Texas Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco was suspended for the rest of the season and fined Friday for throwing a chair that hit a woman and broke her nose during a game at Oakland earlier this week.
Francisco's suspension will be for no less than 16 regular season games in the event of an appeal, said Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline. The suspension is among the harshest in the major leagues for on-field conduct in recent decades, trailing only the 30-day suspension given Cincinnati Manager Pete Rose in 1988 for pushing umpire Dave Pallone.
"I don't feel good about it, but whatever they say, I have to take it," Francisco said. "I really don't want to talk about it."
Pitcher Doug Brocail was suspended for seven games and reliever Carlos Almanzar and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo were each suspended for five games, and all were fined. Brocail said he will have the players' association appeal his penalty, meaning it cannot start until after a hearing before Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer.
It was not known whether the others will appeal. Jaramillo's suspension was scheduled to begin Friday night against Anaheim and Almanzar's on Saturday. Almanzar declined to comment.
Francisco threw the chair into the right field box seats and hit two spectators in the head on Monday night during Texas's 7-6, 10-inning loss. With two outs in the ninth inning, the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano tied the game at 5 with his second homer of the night. Moments later, with Hank Blalock at the plate, the Texas bench and bullpen cleared.
Francisco was arrested and taken from the stadium to jail, where he was booked and his mug shot was taken. He was released about two hours later on $15,000 bail.
"Obviously, I'm upset about it," Brocail said. "I'll take it up with Bob and, hopefully, it will be looked at a little closer, and we'll go from there.
"I regret that there was a chair thrown and I regret that there was a lady that was hurt. There were no intentions on my part that that happened."
Jennifer Bueno, whose nose was broken, said on Wednesday that she plans to seek compensation for her injuries once prosecutors and baseball officials complete their investigation.
Earlier this week, Francisco's attorney, Rick Minkoff, said the player rushed out of the dugout to defend his teammates, and was pushed up against a fence in the crush of fans and players.
Francisco, 25, was the American League rookie of the month for August, when he was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.
Texas reliever Jeff Nelson faces an Oct. 26 trial in Boston along with former Yankees teammate Karim Garcia. They were charged with assault and battery for an alleged attack on Paul Williams Jr., a Fenway Park groundskeeper, during last year's playoffs.
"All around the league, you're always going to have heckling fans," Nelson said. "A lot of them feel that they're paying for a ticket and they have a right to do that. So that's fine. You just have to learn to ignore that part. There's only a few places that probably are really good at security. Seattle and New York have always been very strong at keeping the fans away and protecting the players. But Oakland's always had problems. For the most part, they're Oakland Raider fans coming to a baseball game, so that gets tough."