<
>

Rogers loses appeal in altercation with cameramen

BALTIMORE -- Kenny Rogers' appeal of his 20-game suspension
for shoving two cameramen was rejected Wednesday by commissioner
Bud Selig, who deemed the behavior of the Texas Rangers' pitcher to
be "wholly unacceptable."
The players' association said it will pursue a grievance before
an arbitrator to overturn the penalty.

The commissioner, who heard Rogers' appeal in Milwaukee last
Friday, said the suspension would begin with Wednesday night's game
at the Baltimore Orioles. Rogers declined comment.
"We'll see what the next few days bring," Rangers manager Buck
Showalter said. "We knew this was going to happen at some point,
and we know we need a starter for Sunday."
Under baseball's rules, Selig decided the original penalty and
also ruled on the appeal.
"Kenny Rogers' behavior towards the two cameramen who were
present at the ballpark and doing their job on June 29th, was
wholly unacceptable," Selig said in a statement. "I have always
placed a special emphasis on the social responsibility that each of
us has in Major League Baseball given its proper place in American
history and culture as a social institution. The media is entitled
to perform its important role without fear of physical intimidation
or contact from our players or other participants. While I listened
carefully to Kenny Rogers' sincere explanation last week, I heard
nothing that would warrant either eliminating or reducing the
discipline imposed."

Selig imposed the suspension and a $50,000 fine for a June 29
videotaped tirade in which Rogers, a three-time All-Star, shoved
two cameramen when he came onto the field for pregame stretching.
The players' association filed a grievance on July 8, and
arbitrator Shyam Das scheduled an Aug. 8 hearing after Selig made
his decision Wednesday. Das turned down the union's request to stay
the suspension pending the new hearing, saying he didn't think he
had the authority, union general counsel Michael Weiner said.
The union contends that Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in
charge of discipline, should have made the initial decision, not
Selig.
"We think the decision is both unfair and inconsistent with the
basic agreement," Weiner said. "We don't think commissioner Selig
had the authority in the first place to issue discipline. We also
think 20 games and a $50,000 fine wholly disregards industry
precedent with respect conduct of this type. We look forward to
seeking appropriate relief for both Kenny and his Texas teammates
before the arbitrator."
Rogers, 40, is the ace of the Texas pitching staff. His 11 wins
are more than a fifth of the entire team total, and his 2.77 ERA
over 20 starts is significantly lower than the 4.95 team mark
through Tuesday.
His loss comes at a time when the Rangers lost six of seven to
sink below .500.
"Anytime you lose your No. 1 starter, it doesn't matter how
you're playing as a team, you still want him. We're going to miss
him, no matter what," Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira said.
"It's unfortunate, but we really can't worry about it,"
Teixeira said. "We'll miss Kenny, but we have to move on. Injuries
happen, trades happen. We have to play with the team on the
field."
That team will now have 24 active players instead of the
customary 25.
"We've got some options. None of them are going to be as good
as Kenny," Showalter said. "But that's the cards that we're
dealt, and it looks like we'll be playing with 24 players for a
while. It puts a lot of emphasis on nobody getting kicked out of a
game, that's for sure."