BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Offerman: From All Done to All-Star?


He was the butt of Dodger fans’ jokes, the cause of management’s exasperation and the source of players’ frustration.

Everyone loved to pick on shortstop Jose Offerman, blaming him for everything from Dodger losses to the latest earthquake.

Guess who’s laughing now?

Offerman, having the season the Dodgers no longer considered possible, went two for three with his first home run Thursday in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Braves at Atlanta. He is batting .358, has reached base in 30 of his 32 starts and has committed only one error in his last 20 games.


“What you’re looking at is an all-star,” teammate Carlos Hernandez said. “Come on, he deserves it. The way he’s playing, who else would be ahead of him?”

Offerman said: “It would really be something, after all I’ve been through. When you make the all-star team, it means you made it to the top. Only the best ever make it. It would be nice to say, ‘Hey, I was there. I was one of the best.’ ”


Center fielder Roberto Kelly was in so much pain Wednesday night after being hit on the left knee by a pitch that he didn’t know whether he could play Thursday.

“I was close to saying I couldn’t make it, but I decided to give it a try,” said Kelly, who then went three for five with two doubles, drove in three runs and scored twice.

Kelly plans to look for a place to stay in Los Angeles, and who knows, maybe he’ll even stick around for a while.

“Stick around? What’s that?” asked Kelly, who has been traded four times in the last 2 1/2 years. That’s not in my vocabulary.”



Catcher Mike Piazza showed few signs of a three-week layoff because of a torn thumb ligament when he took his first full-scale batting practice, hitting several home runs into the second deck.

“Hitting isn’t going to be the problem,” Piazza said, “it’s going to be catching. I’m getting close, no question about it, but I still need to catch. That’ll be the big test.”

Pat Screnar, the Dodgers’ physical therapist, projects that Piazza will return sometime during the Dodgers’ nine-game home stand.