Pitcher turns self in on misdemeanor warrant

Updated: July 20, 2005, 5:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers had another run-in with a cameraman Monday when he turned himself in on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an earlier tirade against two cameramen.

Kenny Rogers

The three-time All-Star, who is appealing a 20-game suspension and $50,000 fine, was released after posting $1,500 bond. Rogers jawed at a cameraman for Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA as he was booked into the county jail. Just as with the incident that led to the charges, the exchange was caught on tape.

WFAA reported on its Web site Monday that photographer Mike Zukerman was videotaping the procedure when Rogers turned to him and said, "You're getting really close; you know that? Do you hear me?"

A few seconds later, Rogers again turned to the camera, saying, "You must be pretty proud of yourself, too."

After Zukerman replied, "It's just my job, Kenny," Rogers responded: "Yeah. Your job. That's just your excuse."

Rogers was not available for comment before Monday's game against the New York Yankees at Ameriquest Field. He is scheduled to pitch Thursday at home against Oakland.

The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Rogers' appeal will be heard on Friday.

"We'll miss him in those three, four starts he'll miss," Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "He's our best pitcher."

The Rangers lost three of four games in a weekend series at Oakland, and Rogers (11-4, 2.54 ERA) was the winning pitcher in the only victory. A circus pregame atmosphere returned to Ameriquest Field with the arrival of the Yankees and news of Rogers turning himself in.

"It's not a distraction as long as we can go out and do what we do on the field," Rangers shortstop Michael Young said. "That's what we do best, and [Rogers' situation] doesn't translate onto the field."

Rogers, 40, faces a Class A misdemeanor charge of assault with injury in the shoving of KDFW-TV cameraman Larry Rodriguez, Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said.

Police also will mail to Rogers' attorney a Class C misdemeanor assault citation for the shoving of Fox Sports Net Southwest cameraman David Mammeli, Gilfour said.

A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000, or both. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

On June 29, Rogers lashed out at the cameramen as they taped him walking to the field for pregame stretching. The episode led to Rodriguez being treated at a hospital after the camera was ripped from his hands and thrown to the ground.

Rogers apologized a week later, saying the incident was out of character and would never happen again.

Gilfour said Fox Sports -- which owns the camera Rogers damaged in the shoving of Rodriguez -- has declined to press criminal charges.

Rogers was booed at last week's All-Star Game, but he said he came because he wanted the players who voted for him to know he appreciated it. He didn't want those votes to be wasted.

Before giving up six runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings at Los Angeles on June 22, Rogers won nine straight decisions, a career best, and was the AL ERA leader. It wasn't known until after he pulled out of a start June 28 against the Angels that he had a broken bone in his non-pitching hand by punching a water cooler 11 days earlier.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.