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Francisco's agent hoped charges would be dropped

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers reliever Frank Francisco
pleaded not guilty Friday to a misdemeanor assault charge for
breaking a woman's nose after tossing a chair into the stands at an
Oakland A's game, his attorney said.

Francisco could face one year in county jail and a maximum three
years' probation if convicted. A felony charge carried a possible
penalty of three years in state prison.

The pitcher was not required to appear Friday in Alameda County
Superior Court for his arraignment.

"We have no intention of pleading guilty to that charge," said
his attorney, Rick Minkoff. "I was hopeful ... that there wouldn't
be any criminal charges. We'll just have to see."

Francisco hurled a plastic chair into the right-field seats
after fans near the Rangers bullpen began heckling the team during
Texas' loss to the A's on Sept. 13.

The chair struck Jennifer Bueno of Livermore, breaking her nose.
Her husband, Craig, had been among the fans heckling the Rangers.

Francisco's agent, Richard Thompson, said he had hoped the
charges would be dropped altogether.

"If you look at the whole scope of possibilities -- felony,
misdemeanor or dismissal -- obviously, dismissal would have been the
best," he said.

Francisco was suspended for 15 games and has since returned to
his home in the Dominican Republic.