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Suspension to remain in effect until legal proceedings finish

8/17/2007 - MLB

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Former All-Star Jose Offerman's suspension
for a bat attack in the minors will remain in effect until his
legal case is resolved.

The independent Atlantic League issued the ruling Friday.

Offerman was playing for the Long Island Ducks when he hit the
opposing catcher and pitcher Tuesday night at Bridgeport. He was
indefinitely suspended the next day.

Offerman was arrested and charged with two counts of
second-degree assault. He is due back in a Connecticut court on
Aug. 23.

Bridgeport catcher John Nathans sustained a concussion that may
sideline him for the rest of the season. Bluefish pitcher Matt
Beech had a broken finger on his non-throwing hand.

The Atlantic League's regular season runs through Sept. 16.

Offerman said afterward that "it was one those moments that you
want to forget." He said he just snapped and didn't intend to hurt
anyone.

The 38-year-old Offerman last played in the majors in 2005 with
the New York Mets. He batted .273 during his 15 seasons in the
majors and was an All-Star infielder in 1995 with the Dodgers and
in 1999 with Boston.

Offerman hit a home run on the first pitch of Tuesday's game.
The next time up, Beech hit him in the leg with a pitch.

Offerman charged the mound with his bat. Nathans tried to
intervene and was struck in the head. Beech, who formerly pitched
in the majors, wound up with a broken middle finger on his right
hand.

Beech acknowledged he was trying to pitch Offerman inside but
wasn't aiming to hit him.

The attack caused both benches to clear and the game was delayed
about 20 minutes. Offerman, Beech and Bridgeport manager and former
major league pitcher Tommy John were ejected.

Nathans is still suffering from the concussion and has been
advised by his doctor to avoid any stressful physical activity
until the symptoms clear, his lawyer Michael Koskoff said Friday
night.

"He has headaches. He's foggy. He's still having problems
thinking straight," Koskoff said. "He wants to get back to
playing baseball as soon as he can," Koskoff said. "This is a
significant time in his career."

Koskoff said the 28-year-old Nathans is optimistic he'll return.
Follow-up tests revealed no bleeding in the brain, he said.