ARLINGTON, Texas -The bizarre saga of angry Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers turned violent Wednesday when he knocked aside one TV camera and kicked another, sending a TV cameraman to the hospital.

Rogers, who has a broken bone in his right hand, has been visibly angry for two days since various local TV and radio chatter suggested he backed out of a start against Los Angeles in a ploy for a contract extension.

“This is not a good thing,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said shortly after the incident but before talking to Rogers. “It’s definitely not a good thing. It’s not something that will be taken lightly.”

Said owner Tom Hicks: “Kenny has had a short fuse dealing with the media. I’ve heard stories about what may or may not have happened. He has issues. It’s directed at the media, and I don’t know why.”

Shortly thereafter, Showalter began a series of meetings with Rogers, Rangers officials including Hicks and, ultimately, the entire team.

Those meetings lasted almost all of the two hours leading up to the game.

The Rangers issued no official comment on the incident. Hicks said the team would wait to assemble all the information and talk with Major League Baseball before having anything official to say.

Rangers officials and MLB officials suggested some type of disciplinary action, which could include a fine, a suspension or both, could be involved.

Earlier in the day, Rogers had called his assault on a water cooler on June 17 that resulted in the broken bone an “irresponsible” act.

“I did something that was irresponsible,” Rogers said. “I’ve done those things more times than I care to talk about.”

Rogers, however, was not available after the incident.

It took place as the Rangers were filing on to the field for batting practice about 2 hours before the game. As is usual custom, TV cameras on hand to shoot players coming out of the tunnel.

When Rogers came up the dugout steps, he pushed aside the camera belonging to FSNSW, the Rangers’ cable rightsholder, then walked toward KDFW’s Larry Rodriguez. He yanked at the camera, then kicked at it.

Rodriguez tried to hold onto the camera as Rogers was pulled away by teammates. Rogers was ushered off the field and up to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas, but not before yelling at other cameramen in the area that he would “break every one” of them.

According to KDFW sports anchor Mike Doocy, who was nearby when the incident occurred, Rodriguez began having neck and back pains shortly after the incident. Doocy said Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital. KDFW officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

It capped off 48 hours of brooding by Rogers over what he felt was a personal attack on his reputation as a professional.

Rogers, who required a shot of numbing medication to make his last start last Wednesday at Los Angeles, had asked out of Tuesday’s scheduled start because he felt the broken hand was still too much of a problem to allow him to pitch effectively.

It’s rare for Rogers to make such a statement. Since he made his first major league start in 1993, only four pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina – have made more starts than Rogers. He has been on the disabled list only once, because of a compressed artery in his left arm that impacted blood flow to his hand.

“Not pitching does not help me in any way and it does not help the team,” Rogers said. “When I don’t pitch, I’m not doing my job. But you don’t go out there when you have no chance to help your team win. I’m simply trying to do the smart thing for a change.”

A few hours later, everything had changed.


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