Rangers expect word on possible sanctions Friday

Updated: July 1, 2005, 3:31 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kenny Rogers' immediate future will be determined by Major League Baseball, and the Texas Rangers expect their ace to be suspended for his angry outburst that sent a television cameraman to the hospital.

Rangers ace Kenny Rogers was involved in an altercation with two cameramen during warmups and could face assault charges and discipline from the league.
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Rangers owner Tom Hicks talked with commissioner Bud Selig multiple times Thursday, and found out that baseball has jurisdiction since the incident occurred on the field. Hicks said a decision on possible discipline is expected Friday, but he anticipated that Rogers would be suspended.

"At this point there's nothing the Texas Rangers will or can do," he said. "We will support whatever the commissioner decides to do."

Surrounded by cameras Thursday after the Rangers' 18-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, Rogers joked around with teammates in the clubhouse but didn't respond to questions from reporters.

The 40-year-old left-hander traveled with the team to Seattle, where he's scheduled to pitch the series finale Sunday. He wasn't seen in the clubhouse before Thursday's game or in the dugout during it.

In a statement Friday, Rogers' attorneys said: "Kenny Rogers would like to make a statement. However, in light of the ongoing investigation, it is not advisable for Kenny to comment directly and publicly at this time.

"On Kenny's behalf, though, we would like to express to Mr. Rodriguez, Ranger fans, all baseball fans and his teammates that Kenny is truly sorry for the incident that occurred and regrets that it happened."

Rogers shoved two cameramen before Wednesday's game against the Angels in a tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground, kicking it and threatening to break more. The outburst was captured on videotape.

KDFW cameraman Larry Rodriguez, treated at a hospital for pain in his shoulder, arm and leg, filed an assault report Wednesday, Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said.

"Although it is very early in the investigation, at this point, it appears we are investigating a misdemeanor assault case," Gilfour said in a statement Thursday.

No charges had been filed.

BUSTER OLNEY: WHAT'S HE THINKING?
I can't imagine that Kenny Rogers' incident with cameramen is going to help his contract leverage in his negotiations with the Rangers.

He was so deliberate in his actions – it wasn't the same as punching a water cooler, a quick and regrettable response – that you have to wonder about what's going through his head.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of penalty Rogers gets from Major League Baseball. A game? Five games? Ten games? Merely a fine?
More from Buster Olney

"He made it very clear to me that he did the wrong thing and it was inappropriate," general manager John Hart said. "It was out of character, way out of character for Kenny."

Hart said Rogers was upset of the perception that he missed his start Tuesday night for some reason other than the broken pinkie in his non-throwing hand, sustained in an angry outburst after a game two weeks ago.

"That's the crux of the matter for Kenny," he said.

Rogers has sought a contract extension from the Rangers, and some media and fans viewed his missing a start against the first-place Angels as a possible ploy in negotiations.

Rogers hasn't spoken to most media since before spring training, when the pitcher met with Hicks and asked about an extension to his two-year contract that expires after this season. He denied a report that he threatened to retire and has since quit talking publicly.

Hart said there had been some recent talks with Rogers' agent, Scott Boras, about a new contract but that there would be no more discussion about a new deal until after the season.

"Our vision of where the dollars are and his are too far apart," Hart said. "With that, compounded by the last several days, we're going to table any contract talks until the end of the year."

Before giving up six runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings at Los Angeles on June 22, Rogers (9-3) had won nine straight decisions, a career best, and was the AL ERA leader.

It wasn't known until Rogers pulled out of his last start that he pitched last week with the broken bone in his hand. The injury was sustained when he punched a water cooler in the dugout after being taken out in the seventh inning of his last win, June 17 against Washington.

Manager Buck Showalter said he met recently with Rogers for about 40 minutes in his office, and acknowledged there were indications that the pitcher was emotionally troubled by something. Showalter didn't elaborate.

Kenny Rogers
APKenny Rogers could be facing a suspension -- and assault charges -- after Wednesday's pregame altercation.

"Unfortunately, it didn't get dealt with very well yesterday," Showalter said, refusing to say if there was anything outside of baseball affecting the pitcher.

Rogers lashed out at the cameramen Wednesday as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching.

The pitcher first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: "I told you to get those cameras out of my face." Rogers then approached Rodriguez, wrestling the camera from him, throwing it to the ground and kicking it. Mammeli wasn't injured.

He wasn't scheduled to pitch and was sent home by the club.

"I do know that I support him 100 percent as a teammate. ... He's been nothing but an ideal teammate to me," shortstop Michael Young said. "His relationship with the press, it would be difficult for me to comment on.

"As far as I'm concerned, I just want to move forward and forget about it," he said. "I want all of our attention to be on baseball."

The Rangers won 7-6 in 11 innings Wednesday night, and followed that with Thursday's game for a split in the four-game series with the AL West-leading Angels. Texas had lost nine of 10 games before that, dropping from 1½ to 8½ games behind.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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