FanDuel - WFBC

August 15, 2007

Offerman charges the mound: and takes his bat with him.

posted by justgary to baseball at 09:01 AM - 78 comments

Wow. I can't recall seeing a player crazy enough to swing a bat as a weapon before. The guy's a former all-star, and he's likely to be kicked out of minor league ball. That's a long way down.

posted by rcade at 09:45 AM on August 15

Playing on a team managed by Tommy John is bound to be dangerous. The guy has a whole surgical procedure named after him. Seeing that photo makes me wonder what happened to the catcher's helmet? Did he whip it off to go chase down a guy wielding a bat? I bet that's the first thing Tommy teaches him when he's done throwing up: dude, keep your helmet on. Needless to say, Offerman fully deserves everything he's got coming to him. I never liked that guy. Also, Tommy John managing against Dave LaPoint makes me feel old. This is an awful story all the way around.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:18 AM on August 15

Holding someone criminally liable for their onfield actions is a really interesting issue. This article details a rugby player who got 6 months for assault for an on-field behavior, and here is an article about Tony Limon, a high school basketball player who is currently serving time for elbowing another player during a game and breaking his nose. This Court TV article provides a nice summary. While it's totally insane to tear off after a pitcher with a bat, Mike Tyson bit a dudes ear off, and he wasn't charged. Personally I think these are matters for the leagues to deal with not the courts. Let's preserve the arena mentality for our arenas, if athletes dun like it they can take up golf.

posted by chmurray at 10:28 AM on August 15

I have to agree with chmurray. This incident did in fact escalate but IMO, it should stay baseballs problem. This should not be an issue for law enforcement to get involved in and am actually quite taken back that Offerman got arrested because of this. What's next? Players and/or managers get into a heated argument with an ump and the cops step in and issue tickets for public disturbance? What a joke!

posted by BornIcon at 10:50 AM on August 15

Without getting into the other incidents, I think this one is pretty clearly justified in bringing in law enforcement. Once Offerman left the batter's box with a bat in his hand, he was no longer playing baseball. At that point he was clearly attempting to commit assault. You guys make it sound as though if he suddenly whipped a gun out of his pocket and shot up the joint we should still keep it in the hands of the umpires.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:01 AM on August 15

I remember watching Offerman and enjoying his play. I havee always wondered what happened to him. I'm sad now.

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:04 AM on August 15

There is a world of difference between charging the mound and assault with a deadly weapon. The sports field cannot and should not be a place where the rules do not apply. Interpreted differently perhaps, as contact sports are inherently violent, but deliberate attempts to inflict career (and possibly life) ending injuries should not be tolerated either by the league or the law.

posted by oxocerite at 11:11 AM on August 15

What's next? Players and/or managers get into a heated argument with an ump and the cops step in and issue tickets for public disturbance? What a joke! Dude, Offerman hospitalized two guys by wildly flailing a wooden bat with an intent to cause harm, clocking one of them in the head. It's assault, pure and simple. How you get from there to a slippery-slope stance is really beyond me. This wasn't Nolan Ryan putting Robin Ventura in a headlock and giving him a case of extreme noogies. Offerman could've killed someone. He was rightly arrested. He should also be charged with extreme suckitude during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:24 AM on August 15

Agreed on the point about 2000 and 2001. Actually, agreed on all of Venice's points. Offerman should be arrested. It might have taken place within the confines of baseball, but it is still against the law. I could go walk down the hall now in my privately held company, and kick someone in the nuts. I'd expect to get fired and maybe have an assault charge levied against me with the local PD.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:29 AM on August 15

Offerman was clearly raging on the roids that he pinned on that Red Sox clubhouse attendant. (I know it was actually Manny Alexander's car, but I think it's more fun to blame Offerman.)

posted by holden at 11:33 AM on August 15

But if you worked in the QC deparment for a cup manufacturer, would it still be right to call in the police just because the guy in the hall happened not to be wearing one? /devil's advocate

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:33 AM on August 15

There's a difference between inflicting harm on others in the course of play and what happened here. There's no in-game reason to carry your bat to the mound and swing at opposing players. Offerman clearly should be prosecuted for assault. I could buy the slippery slope argument if prosecution resulted from an egregiously late hit in football or a headhunting pitcher knocking somebody out. But what Offerman did doesn't even come close.

