Jose Offerman (still) has anger-management issues

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Offerman bat.jpgMonday 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
clicking here.

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.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.