Rangers Player Hurls Chair at Fans
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.
Dallas Morning News adds:
Rangers relief pitcher Frank Francisco was arrested this morning on a charge of aggravated battery after an incident involving fans during a game against Oakland on Monday night. Rangers relievers charged the stands near their bullpen during the ninth inning. The incident was capped off by Francisco, who had already been removed from the game, throwing a chair into the stands, breaking the nose and lacerating the face of a female fan. The fan, whose name wasnÃ¢€™t released, was being treated at a local hospital. Francisco was quiet and cooperative after he was taken into custody, Oakland Police Department deputy chief Peter Dunbar told KGO-TV on Tuesday morning.
While I’m no fan of fat, liquored up women screaming obscenities in public, breaking her nose with a chair is probably not the appropriate response. It’s also perhaps not the best public relations tactic for Major League Baseball.
Update (1425): David Pinto live blogged it.
Update (9/15 1002): David also has links to some Bay Area editorials noting that out-of-control fans are a problem in Oakland and that many are surprised it’s taken this long for a serious incident to occur. I don’t know what it is that makes people think they’re allowed to behave like animals just because they’ve bought a ticket, no matter how overpriced.