Kenny Rogers was reinstated yesterday when an arbitrator ruled that Commissioner Bud Selig went too far by suspending the Texas pitcher for 20 games and fining him $50,000 for shoving two cameramen.
Rogers will have missed 13 games by the time his reinstatement becomes effective today, when he's scheduled to start against Boston at Fenway Park.
Also, Rogers's fine will be converted to a charitable contribution. The ruling, by arbitrator Shyam Das, 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's decision today. It sends the wrong message to every one of our constituents: the fans, the media, and our players."
Das's decision closes the case.
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. KDFW news director Maria Barrs said Rodriguez was still going through medical treatment and had yet to resume his duties with the station.
Rogers turned himself in to police in Arlington, Tex., 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. Rogers's 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.