August 2, 2002
"You're full of (expletive)"
The Red Sox (finally) released Jose Offerman.
Unlike everyone else who pays attention to major league baseball, this apparently came as a huge shock to Jose.
And in his state of shock, Offerman had some interesting things to say:
"You're full of (expletive)," Offerman told Port. --- This after Port (the Red Sox GM), according to news stories, flew to Texas to personally inform Offerman of the decision.
"I ain't got nothing to say," Offerman said. "You guys (messed) me up, that's what I have to say." --- Whenever someone says "I ain't got nothing to say" and "that's what I have to say" in the same sentence, you know you have an A+ quote.
Also, I find it amusing when writers (or editors maybe) decide to subsitute different words for something a player says. So, for Offerman, "You guys f----- me up" becomes "You guys messed me up" --- gotta love that.
As long as they are (presumably) changing things, why didn't anyone substitute something for "(expletive)"? I have a few suggestions:
"You're full of whatever the equivalent to my hitting performance is."
"You're full of profesionalism."
and my favorite, "You're full of Selig."
As for the actual baseball aspect of his release...
As I said before, it was about time.
Offerman has been in steep decline mode for about 3 years now and with his defensive shortcomings he is pretty much a useless player at his current level of performance.
Offerman's career in Boston is an interesting one, both because of his signing and his performance.
The media generally had 3 phases during Offerman's tenure in Boston:
#1) Immediately after his signing Dan Duquette was almost universally ripped, mostly for letting Mo Vaughn leave.
#2) During Offerman's first season in Boston, Dan Duquette was almost universally praised for signing Offerman at a fraction of the cost that it would have taken to keep Big Mo (who coincidently was beginning a pretty nice career decline himself, in Anaheim). Stuff like, "With the money Vaughn would have gotten, the Sox got Offerman, ________ and _______."
#3) Ever since Offerman's first season with the Red Sox, Dan Duquette has been almost universally ripped (yes, once again).
The 3 phases are wrapped up very nicely by the quotes found in the article about Offerman's release:
"It was a tumultuous end to Offerman's largely disappointing run in Boston. It was a tenure that started on Nov. 13, 1998, when former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette signed the switch-hitting infielder to a much-criticized four-year, $26 million contract with an option for a fifth year. The timing of the signing couldn't have been worse, as the Red Sox had just parted ways with popular slugger Mo Vaughn. Duquette said at the time that Offerman could replace Vaughn's "on-base capability", and from that moment on, the move became a favorite target of Duquette's critics." --- (Phase 1)
"Offerman did have a solid first year in Boston, earning a trip to the All-Star Game, which was played at Fenway Park. He led off and played second base in that '99 season, helping the team's run to the ALCS by hitting .294, scoring 107 runs, hitting 37 doubles and leading the AL with 11 triples." --- (Phase 2)
"But he came nowhere near that level in the three ensuing seasons. In fact, he never hit as high as .270 or scored more than 76 runs. This season, Offerman was hitting .232 with four HRs and 27 RBIs. His last game with the Red Sox was a loss to the Orioles on Friday night, when he lost track of outs and got doubled off on a flyball to end an inning." --- (Phase 3)
I actually think the Offerman signing was a decent one - not a great one, but certainly not a horrible one. To me it seemed like a reasonable contract, in both length and dollar amount for a 29 year old 2B, coming off of a year in which he had a .400+ on-base percentage and 45 stolen bases. Offerman was a certified leadoff man, having had an OBP of .380 or higher in 3 of the 4 years prior to signing with Boston.
In hindsight, of course, it looks pretty bad. Although the Sox did get one very good season from Offerman, in which they made it to the AL Championship Series.
Jose Offerman in Boston:
4 years/$26 million
1999: 586 AB .294/.391/.435 (AVG/OBP/SLG)
2000: 451 AB .255/.354/.359
2001: 524 AB .267/.342/.374
2002: 237 AB .232/.325/.325
I am sure Sid Thrift (Baltimore's GM) is on the phone with Offerman's agent right now.