ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Frank Francisco, one of three Texas
Rangers relievers suspended for their part in a bullpen brawl with
fans in Oakland earlier this week, began serving his season-ending
ban on Saturday.
Francisco was suspended by the commissioner's office Friday for
the rest of the season -- 16 games -- for throwing a chair that
struck a woman and broke her nose during Monday's game.
"This was Frankie's desire, after looking at all the options
that presented themselves," general manager John Hart said.
"Frankie wanted to do what was in the bests interests of the club,
and for himself. I think that MLB and the union worked to try to
make this as feasible as can be."
Francisco's suspension is still under appeal, but the rookie
decided to waive his right to continue playing while he's awaiting
the appeal hearing that will take place next Friday before Bob
DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer. Because he pitched
Friday night, his suspension will carry over to opening day of next
"Frankie's not admitting anything -- he still has the
opportunity for the appeal -- but if it doesn't go favorably, he
will have been able to serve 'X' number of days and reduce the
amount of time that would carry over," Hart said.
The suspension is among the harshest assessed by the
commissioner's office for on-field conduct in recent decades,
trailing only the 30-day suspension given Cincinnati manager Pete
Rose in 1988 for pushing umpire Dave Pallone.
Pitcher Doug Brocail was suspended for seven games, and reliever
Carlos Almanzar and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo were each
suspended for five games -- and all were fined. Brocail and Almanzar
also appealed, and are eligible to pitch.
Jennifer Bueno, whose nose was broken, said Wednesday she plans
to seek compensation for her injuries once prosecutors and baseball
officials complete their investigation. Hart said the club will
fully cooperate with prosecutors, if and when they are contacted.
"Frankie Francisco is an outstanding young man and a great
kid," Hart said. "I think that the quicker that all of this can
put behind us and him, the better it's going to be. And this is a
part of it. But from a competitive standpoint, it's a challenge."
Francisco, 25, was the AL rookie of the month for August, when
he was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.