ARLINGTON, Texas - Kenny Rogers received a stern penalty for his violent outburst.
The Texas pitcher was suspended for 20 games and fined $50,000 by Major League Baseball on Friday for throwing an angry fit 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.
“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.”
The suspension was among the most severe imposed by the commissioner’s office for on-field conduct in decades — only the 30-day penalty given Cincinnati manager Pete Rose in 1988 for pushing umpire Dave Pallone was longer.
Rogers, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday, was in the Rangers’ locker room before Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners, but would not comment when asked about the suspension.
“He’s not talking,” Rangers spokesman Rich Rice said.
Rogers then walked out of the dugout past a group of TV cameramen without incident, staring straight ahead as he continued to the Rangers’ bullpen in left field.
Rogers was suspended a day after Texas pitcher Frank Francisco was sentenced to a work program and anger management classes after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault. Francisco was suspended for 15 games after throwing a chair at an Oakland Athletics fan last Sept. 13.
Rangers shortstop Michael Young said, “Any suspension of this length is definitely going to hurt our club because Kenny is our best pitcher. We’re all going to stick by Kenny.”
The Rangers' Kenny Rogers, right, chats with teammate Gary Mathews in the Texas dugout during the team's game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
“We hope the suspension is reduced,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with it until after the All-Star break.”
“He threw very well and was in decent spirits considering what’s going on,” Hershiser said. “He’s very quiet right now. He’s just focusing on what he needs to be to be a pitcher.”
Before Wednesday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels, Rogers shoved two cameramen 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. “I know Kenny, as evidenced by his statements, has expressed remorse. The commissioner has spoken and we’re going to move forward from there.”
DPS: MLB executive Joe Torre talks to Dan Patrick about instant replay in baseball. Torre says that the game isn't perfect, but there are limits as to what instant replay should be used for. He draws the line at using it for balls and strikes.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.