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BASEBALL Rangers awaiting ruling on Rogers



Published: Fri, July 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



His camera-stomping tirade could draw a hefty suspension.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

ARLINGTON, Texas -- And then the Rangers waited.

On Thursday afternoon, they pounded the first-place Los Angeles Angels, 18-5, to regain a smidgeon of self-respect in the American League West race, but the rest of the afternoon and a long flight to Seattle was spent waiting on verdicts after Kenny Rogers' camera-stomping tirade Wednesday.

While Arlington police officials weighed whether to charge Rogers with assault after he tussled with a pair of TV cameramen, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was deciding how long of a suspension to assess the pitcher.

The Rangers are prepared for Selig, who does not usually personally handle suspensions, to hand down a suspension of at least 10 games and probably longer. If served immediately, Rogers would miss at least two starts and be out of action through the All-Star break. He would still be eligible, however, to pitch in the All-Star Game on July 12 in Detroit. The 40-year-old left-hander is among the AL leaders in ERA. Rogers could appeal the suspension and play until a hearing is held.

Rogers, who was sent home before Wednesday's game, was with the team Thursday and traveled with the Rangers to Seattle.

Could start on Sunday

The Rangers were preparing as if Rogers would start Sunday against the Mariners. Because of pending legal issues, Rogers said Thursday that he could not comment. His representative, Scott Boras, declined to comment for the same reason.

"I think the commissioner takes this very seriously," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "Baseball values its relationship with the media."

Major League Baseball officials declined to comment Thursday.

Hart and Rangers owner Tom Hicks indicated that the Rangers would not mete out any punishment beyond MLB's sentence.

Batting practice tirade

The incident took place Wednesday afternoon as the Rangers were taking the field for batting practice. Rogers knocked over a stationary camera, then took a swipe at KDFW-TV Channel 4's camera, which was being operated by Larry Rodriguez. After knocking the camera off Rodriguez's shoulder, Rogers then kicked at it. He was ushered off the field by teammates and sent home after meeting with Rangers officials.

Rodriguez was taken to a hospital because of back and leg pain and was released. He later filed a report with the Arlington Police Department.

Rodriguez said he injured his back and neck from the force of the push and from trying to prevent the nearly 40-pound camera from falling. Also, he said his hand, which was secured in a stirrup on the camera, twisted during the incident.




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