Back with Padres, Hoffman's legacy lives on
All-time saves leader proved influential in Milwaukee bullpen
SAN DIEGO -- Trevor Hoffman was back in the Brewers' training room on Wednesday, just like old times.
Hoffman spent a lot of time with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger and assistant Dan Wright during his two seasons in Milwaukee, a daily routine that helped Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader pitch to the brink of his 43rd birthday.
Now, he's settling into a front-office job with the Padres, so Hoffman stopped by the Brewers' clubhouse as a visitor.
"For me, [the transition] was great, because you don't have the stress of trying to perform, but you're also able to feed the animal," Hoffman said. "It was the best of both worlds. The organization has been great in terms of letting me float around and observe."
Hoffman was in uniform as a Padres instructor during Spring Training, but since the start of the season, he's remained on the sidelines. He consults with San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer when needed, and with Padres pitchers when they come to him with questions.
The new gig affords Hoffman a lot more time home with his wife, Tracy, and his three sons. At the ballpark, he has a new vantage point.
"It's been a little different being in the stands," he said.
Hoffman recorded the final 47 of his record 601 saves in a Brewers uniform and retired last winter after a tough 2010 season. His legacy lives on with the Brewers, whose relievers have continued their "Camp Hoffman" workouts. Instead of Hoffman leading the daily cardiovascular workouts, each day a different reliever gets to choose the activity.
Kameron Loe called for running stairs in the upper deck at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. On Wednesday, it was Marco Estrada's turn. Pitchers chased down an aerobie -- the pink, Frisbee-like flying disc -- in the PETCO Park outfield.
"The stuff he instilled in us, it's good for the group," said closer John Axford. "It was really light with him, but it was always work, too. He taught us the balance."
Hoffman was happy to hear the tradition continues.
"It's a little bit of a commitment," he said. "The good thing is they've been able to adapt whatever they were exposed to, to their routines and what they feel is going to better them. It's not necessarily, 'Do what Hoffy says,' but realize that some of the things we did do was helpful to their careers."
Real Nyjer Morgan joins Twitterverse
MILWAUKEE -- Well, this won't be boring. One of the biggest personalities in the Brewers' clubhouse has joined Twitter.Now all Nyjer Morgan -- a.k.a. Tony Plush (his on-field alter ego), a.k.a @TheRealTPlush -- needs is a name for his followers. "Plushaholics? Plush Nation? Plushminions? Plushmaniacs?" he asked, breaking out in a laugh. What prompted him to join? "I woke up the other morning -- popped up in bed and was like, 'Dude, I gotta get a Twitter account,'" Morgan said. So he did. Morgan is the third Brewers player with a bona fide Twitter account. The others are relievers John Axford (@JohnAxford) and LaTroy Hawkins (@Adidas219). "I'm trying to watch what I do on there," Morgan said. "But it's been fun. I've been on there all day. I haven't set my phone down."
Crew waits until June to start Interleague Play
SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball begins Interleague Play this weekend -- but not the Brewers, who instead will host the Rockies at Miller Park.With 16 teams in the National League and only 14 in the American League, two NL clubs are annually excluded from the first round of Interleague Games. The Brewers won't get their first taste for a full month, until they travel to Boston from June 17-19 to begin a brutal stretch of the schedule. That series begins a run of 15 consecutive Interleague Games against teams that entered this season considered contenders -- the Red Sox, Rays, Twins, Yankees, and Twins again. Minnesota is down to start the 2011 season, but has gone 36-28 in Interleague Play against Milwaukee since the Brewers moved to the Senior Circuit.
Brewers fans who want to see Shaun Marcum pitch against the Rockies on Saturday will have to buy a ticket. The club is reminding fans that due to Major League Baseball broadcasting rules, Saturday's 6:10 p.m. CT game is not part of the FS Wisconsin telecast schedule. No local television is permitted to carry games that start from 3:10-9:05 p.m. CT because of a window of exclusivity for FOX national telecasts.