7.22:  Finally.

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 Peanut. 

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.  Hardball