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Jose Offerman a no-show in lawsuit for his on-field bat attack

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Former major-league player Jose Offerman is being sued for attacking two opposing players with his bat during an independent league game in 2007. And it appears he's not going to be too accountable up until a time where there's a court order:

From the Associated Press:

As a federal lawsuit over the attack heads to trial, the attorney for the journeyman catcher whose career was ended with a swing of Offerman's bat doesn't know where the two-time All-Star is -- and doesn't expect him to show up for court.

J. Craig Smith, the attorney for former Bridgeport Bluefins catcher John Nathans, tried to serve Offerman with discovery documents in recent months, with no success.

"It's been so difficult for me to track him down," Smith said. "I certainly don't expect Offerman to show up at court."

Back in 2007, Offerman was playing for the Long Island Ducks when he was hit by a pitch and charged the mound without letting go of his bat. He hit both the pitcher and the catcher with the bat, giving Nathans a career-ending head injury and pitcher Matt Beech a broken finger.

It doesn't get much more bush league and cowardly than taking a bat out to fight guys who don't have such a weapon. Thus, it isn't very surprising that Offerman hasn't settled the lawsuit or even shown his face.

Not only that, here's more from the AP:

His lawyer in the lawsuit, Frank Riccio, who died in March, withdrew from the case in 2010, saying in a court document that Offerman refused to discuss the case with him and hadn't paid him.

Always good to refuse to discuss a case with your own (unpaid) lawyer.

Anyway, if no settlement is reached -- and it's hard to see how that would happen with Offerman nowhere to be found -- the case could go to trial in January. There is, however, a settlement conference scheduled for Dec. 5.

Nathans is seeking $4.8 million in damages. He continues to suffer from inner ear problems, nausea and dizziness to this day.

Offerman, 45, hit .273/.360/.373 with 252 doubles in his 15-year career. He played for the Dodgers, Red Sox, Royals, Twins, Mets, Phillies and Mariners. He was a two-time All-Star and made over $32 million.

 
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