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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Claire: Offerman Wrong in Protest

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Jose Offerman’s tantrum in the dugout during Wednesday’s game did not go unnoticed by Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president. Manager Tom Lasorda has since met with Offerman over the incident, and Claire would not say if disciplinary action was taken, but said he was satisfied with the way Lasorda handled the situation.

“The facts are basic--when the manager tells you to bunt, you go out and bunt, and you don’t need to respond to it,” Claire said. “. . . He (Offerman) was wrong, and I can’t excuse what he did.”

Offerman was upset because Lasorda told him to sacrifice in the fourth inning with none out and pitcher Ramon Martinez on deck. Offerman complied, then demonstrated his anger to Lasorda.

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Offerman has been better defensively this season, but he has been dismal at the plate, batting .193 in April, .213 in May and .197 overall. He has shown his frustration often, throwing his batting helmet or bat after making an out, and sometimes not putting in a full effort in running to first base. But even when Offerman struggles, or is blatantly insubordinate, there isn’t a shortstop on the bench to replace him.

Critics have long offered that Claire has not signed a backup shortstop because Offerman would feel threatened, which Claire denies.

“Rafael Bournigal (the shortstop at triple-A Albuquerque) was on the roster when the season started, but we are carrying 11 pitchers, and when we signed Chris Gwynn, (Cory) Snyder can do more things for us,” Claire said. “Why would I sign a backup shortstop when Bournigal can field with the best of them? “

In a short-term situation, Eddie Pye, who was called up from Albuquerque to replace injured Jeff Treadway, can play shortstop, though he is normally a second baseman.

In a long-term situation, Claire said Bournigal would get the call.

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Brett Butler, who hadn’t made an error in two years, made one in the first inning Friday, ending a streak of 307 consecutive games. Butler slipped while fielding a bouncer up the middle by Javier Lopez that was ruled a single, but then missed the ball when he went to pick it up. The error allowed Terry Pendleton to go to third base, where he was eventually stranded. Butler hadn’t made an error since April 29, 1992, against the Philadelphia Phillies, and has made only seven since joining the Dodgers before the 1991 season.

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