Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Holy Christ, Jose Offerman Actually Hit Something

Poor taste, I know. But for anyone who spent The Jose Offerman Era in the Greater Boston area, it's a remarkable day. If you're out of the loop, this picture should pretty much explain it:


Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after hitting the pitcher and catcher with his bat during an independent minor league game.

"[Beech] hit him with a cut fastball in the left calf," John said, according to the Post. "And the next thing you know, Offerman's going to the mound with his bat over his head taking swings at Beech. He took at least two, maybe even three [swings]."

So if Jose took three swings, does the one where he hit the catcher on the back swing and then the pitcher on the hand count as one or two? If it's one, that's two hits in one swing, which could possibly be considered the greatest achievement he's had in his post-Kansas City Royals baseball career. Alright, maybe that's a tad unfair. But Offerman is still a guy who had a stranglehold on a top spot on the perennial "Baseball's Most Overpaid Players" list. A Top 5 guy beyond question.

Most people realize that Offerman sucked, to put it mildly. But most people forget who he was brought in to replace way back in 1999: Mo Vaughn. A Boston icon (outside of his Foxy Lady field trips) and one of the premier power hitters in baseball at the time, coming off a year in which he hit .326, 40, 105. Even in the era of steroids and horse testosterone, very impressive production for a man whose physical appearance was more The Island of Dr. Moreau Marlon Brando than his On the Waterfront counterpart (I'm telling you, the smartest thing James Dean ever did was take a drive that fateful day on Route 46 and leave the rest of us wondering,"what if?").

Over the 4 years post-Sox, Maurice had 297 RBIs, including the season he missed trying to ice skate down those Anaheim dugout steps. By contrast, Offerman had 186 RBIs in four full season. Not exactly replacing Big Mo's offensive production. Although certainly placing Mo's big bucks bolt a little lower on the list of "Things To Ire Red Sox Fans." Number one being anbody from NY. Number two is Dan Duquette, the man who handed over that $30m contract to Offerman, and proceeded to watch his career mirror that of Jose. On the slippery slide to nowhere. Absolutely freakin' nowhere.

Regarding the Jose Offerman Red Sox Era, I had this to say over at the offside one day (if you know nothing about AS Roma, ignore the first two sentences, then explain to me why you're here):

I still believe there’s one high-quality guy in there, and the recent rumors involving Alessandro Rosina give creed to this theory, but who knows. Maybe I’m just a little too optimistic. But, in my defense, I did grow up in Boston during the Jose Offerman era. You could give me manure on a plate and I’d think it was filet mignon. (I’m assuming at some point science will catch up with the times and a psychological disorder will be borne from that era, maybe Danduquetteitis? Characterized by lower than normal expectations, frequent blackouts, cold night sweats, anger management issues and genital herpes)

I'm not willing to take any grief over that "one high-quality guy" prediction because there are still 2+ weeks left in the market and we all know Rosella would cancel her VIP tanning bed passes just to appease me. We're tight like that. Anyway, you can basically see what it was like from the inside watching the Yankees win division title after division title while the big $30m man was making Jeff Frye look like the second coming of Rogers Hornsby.

As far as Jose's most recent exploits, I think this puts his future Major League career in question. Maybe. Typically bringing a bat to the pitcher's mound with you isn't exactly the wisest of decisions. Nor is it a good sign when you're arrested during the middle of a game (how many times has that happened before?). Which I can only imagine is bound to happen once Pacman Jones returns to the NFL. Excuse me, if he ever returns to the NFL (breaching you contract while on suspension, absolutely brilliant).

Anyway, I'm livid. I had Elijah Dukes in the offside office pool being the first guy to hit a home run AND commit second degree attempted murder during the same game. Although I'll have to check the rules to see if independent leagues are within the realm of office pool acceptability.

Jose will probably spend a little time having nightmares about dropping the soap, at the very least some probation. He'll also probably be banned from baseball for long enough that Julio Franco will deem him too old to continue. But he does have one thing to hold out hope for: Somewhere, when he's all through serving his prison time/suspension, Dan Duquette will be waiting for him with a 5 year, $30m contract. Dan saw something in his swing.