posted by rcade at 11:40 AM on August 15

So hitting someone with a baseball going 80-100 mph isn't considered a weapon? Like I said, this incident did in fact escalate but I'm sure there wasn't any reason to bring in the cops. There were many other incidents that were far worse than what Offerman did that did not have law enforcement brought in. By all means am I not condoning what Jose Offerman did but I just don't agree with him being arrested for this. This isn't the first time that someone tried to attack a pitcher with a bat after being hit or brushed back with a baseball. Does anyone remember the name John Roseboro? How about Hall of Famer, Juan Marichal? Was Marichal prosecuted over this?

posted by BornIcon at 11:48 AM on August 15

Times change BornIcon. It isn't 1965 anymore.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:22 PM on August 15

This wasn't in 1965 and no cops were involved. Suspend, ban or fine him but I just don't see why officers were involved in the aftermath. I guess this is the way sports will play out nowadays if incidents do occur on the field of play.

posted by BornIcon at 12:30 PM on August 15

Who are you faulting for the cops getting involved?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:36 PM on August 15

How do you define "course of play" here? Remember Ben Christensen? In the right context you're going after the pitcher instead. My point is simply that we have a long established history of letting leagues (and to a lesser extent leagues letting players/enforcers) decide this kind of stuff. To haul players in these situations into criminal trials is absurd to me, because I find nothing wrong with their attitude. I don't want domesticated boxers or NFL players, I don't want NBA floppers, and frankly I was happier when the leagues looked the other way to players meting our justice with their fists to stop dirty or cheap players that referees couldn't catch. I don't want a slippery slope. To my mind Offerman's crazy attack was mitigated by a pitcher intentionally striking him with a ball. Unless we have some kind of Billy Cole-type incident, I really don't see how criminal charges are a good thing for sports. Set the line at entrance to the arena. I'm not exactly staking out controversial territory here. It's not like this dudes ear was chewed off.

posted by chmurray at 01:00 PM on August 15

This wasn't in 1965 and no cops were involved. Everyone probably draws the line somewhere slightly different, but I think it is questionable whether Young even committed a crime whereas Offerman actions were obviously criminal to everyone watching. I agree with those who said that it is a field of play question. You don't arrest a football player for a tackle, but it is certainly legitimate to consider criminal charges against a football player that stomps a player in the head while he's down. It's also a severity of punishment issue. Offerman's banishment from the Atlantic League is not a serious enough punishment for his actions.

posted by bperk at 01:06 PM on August 15

...it is certainly legitimate to consider criminal charges against a football player that stomps a player in the head while he's down... Maybe you haven't seen the way that the NFL used to be played before it became flag football and full of half-assed tough guys. Most of those guys would've been locked up according to you. I can understand wanting to be civil even while playing sports but com'on now, this argument is just ridiculous. I personally DO NOT want to see any athlete hurt/injured because of some intentional, violent act but to call it 'criminal' is just ludicrous. Where was the uproar when Tyson bit Holyfield's ear off? Where was the cops then? Where were the law enforcement officials when Roger Clemens threw at Mike Piazza's head and connected? This is sports and it should remain a seperate entity and it's rules & regulations be enforced by the officials that are left in charge. Oh yeah, I forgot. We're now in the age of "court of public opinion" and what people think is what carries more weight than just having common sense and letting things play out. Throw the book at him!

posted by BornIcon at 01:26 PM on August 15

Maybe you haven't seen the way that the NFL used to be played before it became flag football and full of half-assed tough guys. Most of those guys would've been locked up according to you. Attacking someone and trying to do them harm is not a sign of toughness.

posted by bperk at 01:36 PM on August 15

I agree with BornIcon ... If a batter is arrested for swinging a bat at someone, a pitcher should be arrested for throwing 90 mile per hour at someone's head. Although I don't think either warrant an arrest. I understand a bat is a pretty serious weapon if swung and connected in the right way, but I'd bet a baseball could seriously downgrade someone's quality of life if it hit in the right way (it was a long time ago, but see Ray Chapman). This could almost be considered self-defense.

posted by Ricardo at 01:42 PM on August 15

Shades of Bert Campaneris.....ala 1972....

