Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Francisco arrested for hitting fans with Chair
Texas reliever Frank Francisco was arrested Tuesday morning on a charge of aggravated battery after he threw a chair into the right-field box seats and hit two spectators in the head during Monday night's loss to the Oakland Athletics.
One of the fans, an unidentified woman, was bloodied and her nose was broken.
Major League Baseball's commissioner's office said Tuesday morning that it was investigating. Francisco was cooperative after he was taken into custody, Oakland Police Department deputy chief Peter Dunbar said.
With two outs in the ninth inning, the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano tied the game 5-5 with his second homer of the night. Moments later, with Hank Blalock at the plate, the Texas bench and bullpen cleared.
"Tonight, it went over the line," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said after the game. "It was a real break from the normal trash you hear from fans. We've had problems about every time we've come here."
Texas reliever Doug Brocail was seen screaming at a male fan, and the pitcher had to be restrained by his teammates and bullpen coach Mark Connor. Others also had to be held back.
Francisco threw the chair at a fan in a lower box near the Rangers' bullpen along the right-field line. The chair hit one man in the head, then bounced and struck the woman on her left temple.
Security ran to the scene and a small section of fans was cleared from their seats.
A's manager Ken Macha came across the field to speak to Dave Rinetti, vice president of stadium operations, before play resumed 19 minutes later.
There was talk between the umpires and managers of suspending the game, clearing the stands and forfeiting the game.
The Athletics won 7-6 in the 10th inning.
"From what I understand, there was some calls made to security early during the game but I have no idea what started it out there," crew chief Joe Brinkman said.
Rinetti said afterward that the woman was being treated at a hospital for facial cuts and a broken nose. Francisco was escorted by police out an alternate stadium exit after the game and into a car waiting on the field.
Rangers officials did not return calls Tuesday morning.
Brocail declined to comment, and Francisco wasn't around the locker room afterward.
Francisco, 25, was the American League rookie of the month for August, when he was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.
The teams meet again Tuesday night in Oakland.
Joined: August 11th, 2004, 3:55 pm
Location: Polka Town
I love baseball, but those bullpen guys are crazy. Soon I am sure all bullpens will be enclosed and players won't be just sitting by the stands.