Sun, Jul 03, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Kenny Rogers pays high price for outburst

AP , SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Kenny Rogers of the Rangers heads toward the dugout before the team's game against the Mariners in Seattle, Washington on Friday. Rogers was suspended for 20 games and fined US$50,000 by Major League Baseball on Friday for an outburst that sent a television cameraman to the hospital and prompted a police investigation. The players' union filed an appeal on behalf of Rogers, who can keep pitching until the appeal is heard.

PHOTO: AP

Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers was suspended for 20 games and fined US$50,000 by Major League Baseball on Friday for an outburst that sent a television cameraman to the hospital and prompted a police investigation.

The players' union filed an appeal on behalf of Rogers, who can keep playing until the appeal is heard.

"Mr. Rogers' behavior was unprofessional, unwarranted and completely unacceptable," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Major League Baseball is a social institution and all of us in the game have an important responsibility to act with reason and good judgment."

Rogers shoved two cameramen before Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels in a tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground, kicking it and threatening to break more.

"We've made it clear from the beginning this was an unacceptable behavior for the club," Rangers general manager John Hart said.

The incident was captured on videotape and led to KDFW cameraman Larry Rodriguez being treated at a hospital.

Rodriguez filed an assault report, and Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said the case was being investigated as a misdemeanor assault. Rogers hadn't been interviewed by investigators and no charges had been filed Thursday.

On June 17, Rogers punched a water cooler in the dugout after being pulled from a game against Washington. Rogers broke a small bone at the base of the pinkie on his non-throwing hand in the incident.

The injury wasn't made public until Rogers missed his start against the Angels on Tuesday, a week after he gave up six runs on 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings at Los Angeles.

Rogers lashed out at the cameramen Wednesday as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching. A day earlier, he had ordered cameras turned off around him in the clubhouse.

Hart said ``the crux of the matter'' for Rogers was the perception by some media and fans that he skipped his start against the first-place Angels as a possible ploy in contract negotiations.

Livan Hernandez tied a franchise record by winning his 11th straight decision, leading the Washington Nationals to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

Jose Guillen hit his 16th homer and catcher Brian Schneider was 3-for-5. He also helped preserve a one-run lead by picking off the potential tying run at third base in the eighth.

Cubs starter Mark Prior (5-2) allowed three runs on six hits, struck out seven and did not walk a batter in five innings.

Chicago's Derrek Lee homered and tripled. Jeromy Burnitz had two hits and an RBI, but was caught off third by Schneider with Todd Hollandsworth, who homered earlier, at-bat.

Hernandez (12-2) allowed three runs in eight innings and joined Dennis Martinez with 11 consecutive winning decisions. The Nationals have won four straight.

Braves 9, Phillies 1

At Philadelphia, John Smoltz won his fifth straight start, and Andruw Jones and Kelly Johnson hit three-run homers for Atlanta.

Smoltz (9-5) improved to 5-0 with three complete games in his last five starts. He allowed a run on five hits and struck out seven in six innings.

Jones hit his major league-leading 26th homer, and Adam LaRoche also connected for the Braves.

Vicente Padilla (3-8) lost for Philadelphia.

Astros 10, Reds 7

At Cincinnati, Houston's Morgan Ensberg hit the ball into the upper deck for a three-run homer in the second inning.

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