Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans, right, prevents Long Island Ducks' Jose Offerman (18) from hitting Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech with a bat.
BY MARSHALL LUBIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
4:30 PM EDT, August 15, 2007
Jose Offerman has been suspended indefinitely by the Atlantic League after a wild bat-swinging incident Tuesday night in Bridgeport, Conn. The Long Island Ducks infielder was arrested after charging the mound and injuring two players with his bat in the second inning of the Ducks' 13-12 win.
Offerman had homered on the game's first pitch. He came to bat in the second inning and after a first-pitch strike, he was hit on the left calf by lefthander Matt Beech. Bat in hand, he charged the mound, taking three swings at Beech and also hitting catcher John Nathans in the back of the head with a backswing. According to Bridgeport police, Beech broke the middle finger of his right hand and Nathans suffered a concussion. Offerman, Beech and Bluefish manager Tommy John were ejected after order was restored. Nathans remained in the game but upon returning to the dugout at the end of the inning, he passed out.
Police arrested Offerman in the visiting clubhouse, allowing him to dress before taking him from the stadium in handcuffs. He was charged with two counts of assault in the second degree and posted $10,000 bond. He will be arraigned Aug. 23.
"This type of thing happens but you don't go at a man with a bat," said Frank Boulton, the Ducks' principal owner and chief executive of the league. "It was not unprovoked but in no way do the Long Island Ducks condone Jose Offerman's actions."
John said that a pitcher intentionally hitting a batter is part of the game but doubted that was the case here.
"If you're going to hit somebody, you're not going to hit him on the calf," John said on ESPN's "First Take." "If you're incensed and think the pitcher's throwing at you, you drop the bat."
While Boulton wasn't sure why Offerman was arrested for an on-field incident, John said that Beech and Nathans filed charges. Atlantic League executive director Joe Klein is in Bridgeport speaking with the umpires and all parties involved. He suspended Offerman and released a statement saying that the incident is "under review and a decision on his status and that of other participants will be announced by week's end."
According to John, Beech will attempt to make his next start with his finger splinted, pending the league's investigation while Nathans is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Edited by Satans Hockey, 15 August 2007 - 05:19 PM.