now.

  8. labfan30 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    There has not been a pitcher in either league with under 40 saves win the Rolaids award in the 2000’s. In 2002 John Smoltz finished 3rd in the Cy Young race and 8th in MVP voting with a WAR of 1.2. Greg Gagne had a WAR of 2.9 the same year. He had 3 less saves.

    You can bring up examples like this year after year after year. I only used that because it is one I’m familiar with without having to look anything up.

    The answer to your question is: Yes, you had better have 40 saves or more or forget winning a relief pitcher award of any kind.

    • moogro - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Eric, Verne, whatever…

  9. chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    The award for the best pitcher with six fingers will be known as the Antonio Alfonseca award. Go forth and spread the word.

  10. sdelmonte - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Seems a bit unusual to name awards after living people, though there is precedent in the NBA with the O’Brien Trophy getting its name while Larry O’Brien was alive. But why stop here? Why not name the MVP awards, too, to go with the Cy Young and the Jackie Robinson and these?

    I wonder why the NHL hasn’t named anything for Wayne Gretzky yet. I used to joke that he was so great a player that they should just rename the sport itself for him. But those names for the NHL awards honor people most fans can’t identify. While everyone knows Cy Young, Mo, and Jackie Robinson.

  11. nbjays - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    The Mo-Hoff Relief Award.

  12. rcali - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Yikes, nice decision making.

  13. Scott Hevel - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Do they give the Hoffman award to the guy with a lot of saves who’s kinda eh and the Rivera reward to the best closer or how will it work?

    For 2013, I’ll give the Hoffman award to Addison Reed and the Rivera award to… Rivera (because he’s awesome)…or Kimbrell

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