posted by commander cody at 01:49 PM on August 15

I agree with BornIcon ... If a batter is arrested for swinging a bat at someone, a pitcher should be arrested for throwing 90 mile per hour at someone's head. There are several big differences between someone getting hit with a ball thrown by a pitcher and someone getting hit by a bat. Getting hit by a pitch is a part of the game that happens not infrequently. This makes it difficult to determine intent (that is, when someone is going headhunting vs. just having poor control). Also, the batter has certain protections from getting hit, including a helmet (which Ray Chapman did not have the benefit of) and whatever other kind of protection he may be wearing. A batsman going after a player with a bat is not something that happens in the regular course of play, making the intent (to injure) much easier to discern. Also, the player on the receiving end basically has no protection.

posted by holden at 02:06 PM on August 15

This is sports and it should remain a seperate entity and it's rules & regulations be enforced by the officials that are left in charge. BI, I understand your sentiments and agree somewhat, but the problem i see with this line of thinking is that individuals in certain jobs get preferential treatment. If i knock a coworker out, i will at the least get fired, if not prosectuted. However, if employees of the Devil Rays are only punished "in-house" b/c "this is sports," then i don't see how you avoid preferential treatment based on occupation. This obviously is not okay. We can't say that "sports" is a business only part of the time. Either it is, or it isn't. Since it is, it cannot be allowed to be "a separate entity." Lastly, maybe trying to hit someone intentionally with a fastball should merit being arrested. i would have no problem with that.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:09 PM on August 15

Offerman obviously learned nothing in his time with the Sox. Had he paid attention to Izzy Alcantra, he'd have known how to deal with this. Or at least get the catcher out of the picture.

posted by yerfatma at 05:30 PM on August 15

If you could please clarify something for me BI, are upset that he was brought up on charges or that he was arrested upon entering the club house?

posted by HATER 187 at 08:59 PM on August 15

i blame Carl Everett. people do weird shit when he's around. in 2000, when the drunk guy jumped from upper deck at Yankee Stadium onto the netting behind home plate, who was on the Red Sox for that game? Carl Everett. And in 2005, when the stupid kid jumped from the upper deck at Yankee Stadium onto the netting behind home plate, who was on the White Sox for that game? yup, Carl Everett.

posted by goddam at 09:10 PM on August 15

There's plenty of precedent in hockey for law enforcement getting involved after the fact. The Todd Bertuzzi incident comes to mind first. There was also the stick fight between Chico Maki and Ted Green many years ago. I do not remember the outcome of the cases, and right now I'm too tired to do the research, but I do know that at least consideration was given to pressing charges.

posted by Howard_T at 09:50 PM on August 15

So many "fond" Carl Everett moments... I couldn't choose just one. Curly Haired Boyfriend still makes me laugh, though.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:14 AM on August 16

brainofdtrain: BI, I understand your sentiments and agree somewhat, but the problem i see with this line of thinking is that individuals in certain jobs get preferential treatment. If i knock a coworker out, i will at the least get fired, if not prosectuted. However, if employees of the Devil Rays are only punished "in-house" b/c "this is sports," then i don't see how you avoid preferential treatment based on occupation. This obviously is not okay. Well...okay, I'm not a lawyer, but I once dated a law student who geeked on assault law and who got interested in the exception cases where actions that would normally be considered assault are not considered criminal. My understanding is that there are such exceptions defined for combative sporting events such as boxing, and for incidental injuries, but that's about it -- there isn't some kind of broad legal exception because "this is sports", but rather there are a few exceptions within the world of sports. That's not a new thing, and accusations that bringing charges against Offerman represents a new trend of watering down sports are, I think, erroneous -- at least from a legal perspective. If you can't make the case that an action falls into one of those two categories of exception, whether it happened on a playing field or not, I don't see how you can deny that the state has the right to bring charges as in any other case of assault.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:14 AM on August 16

