Ex-Major Leaguer accused of bat attack
BRIDGEPORT, Conn.” Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after hitting an opposing team’s pitcher and catcher with his bat during an independent minor league game.
Offerman posted $10,000 bond and was due in Bridgeport Superior Court on Aug. 23, court officials said Wednesday.
Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League, homered in the first inning Tuesday night. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport Bluefish starter Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat.
Catcher John Nathans was hit in the head and sustained a concussion. He tried to keep playing, but left the game with nausea and collapsed in the dugout, team spokesman Nick Razzette said.
Beech, a left-hander, sustained a broken middle finger on his right hand. Both players were treated at a hospital and released.
Bluefish chief executive officer Mary-Jane Foster said she asked the Atlantic League to suspend Offerman from the league for life.
Ducks owner Frank Boulton, who also is the league’s chief executive, said his team would abide by whatever punishment the league’s executive director, Joe Klein, deems appropriate.
Klein is responsible for dealing with any discipline involving actions within a game, and was reviewing the incident, Boulton said.
“I can say that Jose’s conduct in bringing the bat to the mound after being hit was wrong, there is no question about that,” he said. “We’re all saddened by this because Jose has had a 15-year major league career and is a true gentleman.”
Offerman batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the majors. He last played in the majors in 2005 with Philadelphia and the New York Mets. He was an All-Star in 1995 with the Dodgers and in 1999 with Boston.
Boulton said it was important to consider that the incident started with Offerman being hit by a pitch.
“The pitcher was ejected because the umpire felt he threw at the batter,” he said. “We all know that stuff happens.”
Offerman, Beech and Bridgeport manager and former major league pitcher Tommy John were ejected.
“Luckily for Matt Beech, he was agile enough to dodge a bat,” Bluefish pitcher Mike Porzio told the Connecticut Post. “But it may have only been John Nathans taking one on the backswing in the head to have saved Matt Beech from really taking one in the face.”
The game was delayed about 20 minutes because of the brawl. Long Island went on to win 13-12.