In the News

Offerman Out Until Legal Case Resolved

Associated Press

August 17, 2007

CAMDEN, N.J. — Former All-Star Jose Offerman’s suspension for a bat attack in the minors will remain in effect until his legal case is resolved.

The independent Atlantic League issued the ruling Friday.

Offerman was playing for the Long Island Ducks when he hit the opposing catcher and pitcher Tuesday night at Bridgeport. He was indefinitely suspended the next day.

Offerman was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree assault. He is due back in a Connecticut court on Aug. 23.

Bridgeport catcher John Nathans sustained a concussion that may sideline him for the rest of the season. Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech had a broken finger on his non-throwing hand.

The Atlantic League’s regular season runs through Sept. 16.

Offerman said afterward that “it was one those moments that you want to forget.” He said he just snapped and didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

The 38-year-old Offerman last played in the majors in 2005 with the New York Mets. He batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the majors and was an All-Star infielder in 1995 with the Dodgers and in 1999 with Boston.

Offerman hit a home run on the first pitch of Tuesday’s game. The next time up, Beech hit him in the leg with a pitch.

Offerman charged the mound with his bat. Nathans tried to intervene and was struck in the head. Beech, who formerly pitched in the majors, wound up with a broken middle finger on his right hand.

Beech acknowledged he was trying to pitch Offerman inside but wasn’t aiming to hit him.

The attack caused both benches to clear and the game was delayed about 20 minutes. Offerman, Beech and Bridgeport manager and former major league pitcher Tommy John were ejected.

Nathans is still suffering from the concussion and has been advised by his doctor to avoid any stressful physical activity until the symptoms clear, his lawyer Michael Koskoff said Friday night.

“He has headaches. He’s foggy. He’s still having problems thinking straight,” Koskoff said. “He wants to get back to playing baseball as soon as he can,” Koskoff said. “This is a significant time in his career.”

Koskoff said the 28-year-old Nathans is optimistic he’ll return. Follow-up tests revealed no bleeding in the brain, he said.