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AP: Texas Rangers-Oakland game turns ugly when player hurls chair at fans


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Texas Rangers-Oakland game turns ugly when player hurls chair at fans

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer

September 14, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Texas reliever Frank Francisco threw a chair into the right field box seats, hitting two spectators in the head Monday night, as Oakland Athletics fans taunted the visitors after a two-out, top-of-the-ninth homer tied the game.

One of the fans, an unidentified woman, was bloodied and her nose was broken.

Major league baseball's commissioner's office said Tuesday morning it was investigating.

With two outs in the ninth, Texas Ranger Alfonso Soriano tied the game at 5 on his second homer of the night. Moments later, with the Rangers' Hank Blalock at the plate, the Texas bench and bullpen cleared.

``Tonight, it went over the line,'' Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. ``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.

Rinetti said afterward that the woman was being treated at a hospital for facial cuts and a broken nose and was considering pressing charges. Francisco was escorted by police out an alternate stadium exit after the game and into a car waiting on the field. No arrests were made.

Brocail declined comment, and Francisco wasn't around the locker room afterward.

Francisco, 25, was named American League rookie of the month for August, when he was 3-0 with a 1.69 earned-run average.

Updated on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2004 9:50 am EDT

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I think the guy will be lucky not to get assault charges. That's unbelievably stupid, throwing a chair. A punch is one thing; a chair? Come on.



Coleman reached a personal low in 1993. Three months after injuring Dwight Gooden's arm by recklessly swinging a golf club in the clubhouse, he was charged with endangerment when he tossed a firecracker at -- and harmed -- two young boys and a woman in the stadium's parking lot. The outfielder was "given" the rest of the year off by the team to deal with legal issues, but it was clear that his stint in New York was over.
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No doubt, it was a stupid thing to do but, the ball park security simply has to do a better job with some of these lunatic fans. The husband of the woman whose nose was broken was one of the hecklers. He's just as much to blame for his wife's injury as Francisco. You pay your money and you can be as loud as you want but getting downright nasty is totally unacceptable. The A's organization needs to share some of the blame and do their part to ensure it doesn't happen again.

As for Francisco, I think the league will suspend him for the remainder of the year and rightly so. A message needs to be sent to the players as well as the fans. It's just too bad he nailed the woman with the chair instead of her idiot husband.

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