ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kenny Rogers' angry close-up with a
couple of television cameramen put one of them in the hospital and
could result in a suspension for the Texas Rangers' ace.
Rogers shoved two cameramen before the Rangers' game against Los
Angeles on Wednesday in a videotaped tirade that included throwing
a camera to the ground and threatening to break more.
"Kenny is having anger issues right now," Rangers general
manager John Hart said. "I don't know what's going on inside.
We're responding to something that's very unusual."
Rogers, who missed his last start with a broken pinkie he
sustained during an outburst earlier this month, lashed out at the
cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame
stretching. He wasn't scheduled to pitch and was sent home by the
club following the incidents.
The Rangers held a clubhouse meeting before the game to address
the situation. After the game, a 7-6 victory over the Angels in 11
innings, they lent their support to Rogers.
"It's something we're going to keep in-house," said Gary
Matthews Jr., who hit a two-run homer for the Rangers. "It's going
to be between Kenny and the front office."
Hart said late Wednesday that the team contacted Major League
Baseball, and wouldn't say whether the team would suspend Rogers.
Hart said he had talked to Rogers and "Kenny obviously realizes
his actions were incorrect."
"His comment to me was, `I didn't handle this right. I'm
frustrated. My integrity and toughness is being called into
question,"' Hart said.
The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net
Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: "I told you to
get those cameras out of my face."
Rogers then approached a second cameraman. He wrestled the
camera from Larry Rodriguez of Dallas-Fort Worth television station
KDFW, threw it to the ground and kicked it.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher saw two other cameramen who were
recording from the Rangers' dugout and walked toward them. He did
not make contact with the men, who were backing away.
"I'll break every ... one of them," Rogers said before he was
escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas.
The Rangers sent Rogers home about an hour later.
KDFW news director Maria Barrs said paramedics took Rodriguez to
an Arlington hospital.
"He does have quite a bit of pain, in his shoulder and his arm
and his leg," Barrs said. Rodriguez was treated and released.
Fox Sports Net Southwest spokesman Ramon Alvarez said Mammeli
Footage shot by Dallas-Fort Worth station KTVT shows Rogers
pushing Rodriguez's camera, which goes over the photographer's head
and falls to the ground. As Rodriguez puts the camera back on his
shoulder, Rogers approaches again, pushing the lens away and having
words with the photographer.
As players begin to intervene, Rogers pulls the camera to the
ground and kicks it before walking away.
Rodriguez said that when he picked up the camera the second
time, his intentions were to keep getting footage of Rogers.
"I figured since now he vented that he was all good, but the
second time was just a little bit too much," he said in an
interview on KDFW.
"There's no question he was upset. I don't understand why we
were the ... I don't know if we were the stem of the problem or
what," he said. "I don't think we did anything wrong."
Texas lost eight of nine entering Wednesday night's game.
"I think it demonstrated an appalling lack of control," Barrs
said. "The team doing poorly is no excuse for assaulting a guy
who's just doing his job."
Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said the department
took an assault report from Rodriguez on Wednesday, and detectives
were interviewing the victim and the suspect on Thursday. No
charges had been filed.
"Although it is very early in the investigation, at this point,
it appears we are investigating a misdemeanor assault case,"
Gilfour said in a statement released Thursday.
Rangers owner Tom Hicks said the team won't condone Rogers'
actions and will handle the matter internally.
Rogers, who leads the team with nine wins, has refused to talk
to reporters all season. He has also boycotted most media since a
report before spring training that he threatened to retire if he
wasn't given a contract extension.
"Kenny has had a short fuse dealing with the media," Hicks
said. "I've heard stories about what may or may not have happened.
He has issues. It's directed at the media and I don't know why."