Bluefish Catcher Sues Offerman Over Bat Attack

Temper, temper!

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Jose Offerman’s temper could cost him.

A former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher is suing Offerman over a temper tantrum with a bat during a baseball game in 2007. 

John Nathans, who is also suing the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, is looking for $4.8 million because, he said, he suffered permanent injuries that ended his career as a result of the attack.

Nathans says he was hit in the head with Offerman's bat and it caused a brain concussion, inner ear damage, vertigo, headaches and post-concussion syndrome.

"I have tons of headaches every day, vomiting every week," Nathan said. There's not a day that I don't have symptoms. There's days I'm completely debilitated."

Nathans, 29, of Portland, Maine, now works as a paralegal for federal prosecutors. Visual issues from the attack that made it difficult to read, he said, and he has trouble focusing for long periods of time.

Offerman's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said he hasn't seen the lawsuit.

"All options will be weighed at the time we receive the suit," he said.

A call was left with the team seeking comment Thursday.

Offerman was granted probation in 2007, ordered to get anger management treatment and pay the medical expenses of Nathans and pitcher Matt Beech.

Offerman, who was trying to return to the majors, was batting for the Ducks against the Bluefish in Bridgeport on Aug. 14, 2007, when Beech hit him with a fastball.

Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking Beech and Nathans.
The middle finger on Beech's non-throwing hand was broken during the scuffle.

Offerman, who was an All-Star infielder with the Dodgers in 1995 and Red Sox in 1999, had faced up to 10 years in prison on two felony assault charges. The Atlantic League suspended Offerman indefinitely after the incident.

Riccio had disputed that Offerman struck the two players with his bat. He said Beech could have been injured when he punched Offerman in the head, and added Nathans appeared to grab the arm Offerman was using to hold the bat.

Offerman apologized.

Nathans missed the rest of the season. Beech, the pitcher, did not miss a game, but was fined and suspended by the league.

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

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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