Former big league all-star Offerman suspended after arrest for hitting two players with bat

Thursday, August 16, 2007
Long Island's Jose Offerman rushed the mound toward Bridgeport pitcher Matt Beech after Beech hit him with a pitch during a game Tuesday in Bridgeport, Conn. (Christian Abraham ~ Associated Press)

The Atlantic League suspended the former big leaguer indefinitely.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Jose Offerman was having a pretty good summer.

Then in a flash, things went flying out of control.

Looking for a last chance in the majors, the two-time all-star turned violent at a minor league game Tuesday night. Hit by a fastball, Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking the opposing pitcher and catcher.

Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks, was arrested on assault charges. The independent Atlantic League suspended him indefinitely Wednesday and expected to make a final decision by the end of the week.

"It was one of those moments that you want to forget. I lost it for about 10 seconds," Offerman told the Connecticut Post. "That's what happened to me. I didn't have any intentions and I feel sorry for what happened and the way it happened."

Bridgeport catcher John Nathans got a concussion that's likely to sideline him for the rest of the season. Pitcher Matt Beech wound up with a broken finger.

Video clips and pictures of Offerman's attack drew attention all over.

"Did you see that?" said Minnesota star Torii Hunter, who said he's been friends with Offerman before and after he played for the Twins. "There's demons in everybody.

"Some people snap. Was it hot there, or something? Did the guy say something about his mama? You take a bat out there, you can get blackballed from baseball. That's deep."

Offerman did not accompany the Ducks to Wednesday night's game. Joe Klein, the league's executive director and a former general manager in Texas, Cleveland and Detroit, said he got a busy signal when calling Offerman's cell phone.

"I've never been so surprised in my life," Beech said, cradling a bandaged right hand. "As soon as he got hit in the calf, he raised the bat above his head and ran toward me to hit me with the bat."

Offerman last played in the majors in 2005 with the New York Mets. He batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the majors.

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