Seven years ago, former Major League Baseball player Jose Offerman charged the mound after being hit by a pitch and hit the opposing catcher with a bat while playing for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic Independent League.
Now, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, Offerman has been ordered to pay nearly $1 million to Johnathan Nathans, who was catching for the Bridgeport Bluefish at the time:
A jury awarded $940,000 to former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans, who had sought $4.8 million, his lawyer Josh Koskoff said. Nathans is still affected by a head injury he suffered in the attack, although he has made some recovery and is now an attorney in Portland, Maine, his lawyer said.
Nathans' lawyer, Josh Koskoff, was quoted in the piece as saying that "what we really were looking for after seven years was accountability for Mr. Offerman."
Per the report, Offerman's attack ended Nathans' baseball playing career. However, Offerman's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said in the report the final verdict is complicated since the jury didn't commit battery:
I think the verdict is inconsistent and a bit perplexing. Mr. Offerman is certainly happy seven years later that a jury said he did not strike Mr. Nathans. [...]
How is Mr. Offerman liable for damages if (the) jury found he never struck him? It's an interesting question that has to be resolved before it gets to its final end.
Offerman had a history of outbursts on the field, including a 2010 incident when he punched an umpire in the Dominican winter league, as you can see in the video below:
Stadium security detained Offerman after that incident and subsequently to the police station, according to a separate Associated Press report, via ESPN.com. He was later banned for life by the Dominican winter league.
While the bat and punching incidents made Offerman infamous, he was actually a solid big leaguer for a few years in the middle of his career. He made two All-Star teams (1995, 1999) and had a career on-base percentage of .360.
No one will remember Offerman's production on the field as a result of these two incidents. All this settlement does is bring back memories of the ugly incident for the former All-Star that brought him back into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Hopefully with this development, all sides can move forward with some form of closure from what transpired seven years ago.