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Building a bullpen

Hoffman anchors the bullpen

It all starts at the back end. Some Major League Baseball pundits argue that you build your team from the bullpen out. A strong bullpen will ensure leads turn into wins. A bullpen that can hold an opponent off the scoreboard will give the manager more options and allow the hitters to focus on scoring more runs. The San Diego Padres believe they have that now.

General manager Kevin Towers believes the most surprising aspect of the 2004 Padres will be the bullpen. "I know we've done a lot elsewhere," said Towers before departing for spring training. "We traded for (catcher) Ramon Hernandez and signed (left-handed pitcher) David Wells, (center fielder) Jay Payton and Rey Ordonez to give us options as short. "But I think the bullpen is where...

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