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Rangers Penalized for Brawl

Francisco gets a 16-game suspension for throwing chair into stands at Oakland. Three others are also suspended.

September 18, 2004|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

The Texas Rangers expressed concern that one altercation in Oakland could overshadow a season's worth of success on the field after Major League Baseball suspended three players and one coach a combined 33 games Friday in the wake of a chair-throwing incident Monday at Network Associates Coliseum.

Reliever Frank Francisco, who threw a folding chair that hit a fan and broke her nose, was fined about $10,000 and suspended 16 games, the stiffest penalty imposed by the league since it suspended Cincinnati Manager Pete Rose for 30 games in 1988 for pushing umpire Dave Pallone.

"At the end of our year, that's going to be looked upon more than maybe what kind of year the team had," said Ranger reliever Jeff Nelson, whose team is attempting to complete a worst-to-first turnaround in the American League West.

Reliever Doug Brocail was suspended for seven games, and reliever Carlos Almanzar and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo were each suspended for five games, and all were fined.

The three relievers are appealing their suspensions and were available Friday when the Rangers opened a three-game series against the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Jaramillo served the first game of his suspension.

"I regret that there was a chair thrown and I regret that there was a lady that was hurt," Brocail said. "But there was no intention of any of that happening."

Texas Manager Buck Showalter said the players' appeals might be heard late next week.

Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, said Francisco's suspension, if upheld, would last no fewer than 16 games, the number remaining in the regular season before Friday. Francisco pitched the eighth inning against the Angels on Friday, giving up a home run to Vladimir Guerrero.

"I don't feel good about it, but whatever they say, I have to take it," Francisco said before Friday's game. "I don't really want to talk about it."

Francisco was arrested after the incident, in which the chair he threw hit two spectators on the head, and charged with felony aggravated assault before being released on $15,000 bail.

The woman whose nose was broken has said she would seek compensation for her injuries.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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