Monday update: Offerman has been “suspended for life” by the Dominican Republic’s winter league.
5:50 PM: Update: A group of American umpires working in the Dominican winter league, including the one who was attacked by Offerman, have decided to leave the country for fear of their safety, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com. Hard to blame them there.
9:02 AM: Former major leaguer Jose Offerman is back in the news, and once again, it’s not good. He threw a punch during an argument with an umpire in a Dominican winter league game on Saturday night.
Offerman, manager of the Licey Tigers (really?), threw a punch that appeared to
land in the face or neck of umpire Daniel Rayburn. You can watch by
The whole scene is pretty surreal, but the most striking part about it
is that Offerman’s punch doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of velocity
behind it. It’s almost as if Rayburn was looking for the red card. In
any case, Offerman was detained and taken to a police station to see if
Rayburn would press charges.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Offerman has attacked someone
on the field. During an ugly incident as a member of the Long Island
Ducks in 2007, the former All-Star attacked Bridgeport Bluefish pitcher
Matt Beech and catcher John
Nathans with a bat (picture above). Nathans sued Offerman in In early 2009, seeking
$4.8 million in damages, claiming that the attack
left him with permanent and career-ending injuries.
This latest attack will probably leave Rayburn with less serious injuries, but Offerman is pretty much out of chances.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.