Rogers was penciled in to start against the Boston Red Sox on
Wednesday, one day after his suspension for shoving two cameramen
was trimmed from 20 games to 13 by an arbitrator who ruled that
commissioner Bud Selig went too far.
"He's our ace. For him to be back is a huge boost for us,"
first baseman Mark Teixeira said after the Rangers lost to Boston
8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night. "Unfortunately, he can only pitch
one out of every five days."
Arbitrator Shyam Das also ruled Tuesday that Rogers' $50,000
fine will be converted to a charitable contribution. The ruling
followed a hearing Monday in Chicago.
"We always thought it was out of line," players' union head
Donald Fehr said. "Were we surprised? No."
Said Selig: "I strongly disagree with arbitrator Das' decision
today. It sends the wrong message to every one of our constituents:
the fans, the media, and our players."
"There is a standard of behavior that is expected of our
players, which was breached in this case. The arbitrator's decision
diminishes that standard and is contrary to the terms of the
collective bargaining agreement. In my opinion, the decision is
seriously ill-conceived," he said in a statement.
Das' decision closes the case.
"In a lot of our minds, hopefully this is the last piece of
putting it behind us," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
Rogers was not at Fenway Park for Tuesday night's game. But
Showalter said he wasn't concerned that the long layoff would
hamper Rogers on Wednesday.
"I think he's dealt with it real well, all things considered,"
Showalter said. "And it's time to move on and get the focus back
on getting people out."
Rogers was penalized for a videotaped tirade June 29 when he
came onto the field in Texas for pregame stretching and threw a
camera to the ground, kicked it and threatened to do more damage.
One of the cameramen he shoved, Larry Rodriguez of KDFW-TV, was
treated at a hospital.
"Whatever time that Kenny served, I hope that he's been able to
address whatever issues he had with whomever he had, and use the
time productively," Rodriguez said. "I am surprised that the
arbitrator overruled the commissioner's decision."
KDFW news director Maria Barrs said Rodriguez was still going
through medical treatment and had yet to resume his duties with the
Rogers turned himself in to police in Arlington, Texas, on
misdemeanor assault charges and posted a $1,500 bond. He also
apologized to the cameramen and fans for his behavior.
As part of the ruling, Das said the games Rogers missed could be
taken into account if the pitcher falls short of any incentive
clauses in his contract.
Union general counsel Michael Weiner said Das made an
"expedited ruling" because Rogers' suspension was in effect. The
union originally appealed the penalty to Selig, then filed a
grievance and argued that the commissioner broke precedent.
In recent times, baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson imposed
penalties and another official in the commissioner's office heard
the appeals. In Rogers' case, Selig both issued the penalty and
heard the appeal.
Rogers' suspension was among the harshest penalties imposed by
the commissioner's office for on-field conduct. Only the 30-day
penalty given Cincinnati manager Pete Rose in 1988 for pushing
umpire Dave Pallone was longer.
Rogers is 11-4 with a 2.77 ERA for the Rangers, who are in the
AL wild-card race. He relieved in the All-Star game on July 12 at
Comerica Park and was booed by fans in Detroit.
Fox Sports Net Southwest cameraman David Mammeli also was shoved
by Rogers, but was not injured. "We choose not to comment at this
time," station spokeswoman Kristi Roberts said.
"He did what he did. There are consequences, he paid his price.
Now he's ready to get back," Cincinnati first baseman Sean Casey
said after the Reds' 8-3 win over Chicago on Tuesday.
"A suspension like that when you have 20 games, it's good to
have somebody come in and say if that's fair or not," he said.