Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ex-minor leaguer awarded 940G in bat attack

Nathans
Nathans

A MINOR LEAGUE player hit by former major leaguer Jose Offerman in a 2007 baseball-bat attack won nearly $1 million in a lawsuit yesterday in Bridgeport, Conn., an attorney said.

A jury awarded $940,000 to former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans, who had sought $4.8 million, according to his lawyer, Josh Koskoff. Nathans is still affected by a head injury he suffered in the attack, though he has made some recovery and is now an attorney in Portland, Maine, his lawyer said.

"What we really were looking for after seven years was accountability for Mr. Offerman," Koskoff said.

The lawsuit said Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks in a major league comeback bid, was hit by a pitch and then charged the mound with his bat and hit Nathans and pitcher Matt Beech, a former Phillie. Nathans' injury ended his baseball career, and Beech broke the middle finger on his non-throwing hand.

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Offerman, who played for the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and other teams during a 15-year career that ended in 2005, testified he didn't swing his bat at the two players. The Ducks, also named in the lawsuit, denied responsibility.

Offerman's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said the verdict is complicated because the jury found that Offerman committed an assault by making Beech, not Nathans, fear he was about to be hit but also determined that Offerman did not commit battery. In addition, the jury did not find the Ducks liable, Riccio said.

"I think the verdict is inconsistent and a bit perplexing," he said. "Mr. Offerman is certainly happy seven years later that a jury said he did not strike Mr. Nathans."

He said further litigation is possible. "How is Mr. Offerman liable for damages if [the] jury found he never struck him?" Riccio asked. "It's an interesting question that has to be resolved before it gets to its final end."

 

Noteworthy

* The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Vin Scully will be back to broadcast their games in 2015 for his 66th season.

* A major brawl in a Triple A game instigated by rehabbing Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena against Arizona's top minor league affiliate has resulted in the suspension of 11 players.

* San Francisco righthander Matt Cain (2-7) plans to meet with specialist Dr. James Andrews this week to get a second opinion on his inflamed elbow. He has been on the disabled list since July 21.

* San Diego reinstated shortstop Everth Cabrera (hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list and designated lefthander Jason Lane for assignment. Lane, 37, an outfielder turned pitcher, on Monday became the oldest Padre to make his big-league debut as a starter. He had been called up from Triple A to start for ailing Ian Kennedy.

 

In NL games

* At Cincinnati, Mike Leake (8-9) pitched into the eighth inning and singled home a run to lead the Reds to a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Reds won for only the second time in 11 games since the All-Star break.

* At Miami, Henderson Alvarez (8-5) outdueled Stephen Stasburg (7-9) and the surging Marlins beat the Washington Nationals, 3-0, for their sixth straight victory. Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs as the Marlins won for the ninth time in 10 games and evened their record at 53-53.

 

In AL games

* At Baltimore, Manny Machado homered off Cory Rasmus leading off the 12th inning to give the Orioles a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Ryan Webb (3-1) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the 12th for the Orioles, who improved to 12-3 in extra innings. Josh Hamilton homered and had three RBIs for the Angels.

* At Detroit, Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn hit consecutive home runs, part of a seven-run seventh inning that sent the Chicago White Sox to an 11-4 victory over the Tigers.

* At Houston, Brandon Moss hit a go-ahead single during a six-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Oakland Athletics over the Astros, 7-4.

Oakland trailed 4-1 in the ninth before pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo had a two-run single off closer Chad Qualls (1-2). After Houston couldn't turn a game-ending doubleplay on John Jaso's grounder, Jed Lowrie walked and Yoenis Cespedes tied it with a single. Moss ended an 0-for-14 rut with an RBI single off Tony Sipp and then Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double off Jose Veras.

* At Kansas City, Kyle Gibson (9-8) held the Royals to two singles in seven innings and the Minnesota Twins held on through a shaky ninth for a 2-1 win. Josh Willingham hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning and Brian Dozier had an RBI single in the fifth off James Shields (9-6).

* At Boston, Marcus Stroman (7-2) had his second solid start against the Red Sox in 5 days, Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer and Toronto posted a 4-2 victory. The Blue Jays won the for ninth time in 11 games and Boston lost for the seventh time in eight games.

* At Cleveland, Hisashi Iwakuma kept his road record spotless since last July, pitching seven strong innings to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 5-2 win over the Indians. Iwakuma (9-5) improved to 9-0 in his last 14 road starts, the second-longest such streak in club history. He is 5-0 outside Seattle this season.

Dustin Ackley hit a two-run double in Seattle's four-run fourth against Trevor Bauer (4-6). Mike Zunino homered in the fifth for the Mariners, one of six teams scrapping for the AL's second wild-card spot.

 

In interleague action

* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Alex Cobb (7-6) struck out 12 in eight innings and Ben Zobrist homered and doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays beat Milwaukee, 5-1, for their 11th win in 12 games.

 

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