Top Ten LA Dodger Bums Series 10: Jose Offerman


Hey Dodger fans,

Now that the winter meetings and arbitration deadlines have come and gone, I figured we needed a little brevity. The last few weeks have been pretty intense with all the Hot Stove action. Time to take a little trip down memory lane. Being lifelong die-hard Dodger fans, we’ve seen it all over the years. Certain players leave indelible marks upon us, and some we may never forget. Not only the great players, but the bad players as well. I think it’s time we take a look at the LA Dodgers Bums of yesteryear. (I’m only doing the bums in my lifetime, LA Dodgers. I’ll have to do a separate list for the all time Brooklyn Bums, but I would have to consult with my Uncle on that) I will reveal one player per week, until we reach the number one Dodger bum of all time. Let’s get started with the number ten LA Dodger bum of all time.

10. Jose Offerman (Bummerman)-Shortstop (1990-1995)

In 1986 the Dodgers drafted a fresh faced kid from the Dominican republic. 19-year old shortstop Jose Offerman. Originally from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, the six foot 150 pound switch hitter was considered a top prospect. Little did the Dodgers or anyone else know at the time that Offerman had absolutely no business playing shortstop at the major league level in any way whatsoever.

Offerman made his MLB debut on August 19, 1990. In his first at bat, he hit a home run. It was all downhill from there. We soon discovered that despite being a decent top of the order hitter, Offerman could not and I mean NOT in any way field a baseball. I’m not kidding. Any attempt by Offerman to field a baseball, or I suspect any object being hit and or thrown at him caused him to instantly bumble and or boot the baseball or whatever was being hurled at him. Generally he would then attempt some kind of last minute throw to beat the runner, with the baseball usually landing into the seats. Jose Offerman was an error machine. In 1992 Offerman played in 149 games for the Dodgers committing an unreal 42 errors that year. The next year in 1993, Offerman played in 158 games and made 35 errors. The following years from 1994-1995, Offerman made 46 errors, 11 in 94, and 35 in 1995. That was perhaps one of his worst years, making 35 errors in only 115 games played. Offerman committed 125 errors over the course of three years from 1992-1995. His career Dwar was -7.5, and his career total zone runs above average was a -66.

Could Offerman be the worst defensive shortstop in LA Dodger history? It’s possible. And a shame because he was a decent hitter. After 1995 the Dodgers had seen enough of his defensive incompetence, and on December 17, 1995 they traded Offerman to Kansas City for pitcher Billy Brewer.

Offerman had two all-star seasons, only for his hitting although he had no power. He was a career .273 hitter, and had a career .360 OBP.  Offerman wound up playing for six more MLB teams (Kansas City, Boston, Minnesota, Seattle, Philadelphia, Mets) before retiring in 2005.  All total Offerman made 230 errors during his 15 year Major League career.

It seemed that Offerman’s tall lanky legs were made for defensive lapses, as Offerman played less and less in the field as his career continued. By the end, Offerman played the majority of games at DH or at first base where he could do as little damage as possible. A couple of teams even tried to stick him in the outfield producing horrific results.

Offerman may not be the worst Dodger shortstop ever, but every now and then all I have to do is remember his fielding ineptitude as he bumbled routine plays and threw balls into the stands. Jose Offerman, a true Dodger Bum. Join us next week for the number 9 LA Dodger Bum of all time. Remember lousy players come and go, but a true bum is never forgotten. Until next week Dodger fans…..