Texas Rangers-Oakland game turns ugly when player hurls chair at fans
By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
September 14, 2004
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Texas reliever Frank Francisco threw a chair into the right field box seats, hitting two spectators in the head Monday night, as Oakland Athletics fans taunted the visitors after a two-out, top-of-the-ninth homer tied the game.
One of the fans, an unidentified woman, was bloodied and her nose was broken.
Major league baseball's commissioner's office said Tuesday morning it was investigating.
With two outs in the ninth, Texas Ranger Alfonso Soriano tied the game at 5 on his second homer of the night. Moments later, with the Rangers' Hank Blalock at the plate, the Texas bench and bullpen cleared.
``Tonight, it went over the line,'' Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. ``It was a real break from the normal trash you hear from fans. We've had problems about every time we've come here.''
Texas reliever Doug Brocail was seen screaming at a male fan, and the pitcher had to be restrained by his teammates and bullpen coach Mark Connor. Others also had to be held back.
Francisco threw the chair at a fan in a lower box near the Rangers' bullpen along the right-field line. The chair hit one man in the head, then bounced and struck the woman on her left temple.
Security ran to the scene and a small section of fans was cleared from their seats.
A's manager Ken Macha came across the field to speak to Dave Rinetti, vice president of stadium operations, before play resumed 19 minutes later.
There was talk between the umpires and managers of suspending the game, clearing the stands and forfeiting the game.
The Athletics won 7-6 in the 10th inning.
Rinetti said afterward that the woman was being treated at a hospital for facial cuts and a broken nose and was considering pressing charges. Francisco was escorted by police out an alternate stadium exit after the game and into a car waiting on the field. No arrests were made.
Brocail declined comment, and Francisco wasn't around the locker room afterward.
Francisco, 25, was named American League rookie of the month for August, when he was 3-0 with a 1.69 earned-run average.
Updated on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2004 9:50 am EDT