If you could please clarify something for me BI, are upset that he was brought up on charges or that he was arrested upon entering the club house? I'm not 'upset' just confused on why the 'long arm of the law' got involved in something that IMO, didn't warrant an arrest. I certainly can understand why people would be upset over this incident but in either case, no one was seriously injured and both players will be back to playing ball very soon. Offerman should be dealt with but by the officials of baseball, not by Judge Joe Brown. If i knock a coworker out... To make an analogy about 'real world jobs' into this discussion just doesn't make any sense. Agreed, playing baseball for a living is in fact a job but how many jobs pays a guy $252 million? Not even the President makes that much but then again, can he hit a 2-1 fastball, low & away? I have a great career that pays me very well but it doesn't consist of me having to lay down a bunt to advance the runner into scoring position and it also doesn't have 40,000 people cheering or jeering at me to get the job done. Plus, if I were to attack a co-worker, I know what the consequences would lead to, unemployment. Sports have always been an escape from reality but it seems that reality is now entering sports. Next thing you know, players wll be ticketed for loitering because they're spitting sunflower seeds on to the field. Don't get things twisted, I'm not disagreeing with anyone's reaction over this, I just don't see why now, after years of players having some kind of altercation whether it's fighting, biting, spitting, scratching or just talking about someone's mom but it's always been handled by the officials of their respective sport. To have the law get involved can only bring more scenerios where their involvement will be looked at sideways.

posted by BornIcon at 07:49 AM on August 16

So, BI, where would you stand on the law's involvement if, say, he had really connected and killed someone with his bat? I'm guessing there's a line somewhere between charging the mound and taking a swing (with your fist) and charging the mound and ending a pitcher's life with a bat to the temple. Where would you draw that line? For what it's worth (which as ever is somewhere relatively close to fuck all), I reckon it was right to involve the law. If you're going to charge the mound, leave the bat behind just in case you get tempted to use it. As has been mentioned, it's all about intent, and it's not hard to think his intentions weren't for a rational discussion about their differences.

posted by JJ at 08:15 AM on August 16

playing baseball for a living is in fact a job but how many jobs pays a guy $252 million Is there a contest for Worst Logic going on around this site I don't know about?

posted by yerfatma at 08:54 AM on August 16

I remember thinking that Nolan Ryan should have been arrested for throwing his 100 mph fastball at batters; if it is intentional, how is that not assault with a deadly weapon? Same applies with a bat wielding maniac. Intentionally hurting other people should really not be part of sports.

posted by sic at 09:06 AM on August 16

Offerman is making 252m in independent minor league ball? I don't get how what BI does at work correlates to what a baseball player does at his job. So? A job is a job. Their job > your job. You're still at a place of employment whether you're sitting in a cubicle, you're driving a garbage truck or you're in a stadium doing something perceived as fun. Again, sic, it comes down to intent.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:15 AM on August 16

Com'on now, don't you think you're taking this to another level? Of course if he "killed someone with his bat" then the law would definitely be needed to be involved but that's not the case in this situation nor has it ever happened in a minor or major league game in the over 100 years of the game's existence (at least not that I can recall). People's emotions can sometime's get the better of them but without sounding naive, I want to believe that most athletes are professional enough to not want to cause any kind of embarrassment to themselves, their opposition or to the game itself. jersey, you took my comment out of context. I was referring to the job comment made by brainoftrain. How many jobs have people pay to come see you work? Sports is a job but it has never been looked at as actual work as this kind of "job" can make an athlete an instant millionaire, famous and a household name.

posted by BornIcon at 09:35 AM on August 16

Sports is a job but it has never been looked at as actual work as this kind of "job" can make an athlete an instant millionaire, famous and a household name. I don't understand this logic. Because a person is an instant millionaire, famous, and a household name, they are exempt from the same laws I have to obey while at work?

posted by hawkguy at 09:59 AM on August 16

Its still a job, BI. It may be perceived as more luxurious or financially rewarding or fun or exciting than our jobs, but it's still a job.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:04 AM on August 16

Of course if he "killed someone with his bat" then the law would definitely be needed to be involved Okay, so what if he didn't kill him? What if that wild-ass swing had clocked him in the head and left him in a wheelchair for life? With a catastrophic head injury, there's always the chance of a stroke, too. How about leaving a guy unable to earn a living, or even fundamentally care for himself, for the rest of his life? Throwing a beanball at a guy sucks, and it should be outlawed (or punished so harshly as to be worthless), but it's a hell of a lot easier to get out of the way of a thrown baseball than a professional athlete chasing you with a 34-inch, 32-ounce piece of lumber. I understand your "leave it between the lines" mentality, but only to a point. When you charge the mound waving your bat like a member of the Baseball Furies, you're no longer an athlete, playing a game; you're a criminal. And to think, for all these years, I thought the scariest thing about Jose Offerman was the way he played second base.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:09 AM on August 16

