BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after hitting the pitcher and catcher with his bat during an independent minor league game.
Offerman posted $10,000 bond and is 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. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport’s Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat.
According to the Connecticut Post, Beech was hit on the hands as he attempted to defend himself, while catcher John Nathans was hit in the back of the head on Offerman’s backswing. Police said Beech, a left-hander, sustained a broken right middle finger, and Nathans later suffered from nausea, the newspaper reported. Bridgeport manager Tommy John told ESPN2’s “First Take” that Nathans had suffered a concussion.
Offerman played for the Bluefish in 2003.
AP Photo/Connecticut Post, Christian Abraham
Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans, right, tried to stop Jose Offerman from hitting Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech with a bat on Tuesday night. Beech broke a finger and Nathans was hit in the head in the attack.
“He hit him with a cut fastball in the left calf,” John said, according to the Post. “And the next thing you know, Offerman’s going to the mound with his bat over his head taking swings at Beech. He took at least two, maybe even three [swings].””It was just a scary incident for everybody witnessing what took place,” Bluefish pitcher Mike Porzio said, according to the Post. “Everybody was in shock at the time because it’s not something you see. I’ve played 15 years and I’ve never seen that before.
“Everyone was fearful for Matt Beech because apparently something set Offerman off, because he’s played a long time and nobody could believe what they were seeing. Unfortunately, though, he got out to the mound before we could,” Porzio said, according to the newspaper. “Luckily for Matt Beech, he was agile enough to dodge a bat. 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.”Nathans left the game at the end of the inning, the Post reported.
“He attempted to keep on going, but he came in the dugout and fell over,” Porzio said, according to the Post. “Clearly, it was more than just a bang on the head.”
The game was delayed for about 20 minutes because of the melee. Offerman, Beech and John were all ejected.
The newspaper reported that police converged on the Ducks’ clubhouse once order was restored on the field. “I called [Atlantic League executive director] Joe Klein immediately after the incident and told him what had occurred on the field,” Bluefish CEO Mary-Jane Foster told the Post. “And I have asked that the Atlantic League suspend Jose Offerman from the league for life.”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 1999 with Boston.