SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman threw a punch at an umpire during an argument in a Dominican winter league game Saturday night, the second time in 2½ years that he's attacked someone on a baseball field.
Offerman, manager of the Licey Tigers, appeared to hit first base umpire Daniel Rayburn in the face or neck with his fist during a heated discussion in a game against the Cibao Giants. Rayburn fell to the ground.
Offerman was detained by stadium security and taken to a police station to wait until the end of the game to see if Rayburn would press charges.
The Giants were winning 6-0 in the third inning of the final game of the winter league semifinal playoff series when plate umpire Jason Bradley ejected catcher Ronny Paulino for arguing balls and strikes.
Offerman came onto the field to talk to Bradley, but ended up arguing with Rayburn.
It was the latest violent outburst by Offerman, an All-Star infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 and Boston Red Sox in 1999.
On Aug. 14, 2007, he was batting for the Long Island Ducks against the Bridgeport Bluefish in an independent minor league game when pitcher Matt Beech hit him with a fastball. Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking Beech and Bluefish catcher John Nathans.
What the hell happened to this guy? I don't remember this guy ever coming across as a particularly violent person when he played in the MLB.
(edited by It's False on 17.1.10 0139)
MacGruber! Making life-saving inventions out of household materials! MacGruber! Getting in and out of ultra-sticky situations! MacGruber! The guy's a freakin' genius! MACGRUBER!
Good luck getting that theme song out of your head
Seeing the video of the incident, it looks like Offerman swung and missed but knocked the ump over anyway. The ump fell to avoid the punch, though some may say he overracted to it (I won't; if you were in his position, would you really take that punch?). Now there are a lot of people on the ESPN messageboards saying that this was staged. I can't for the life of me see why they would want to fake a scene like that. What's the point? Anyway, fake or real, it was totally classless on the part of Offerman and he can pretty much kiss his whole coaching career goodbye.
EDIT: I forgot to point out that right before the punch, Offerman does a big chest bump towards the ump. So even without the punch, I think that and the aggresive arguing was going to cost him most likely a big suspention.
I don't really want to debate his hall of fame merits right now ... but if he gets in, I will wish then that it had happened this year. Wright Thompson at ESPN has a nice column (sports.espn.go.com) up about O'Neil that I would point anyone to.