Rogers has run-in with TV cameramen

Rogers has run-in with TV cameramen

ARLINGTON -- Rangers ace Kenny Rogers tangled with a pair of television cameramen -- pushing one and wrestling a camera from another -- hours before Wednesday's game against the Angels.

Rogers first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest's David Mammel, who was shooting video of the pitcher on his way to a pregame stretch, and told him, "I told you to get those cameras out of my face."

The pitcher then approached a second cameraman, Larry Rodriguez of Channel 4 KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, and took the camera from Rodriguez before throwing it to the ground and kicking it.

Rodriguez was taken out of the stadium on a stretcher and went to a hospital.

Arlington Police Department spokesperson Christy Gilfour said the department has been notified and the incident is being investigated. The department is currently taking statements "from the victim, suspect and witnesses," Gilfour said, in order to help determine if the player's actions warrant any charges or if any citations will be issued.

"This is an incident that the Rangers in no way condone," general manager John Hart said. "I have had a conversation with Kenny and he realizes that his actions were incorrect."

Rangers owner Tom Hicks said he was "concerned" for Rogers. "Obviously, he has some anger management issues and that's probably why he is so competitive and they are probably tied together," Hicks said. "But there is a line, and he clearly crossed the line today. ... What Kenny did was wrong. No question about it."

Rogers yelled at two other cameramen, threatening to break their cameras as they captured footage of him walking through the dugout and into the Rangers clubhouse. Rogers was escorted through the dugout by teammate Rod Barajas and soon after was sent home by manager Buck Showalter.

Hicks said the club would release a statement concerning Rogers on Thursday. He did not specify what type of disciplinary actions the club will take but said the matter will be handled internally.

Initially, Hart said there is no doubt in his mind that Rogers has anger issues but added the pitcher would "probably not" be suspended. However, the general manager admitted he has had only limited contact with officials from Major League Baseball and there are still issues to resolve. Hart said his opinion regarding a suspension could change after he views video of the incident.

"This is a player who for 17 years has had a very good reputation," Hart said. "I know that in my recent conversations with Kenny, he has some issues and he has to deal with those."

Rogers, who is 9-3 with a 2.46 ERA, fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand by hitting a water cooler in the home dugout following an outing against Washington on June 17 and missed a start Tuesday. Against the Nationals, the left-hander allowed eight hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings for the win.

The 40-year-old made his next scheduled start against the Angels, but lasted only 3 1/3 innings for a loss.

Rogers has declined to talk to reporters all season, and has boycotted most media since there was a report before Spring Training saying he threatened to retire if he wasn't given a contract extension. There are reports Rogers was frustrated with his recent portrayal after missing the start Tuesday.

As for Rodriguez, KDFW news director Maria Barrs said the cameraman "does have quite a bit of pain in his shoulder and his arm and his leg. I think it demonstrates an appalling lack of control. The team doing poorly is no excuse for assaulting a guy who is just doing his job."

"Obviously, Kenny made a big mistake," Hicks said. "On behalf of the Texas Rangers, I'd like to apologize to Channel 4 for what he did. It will not be condoned, but we're gathering the facts. Kenny's very emotional right now, obviously, and he's been around the media for a long time in some ways and in some ways he hasn't. He's getting a real lesson right now, I think. We'll find out more. I'm going to let Buck handle it and it will be handled internally and we do apologize to Channel 4."

Hicks said Rogers' recent behavior might not affect contract negotiations. According to reports, the Rangers and Rogers' agent, Scott Boras, are not close to reaching a deal. The Rangers would consider offering the pitcher a two-year deal, but the club has not made a formal offer.

"Kenny's very emotional and this is a great reason why you don't try to negotiate contracts in the middle of the season," Hicks said. "It's important to Kenny and his agent that we talk about it at the All Star break, and I agreed to do that back before the season started and his agent wanted to push that up and it was a mistake.

"We're not going to talk about it anymore," Hicks continued. "I think there will be some conversations between John Hart and his agent, but as far as I'm concerned, we'd like Kenny to retire as a Ranger. He's been [in the Majors] for 17 years, but we're not going to let any of this affect our decision. We're going to make a good baseball decision and hopefully that's good for Kenny."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.