Saturday, September 18, 2004

Rangers' Francisco suspended for season


MLB notebook

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Texas Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco was suspended for the rest of the season, and two teammates and a coach were suspended Friday after he threw a chair that hit a woman and broke her nose during a game against the Oakland Athletics earlier this week.

Pitcher Doug Brocail was suspended for seven games and reliever Carlos Almanzar and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo were suspended for five games.

Unless appealed, the suspensions for Francisco and Brocail were scheduled to begin Friday, while the suspension for Almanzar is scheduled to begin today. All four were fined. Francisco's suspension will be for no less than 16 regular-season games in the event of an appeal, said baseball vice president Bob Watson.

Francisco threw the chair into the right-field box seats during a confrontation with fans and hit two spectators in the head on Monday night during Texas' 7-6, 10-inning loss. With two outs in the ninth inning, the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano tied the game 5-5 with his second homer. Moments later, with Hank Blalock at the plate, the Texas bench and bullpen cleared.

Francisco was arrested and taken from the stadium to jail, where he was booked and his mug shot was taken. He was released about two hours later on $15,000 bail.

PHILLIES: Closer Billy Wagner was suspended for two games Friday by Major League Baseball and fined an undisclosed amount after he was ejected against the New York Mets last weekend.

The suspension was scheduled to begin Friday night when Philadelphia was home against Montreal.

ON STRIKE: Japanese baseball players elected to stage the first strike in the history of the sport in Japan on Friday after extended negotiations with team officials failed to reach an agreement.

Japan's professional players had threatened to strike this weekend unless a one-year freeze was placed on the merger of the Pacific League's Kintetsu Buffaloes and Orix BlueWave.

The strike will wipe out all games this weekend and possibly all weekend games between now and the end of the season. Weekday games will be played as scheduled. Negotiations will resume next week.




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Rangers' Francisco suspended for season
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