Fair enough, BI, so we have a scale there - at one end let's say we have charging the mound without a bat for which we probably all agree that no police action is merited because to an extent it's part of the game, and at the other end, we have someone charging the mound with a bat and beating someone to death with it for which we probably all agree that the police should then be involved. All I was asking is where, for you, is the line between those extremes? For me, as TBH just said, you cross the line the moment you charge the mound waving your bat, and you're no longer protected by saying "it's all part of the game". As anyone reading my blog recently will have spotted, I know very little about baseball, but even I can see that hitting people with the bat on purpose is not and never has been part of the game. Also, lottery winners are "instant millionaires", most sports stars tend to train rather a lot and have been working on their games for many years before we hear about them getting paid millions. I want to believe that most athletes are professional enough to not want to cause any kind of embarrassment to themselves, their opposition or to the game itself. I believe one of the guys was being held in hospital overnight as a precaution having suffered third degree embarrassment caused by a bat to the face.

posted by JJ at 10:36 AM on August 16

Fair enough, BI, so we have a scale there - at one end let's say we have charging the mound without a bat for which we probably all agree that no police action is merited because to an extent it's part of the game, I'm not even sure that is a given if someone caused real harm. If you charge the pitcher without a bat and crack his skull, I don't know if it is a part of the game anymore. Would Kermit Washington be charged with assault if the punch happened today?

posted by bperk at 10:43 AM on August 16

Out on the street, getting hit by a pitch would constitute assault. In the real world, I do get to beat up somebody if they attack me first. I don't think anyone wants to argue that intentionally hurting someone is supposed to be part of sports. What I've been saying (and I think BornIcon as well) is that it is absurd to hold athletes criminally liable for losing their temper, since the conditions under which it was lost could conceivably also be subject to criminal charges. Holden says it plainly just a few lines up. Getting intentionally hit by a pitch happens "not infrequently". However, it is not assault when playing baseball, because it is understood that such incidents happen and are part of the game. Yet if it is "part of the game", then why are pitchers often suspended precisely for hitting batters? There clearly is a notion that certain "normal" aspects of sports play need to be monitored and regulated by a governing body - the leagues! When you step onto an arena, you give up your traditional civilian rights because if they were enforced there would be no game. Its still a job, BI. It may be perceived as more luxurious or financially rewarding or fun or exciting than our jobs, but it's still a job. But the rules for these jobs are very, very different. Go to page 4 and check out Section 1C or 2D. This is a form for unpaid high school athletes. Tut tut tut it's just another job is too much of a simplification.

posted by chmurray at 10:53 AM on August 16

I don't understand this logic. Because a person is an instant millionaire, famous, and a household name, they are exempt from the same laws I have to obey while at work? I think we've already established they are exempt from the same laws. Players charge the mound and assault the pitcher all the time. No charges are filed. It just has nothing to do with fame or money. This whole discussion really revolves around "the line". Many people feel Offerman should be arrested for taking the bat, but don't believe the same if he had swung his fist. Where does that line lie? I can't say for sure, but I think intending to use the bat to bash his head in isn't quite the same as actually doing it. If he kills the guy with the bat, then I would say that's over the line. If he even whacks him in the head good, probably over the line. The catcher, from what I can reason, was hit accidentally on the backswing so that shouldn't merit arrest. I feel the same way if a player charges the mound using nothing but knuckles. If he kills the guy from swinging arm, then arrest him. I doubt many players have ever charged the mound with the intent of actually hurting someone. It's just rage that has no intent. I think the outcome is what should be used to adjudge whether the law gets involved or not. The pitcher did get a broken hand or finger, but I don't think merits the arrest.

posted by Ricardo at 10:55 AM on August 16

Again, sic, it comes down to intent. Comment icon posted by jerseygirl at 9:15 AM CDT on August 16 Nolan's intent was to hit a batter with a 100 mph fastball. He saw "scaring" batters with the very real possibility of injury as part of the game; I always though it was criminal.

