Note to Padres infielders: Don't make errors behind closer Trevor Hoffman, because he apparently holds grudges. As he travels to National League cities, Hoffman, who saved 53 games in 1998 and finished a close second to the Braves' Tom Glavine in the National League Cy Young race, has started to confront writers who he has learned didn't vote for him. Six of the 32 voters left Hoffman off their ballots, on which they were asked to list three choices.
"He asked me, 'Do you have a problem with me?' " says Joe Kay, a veteran Associated Press baseball writer from Cincinnati, who was approached by Hoffman on May 14. "He wasn't abusive, but he said that anyone who left him off the ballot wasn't showing closers any respect."
In the end Hoffman had to partially agree with Kay's logic. Kay told Hoffman that he had voted for Kevin Brown first, followed by Glavine and Greg Maddux. "He said, 'O.K., Brown deserved it,' " says Kay." 'But I should have been on there somewhere.' "
Big League Travel
Flight Delayed By Rampage
As Reds manager Jack McKeon sifted through the rubble after visiting Cincinnati's three-hour, 43-minute, 24-12 bombing of the Rockies on May 19, the phone rang in his Coors Field office. The caller, a representative of a charter airline, was trying to reach Reds traveling secretary Gary Wahoff to ask why the team hadn't yet arrived at the Denver airport for its flight to San Diego. "I'm sorry, ma'am, we've just played one of these damn football games," was McKeon's response. "We couldn't leave in the middle of the game."