November 23, 2010

Fool Me Once...

Jose Offerman, 1994 Upper Deck

Ah, spring training. Where teams are still working out the kinks. Take for example, this card, in which that ol’ common mishap occurred whereas the baserunner decided not to slide but instead run upright into the shortstop, who—assuming the baserunner would slide—jumped, allowing for the rare crotch-shoulder-oblique-head collision, and who has also, just for the heck of it, collided with the second baseman, too, who is in the vicinity for no real rational reason. That this play occurred during a pop-up to first base and five minutes after a local rooster ran onto the field makes it even more spectacular. Baseball! Innocent hijinks are what the crowd came to see.

But are they so innocent? Hmmm. Seems as though more recent days have produced several intentionally violent incidents for one Jose Offerman:

Let us check Wikipedia:

On August 14, 2007, Offerman was thrown out of a Ducks game against the Bridgeport Bluefish for charging Bluefish pitcher Matt Beach with a bat after he was hit by a pitch.

Let’s chalk that one up to the sheer intensity of the Ducks-Bluefish rivalry. I mean, if you’re the Bluefish, you just can’t let 39-year old Jose Offerman beat you with his bat, and walking him is too passive an approach for such a rivalry, obviously. Unfortunately, if you hit him—as the Bluefish discovered—Jose Offerman will beat you with his bat.

Let’s give the guy a break, though. Getting hit with a baseball hurts, and we all react in different ways. Besides:

The Court also found that Offerman is not likely to offend again in the future.

There. Done. Let’s move on.

On 16 January 2010, Offerman once again engaged in an on-field assault when he struck an umpire while managing a Dominican Republic winter league game.

Licey Tigers front office: It says here that you once charged the mound wielding a baseball bat, causing two players to go to the hospital and effectively ending the career of one of them. Tell me about that.

Offerman: Yeah, that was me. I was mad. The court said I probably won’t do that again, though.

Licey Tigers front office
: We’d like you to be our manager.

Because of this incident, Offerman has been suspended for life from the Dominican Republic Winter League.

Join the club.

Considering this information, it seems more likely that the above card captured an enraged Offerman, jump-tackling an opposing player who had the audacity to be standing on second base, while his teammate desperately tried to stop him.

One would think he would have gotten in trouble for this. Oh well! I doubt he’ll do it again.

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