posted by sic at 11:16 AM on August 16

I don't think anyone wants to argue that intentionally hurting someone is supposed to be part of sports. Ronnie Lott is on line one, Muhammad Ali is on line two, and Tie Domi is on line three. I have a great career that pays me very well but it doesn't consist of me having to lay down a bunt to advance the runner into scoring position and it also doesn't have 40,000 people cheering or jeering at me to get the job done. I have to find me some job that entails laying down a bunt so I can whack some people with a bat. I think "Consultant" is an ambiguous enough job that I can convince people that my job duties include bunting. Look out, world. Plus, if I were to attack a co-worker, I know what the consequences would lead to, unemployment. Jose Offerman whacked somebody, and is very likely to be very unemployed (and on top of that, unemployable, at least throughout that league). Is your point that Offerman should be entitled to do the things that you aren't entitled to do? And, again, who are you upset at for the cops getting involved? Do you even know why they got involved? Did somebody call them, or were they already on hand providing security and took it upon themselves to arrest somebody for an obvious assault attempt? How can you get so worked up when you don't even know with whom you are upset?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:16 AM on August 16

Tut tut tut it's just another job is too much of a simplification. If we left at that, perhaps, but I don't see how it's not the same thing. Athletes don't get arrested because the "victim" doesn't press charges. That's the only part of the "Between the lines" that applies. If a player got hit with a bat and pressed charges, there isn't shit the MLB is going to do. I've yet to see an episode of Law & Order where McCoy is ready to prosecute until he gets called into the DA's office where Bud Selig is sitting with a big smile on his mug. And by the Transitive Property of TV Law Learning (op cit. Jessica Fletcher, Quincy, Matlock et al vs. Not Enough Old People Channels on TV), that's that. Case closed.

posted by yerfatma at 11:52 AM on August 16

Ricardo: I think we've already established they are exempt from the same laws. Actually, I think what's been established is that such exemptions are limited and specific. yerfatma: Athletes don't get arrested because the "victim" doesn't press charges. Well...in practice, probably so, but the victim's declining to press charges doesn't give someone a get out of jail free card. If two guys go out behind a bar and pound each other, the cops/DA/courts don't have to give them a freebie based on the fact that they went there willingly. Consent is not a defense to assault, except in very limited exceptions such as an organized boxing match, and the state is perfectly capable of pressing charges if a DA chooses to go there.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:09 PM on August 16

I can appreciate everyone's assessment on this post and am enjoying the fact that we can have a civil discussion without sounding childish but I still don't agree with the cops getting involved, it's just my opinion. I don't think anyone wants to argue that intentionally hurting someone is supposed to be part of sports. What I've been saying (and I think BornIcon as well) is that it is absurd to hold athletes criminally liable for losing their temper, since the conditions under which it was lost could conceivably also be subject to criminal charges. Absolutely! Sousepaw, your question has already been asked & answered. Scroll up. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

posted by BornIcon at 12:12 PM on August 16

I still don't agree with the cops getting involved, it's just my opinion. On what basis? That the law doesn't consider this to be an assault, or that the law does consider it to be assault but the law should be ignored in this case?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:34 PM on August 16

such exemptions are limited and specific LBB, you're correct here, but in your own words... My understanding is that there are such exceptions defined for combative sporting events such as boxing, and for incidental injuries, but that's about it Charging the mound without a bat then falls into the same category as charging the mound with a bat. Once again it comes to where you draw the line and I maintain most of these guys are only reacting. Especially in the case of charging a pitcher. If intent is the deal breaker, I would say pitchers should be arrested way more than someone fighting off a 90 mph fastball. They are usually calculating as to who will be hit and when. On what basis? That the law doesn't consider this to be an assault, or that the law does consider it to be assault but the law should be ignored in this case? Would you have every skirmish in sports ending in jail time, then?

posted by Ricardo at 12:48 PM on August 16

I think the legal test for consent is whether the contact is anticipated. In this way, a batter charging the mound without a bat and the pitcher hitting a batter with a ball are both exceptions. Attacking a pitcher with bat in hand is pretty far outside of what would be anticipated in baseball.

