This has got to be it. The last straw, the final insult, the last grain of salt
in the wound.
There is, after all, precedent.
When Jose Offerman was thrown out attempting to steal third
in the top of the ninth, surely I wasn't the only citizen of Red Sox Nation who
recalled Steve Lyons running himself off the team by running the team out of an
inning, making the final out at third on a crazed steal attempt with the Sox
trailing by two runs and Wade Boggs at the plate in the summer of 1986. Or am I
alone in my desperate need to be delivered from the psychological torture of
watching Jose Offerman play baseball? Do I alone cling deliriously to the
possibility that someone in the Red Sox organization will recognize that this is
no longer a viable Major League player? Am I the only guy who thinks today's
loss will have been worth it if Jose Offerman is released? He is a DH/1B with no
pop and no speed, and, worse, he retains the delusion of speed, which invariably
leads to huge outs on the bases.
Does Grady Little have an incentive clause that gives him a
nice bump when Jose Offerman gets 400 plate appearances? What other explanation
could there be for his insistence on playing him almost every day, even DH-ing
him as he did today? Every other Red Sox position player would make a better DH
than Offerman, who is as overmatched as he is overpaid. Has there ever been a
more laughable "designated hitter"? Did Ray Oyler ever DH for the Tigers? In
addition to everyone else on the current Sox roster, I'd rather see Juan Diaz or
even Wilton Veras in the lineup than Offerman. Remember, last year Offerman
fell three strikeouts shy of joining an exclusive club of guys who struck out
100 times without reaching double figures in homers or stolen bases. Usually a
team stays with a guy who whiffs a lot because he does
something else well. Not Offy. Not the Sox, who still stick with him even
though he is considerably worse than he was last year. Last year he was
miserable. This year he is horrible.
How bad is he? He's Steve Lyons bad.
Yes, before he was an incredibly average TV personality, Psycho was an
extraordinarily below average ballplayer. Lyons shared Offerman's versatility,
playing many positions, none particularly well. Lyons finished his career with
a woeful .301 on-base percentage and a Remy-esque .340 slugging percentage.
Offerman sports a .333 "slugging" percentage this season and a pathetic .663
OPS. And he's a DH/1B for chrissakes!
Hopefully, Grady, who obviously doesn't understand things
like on-base percentage if he chose to walk Mondesi to pitch to Posada, was
miffed at Offerman's decision to bolt for third on an 0-2 pitch when he was
already in scoring position with one out. While it's not a bad idea to try to
make it to third with one out - unless you're slow - doing it with two strikes
on the batter defeats the purpose somewhat, since A) he might strike out on that
very pitch, which means you run the risk of making the third out at third, a
baseball sin, and B) he'll still be deep in the hole even if he takes ball one,
which means there's a good chance he'll fan (he did), negating the upside of
advancing to third.
Offy may not have the physical tools he once had, but he's as
dumb as ever.
Speaking of dumb guys...
... sure wish Grady had started the runner on the 3-1 pitch
to Tony Clark in the seventh. If Johnny Damon is healthy enough to pinch run
and play center, then dammit, he can run on the pitch. It was inexcusable to
allow Tony to hit into that predictable double play.
... Buck Showalter made an ass out of himself by defending
Grady's decision to walk Mondesi with "he's a faster runner and more likely to
beat out a double-play ball." There was nobody out, Buck. Somehow I doubt the
Sox would have tried to spin one. The move was to walk Ventura, then go after
Mondesi - who. as the rest of us know, will expand the zone - and Posada.
Harold Reynolds defended Grady, too, but I wouldn't expect anything else from
Charlie Reliford outdid himself today, sending Nick Johnson
to first when Castillo's pitch didn't even hit the guy's billowing shirt, which
is a dumb rule anyway. It should have to hurt for the batter to get a base.