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Former LI Ducks player sued for bat attack

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Former All-Star Jose Offerman was suedThursday in a bat-wielding attack at a minor league game thatinjured two opposing players.

Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans filed the suit in U.S.District Court in Bridgeport, seeking $4.8 million in damages. Hesays the attack left him with permanent, career-ending injuries.

Offerman was batting for the Long Island Ducks against theBluefish in Bridgeport on Aug. 14, 2007, when pitcher Matt Beechhit him with a fastball. Offerman charged the mound with his batand swung at least twice, striking Beech and Nathans.

An All-Star infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 andBoston Red Sox in 1999, Offerman had faced up to 10 years in prisonon two felony assault charges. He was granted probation in 2007,ordered to get anger management treatment and pay the medicalexpenses of Beech and Nathans.

Nathans said he was hit in the head with Offerman's bat, causinga brain concussion, inner ear damage, vertigo, headaches andpost-concussion syndrome.

"I have tons of headaches every day, vomiting every week,"Nathan said. There's not a day that I don't have symptoms. There'sdays I'm completely debilitated."

Offerman's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said he hasn't seen thelawsuit.

"All options will be weighed at the time we receive the suit,"he said.

A call was left with the team seeking comment Thursday.

Offerman was playing for the Ducks in an attempt to return tothe majors. The Atlantic League suspended Offerman indefinitelyafter the altercation and he apologized.

The middle finger on Beech's non-throwing hand was broken duringthe scuffle. Beech was fined and suspended by the league.

Offerman last played in the majors in 2005 with the New YorkMets. He batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the majors.

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