posted by bperk at 01:24 PM on August 16

I think the legal test for consent is whether the contact is anticipated So if every batter starts taking his bat with him, and it becomes anticipated, does it then become okay? There is no doubt that sports lie outside the law to some extent. I don't see where it's such a huge leap to think that a batter suspecting a pitcher of trying to hurt him might want to take off bat in hand to the mound. These guys go to the plate with only one intent, to help their team. It's a surge of emotion which causes them to rush at the pitcher. They are obviously not taking the time to rationalize whether to drop the bat or not. The typical sequence is hit-wince in pain-rush. If there were such a rationalization, the players would stop and not rush the mound to begin with as it is almost definitely going to be detrimental to their team and themselves.

posted by Ricardo at 02:09 PM on August 16

Why is it so hard for people to understand that by no means does anyone want to see another individual and/or professional athlete(s) injured. I can only speak for myself but I do not condone violence. I do condone self-defense and random acts of violence are just heart-breaking. This was a situation where one individual felt as if he was being targeted by the pitcher and lost his cool. I'm not saying that what Offerman did was justified but I just don't understand why the cops were needed after the situation was already done & over with. I'm not trying to convince anyone else to agree with my point of view but I'm just looking at the flip-side of the coin. Increase the peace and keep the dialog coming.

posted by BornIcon at 02:37 PM on August 16

Whether they take the time to rationalize charging the mound with a bat or not does not change the fact that they did in fact, charge the mound while carrying a bat. Crimes are committed everyday because someone didn't take the time to think about their actions or lost their cool. Just because they don't think about the consequences mean they can be free from punishment. In regards to charging the mound with bat in hand I agree with bperk. Charging the mound and beanballs have become ingrained in the game, much like fighting in hockey. That is not neccesarily a good thing, but the fact is those actions are widely regarded as semi-acceptable conduct, meaning while a player may recieve penalties or suspensions, they won't be prosectuted for their actions. Using a bat to try to assault a pitcher creates an entirely different situation, one that is not found acceptable within the sport.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:48 PM on August 16

Ricardo: Charging the mound without a bat then falls into the same category as charging the mound with a bat. In terms of it being considered attempted assault in the eyes of the law, I believe that's so: it's neither incidental nor a regulated combat sport. There's obviously a difference in that a bat is clearly a deadly weapon. bperk: I think the legal test for consent is whether the contact is anticipated. That doesn't sound correct to me. Once again, I believe that in US law, except for certain very narrow and well-defined exceptions, you can not consent to assault -- whether it is anticipated or not.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:00 PM on August 16

Hmm... what about wrestling or boxing?

posted by jerseygirl at 03:10 PM on August 16

Specific exception, as I said, jg.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:12 PM on August 16

Manolete thinks this argument is ridiculous.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:23 PM on August 16

(I'm bowing out after saying this one last time I promise) So "striking a batter with a thrown ball" is an example of an activity that is protected when playing a game, but criminal in general. And "striking a pitcher with a bat" is an example of an activity that is never protected whether in game or not. However, in the real world if doing the first incites the second, the do-er of the first is (at least partially) liable. However, by stepping onto the field, this liability disappears. To me, that seems silly.

posted by chmurray at 03:51 PM on August 16

I think the legal test for consent is whether the contact is anticipated. That doesn't sound correct to me. Once again, I believe that in US law, except for certain very narrow and well-defined exceptions, you can not consent to assault -- whether it is anticipated or not. Here (in pdf) is more info from a legal perspective. There is a general sports exception, not an exception for specific actions for specific sports.

posted by bperk at 04:01 PM on August 16

It's a slippery slope, but I fail to see the comparison between throwing at a hitter and charging the mound swinging a bat. 1. Throwing a ball at a hitter happens during the normal course of game, during a normal activity during the game. 2. Unless admitted you can never prove a pitcher is throwing at a hitter. 3. If you can bring criminal charges for throwing at a hitter the game simply can't be played. You kill the game. I can understand thinking it should be handled by baseball, but I have no problem bringing law authorities in either. And I really haven't heard a solid reason not to. You have to draw the line somewhere. This is as good a line as any.

posted by justgary at 04:12 PM on August 16

Well said.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:36 PM on August 16

