You may remember when former major league infielder Jose Offerman attacked two players with a bat while he was a member of the independent Long Island Ducks back in 2007. He may now have to pay for it. If someone can track him down, that is.
John Nathans, one of the players involved in the attack, suffered a head injury which ended his baseball career and sued Offerman and the Ducks for $4.8 million in 2009. The matter is pending in federal court in Connecticut, but the Associated Press reports that Offerman is nowhere to be found:
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.”
Offerman was charged with felony assault after the attack, but it was dismissed after he was granted a probation program and ordered to take anger management classes. They apparently didn’t do him any good, as he was banned from the Dominican Winter League for life after throwing a punch at an umpire while serving as the manager of the Licey Tigers in 2010. While there’s record of him living in the New York City area, he has flown under the radar ever since.
The trial, scheduled for January, could still go on even if Offerman doesn’t show up to defend himself and he could be held liable for Smith’s injuries. The Ducks have denied any wrongdoing.
On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.
We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.
Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:
Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.
Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.
Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.
I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.
“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.
Four. More. Years.