I think King Kaufman (warning, you may have to sit through an ad) has a characteristically insightful take on the whole thing, primarily focusing on how times have changed with respect to punishment. Good link in that article to the original NYT write-up (may require sign-in) of the Marichal incident. Man, has sports reporting changed.

posted by holden at 05:01 PM on August 16

Jesus, I never realized Marichal's bat did the whole thing on its own. Fucker should have been put through a chipper.

posted by yerfatma at 05:17 PM on August 16

As I feel I have beaten the proverbial dead horse on this one, I will follow chmurrays lead and say my peace and exit gracefully. Charging the mound and beanballs have become ingrained in the game "Ingrained in the game" has no bearing as I see it. If a player charges the mound with no bat and nothing out of the ordinary happens, then there is no charge of battery. If he kills the pitcher (or injures him severely), then charges should apply. This logically leads to the outcome of the attack being the determining factor behind whether charges should be filed. The catchers head wound doesn't figure here as it sounds accidental. Offerman had no intent to injure him at all. What happened was Offerman used a bat and broke the pitchers hand. If Offerman charges the mound and swings at the pitchers raised hand thereby breaking it. This wouldn't even have been in the news. I feel a ban or suspension fom the International League would set a good precedent to show batters this isn't acceptable. Most guys at this level don't have 15 years of MLB pay to fall back on like Offerman does. Legal action in addition to that doesn't seem reasonable.

posted by Ricardo at 05:20 PM on August 16

The catchers head wound doesn't figure here as it sounds accidental. Offerman had no intent to injure him at all. But the fact is he did injure the catcher, regardless of his intent.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:49 PM on August 16

But the fact is he did injure the catcher, regardless of his intent Wholeheartedly agree. If I accidently run over my neighbor, I risk criminal charges, too. If a death occurs during the commission of any felony, it becomes felony murder.

posted by hawkguy at 06:30 PM on August 16

Photographic slideshow. At 1:00 remaining there is a clear Carl Everett sighting.

posted by YukonGold at 07:49 PM on August 16

If I hadn't seen him, I wouldn't believe it. I like that the three kids over in the stands never get excited. Bad ass white kids from The Hartford.

posted by yerfatma at 08:56 PM on August 16

If the batter brings a bat to the party, he's gotta bring one for the pitcher. No one has brought up the macho aspect of the uberargument. There is a challenge situation between a pitcher and a batter that I submit has very few analogs in sport outside of boxing and other martial arts. The inside pitch is taken as an opportunity to take a hard hit and a base by some (e.g. Biggio), by others it is taken as a way to heighten the intensity of the match via a bench-clearing brawl (e.g. Rose). To bring a weapon along to a brawl that is not available to the other party is pussy (e.g. West Side Story).

posted by bobfoot at 09:40 PM on August 16

#1: I was not ready for Tommy John looking that old. This thread is killing me. #2: The last still of the slideshow shows Jeter escaping up the aisle. I'm sure this is somehow his fault. His escape, though, should put to bed discussions about his ability to go to his left.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:19 PM on August 16

The catchers head wound doesn't figure here as it sounds accidental. So if he accidentally kills someone with the bat it doesn't figure? Besides, this isn't an accident. Taking a swing at a pitch and having the bat slip from your hands is an accident. Bringing the bat with you as you charge the mound is a choice. Whatever happens from that point on is a direct result of that choice.

posted by justgary at 11:22 PM on August 16

What happened was Offerman used a bat and broke the pitchers hand. Having looked at the slideshow, Offerman only broke the pitcher's hand because the pitcher's hand was all that got between Offerman's bat and the pitcher's head.

posted by JJ at 03:37 AM on August 17

His escape, though, should put to bed discussions about his ability to go to his left. Yeah, but if A-Rod had been in that seat instead of Jeter, he'd have gotten to the exit faster.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:02 AM on August 17

Don't bring a ball to a bat fight.

posted by tommytrump at 07:25 AM on August 17

Carl Everett going in to place peacemaker and to retrieve (and not further use) the bat is a sign of cosmic imbalance of a scale not seen since Rick Mahorn broke up the fight in the stands during the Artest melee at the Palace.

posted by holden at 09:43 AM on August 17

If the bat didn't hit, you must acquit.

posted by tommytrump at 05:15 PM on August 21

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