Skip to comments.Frankie Francisco deserves mercy (give the chair-throwing pitcher a break!)
Posted on 09/16/2004 6:11:49 AM PDT by sinkspur
Frankie Francisco deserves mercy
By RANDY GALLOWAY
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas - Frankie has done wrong. He threw that chair.
He missed the big mouth sitting behind the bullpen, but hit the guy's wife.
Blood happened. A nose broke.
An arrest was made. Frankie had to go downtown. He posted bail.
The woman hired a lawyer. The lawyer is louder than the woman's husband. If I read him right, the Rangers' bullpen was on a meth-crazed rampage that night.
Sounds like a civil lawsuit is coming. Imagine that. It's about the money.
The commissioner of baseball has yet to speak. But Frankie will take the fall, we know that. So will other Rangers.
Media outrage is pouring in, coast to coast.
Frankie Francisco, a nice kid by all accounts, is the new bad guy of baseball.
Give him a 50-game suspension. Sixty games. Lifetime. Sportswriters are on a "hang `em high" crusade.
But I've got a better idea for Bud Selig.
Give Frankie a break. First-time offender, clean record.
It's just too bad the chair missed that punk who was doing all the mouthing, and gesturing for pitcher Doug Brocail to come on over the rail and try to take him out.
OK, you can't write that. It's not proper. Outrage against Frankie is what the media is supposed to show.
But honestly, I got no outrage.
Frankie screwed up. But stuff happens.
Mr. Selig will have to pounce. He will have to be tough, or else the media watchdogs will take a bite out of him.
But if Bud really wants to make Frankie pay a heavy price, then I suggest instead of a long suspension, he make life miserable for Frankie.
Sentence the kid to a form of local community service. Allow Frankie to continue to try to make a living in a hard game, but also place him under house arrest. Well, sorta.
Because Bud doesn't know the local landscape that well, I'm here to make suggestions.
Mr. Selig, if you want Frankie to truly regret he ever picked up that chair, sentence him to the following:
A full NBA season of sitting next to the Mavericks' P.A. man.
Polishing that stupid bell at the ballpark.
Working seven Cowboys' home games as Rowdy.
Working one Cowboys' home game as a starting cornerback.
Serving one month as a member of the Dallas City Council.
Teaching defense to Alfonso Soriano.
Raising money for Tom Hicks to pay off the first $7 million installment to George Steinbrenner.
The Mavericks' spokesman who has to explain Tariq Abdul-Wahad.
Hair stylist for Kevin Mench.
Selling season tickets for the Stars, starting today.
Explaining Bill Parcells to Julius Jones.
Drawing up a defensive game plan for the Mavericks.
Spokesman for Fox Sports Southwest, defending the network's "you really didn't see what you saw" decision Monday night. If there's no replay allowed, was there really a chair thrown?
Cup holder for Quincy Carter.
In charge of planning a victory party for the SMU football team.
I'm telling you, Bud, when it comes to Frankie, all of the above would be a "that'll teach him" lesson.
But if Mr. Selig isn't buying my plan, the next step will be to establish a "Free Frankie" fund.
Frankie will need a good defense lawyer.
I asked Jim Lane of Fort Worth on Wednesday how he would defend Frankie, after having seen all the video evidence.
"Sometimes lawyers will joke that the victim got what he deserved," Lane said. "If that chair had hit the guy instead of the woman, well ..."
But Frankie missed.
"I think I'd have to go the temporary insanity route," Lane said. "That the fan drove him crazy.
"But I might be more inclined, having seen the replays many times, to plead for mercy instead of justice."
There you have it, Mr. Selig. Frankie done wrong. But is there any mercy in your heart?
"If he get's a felony conviction he will get deported automatically and can't set foot in the U.S. anymore. Tough luck for a young kid making a mistake."
Good. I hope they win more in punitive damages than he has, and he's sent back home penniless.
"Where WAS Security? They had complained several times about those creeps and NOTHING was done. And yes, other teams have complained about it as well."
Tough. These crybaby multi-millionaires think they have a right to keep their wittle itty-bitty feelings from being hurt. If they had to function in the real world, where most folks put up with a whole lot just to earn enough to feed their families and keep a roof over their head, then they might have some appreciation for the uniquely-privileged position they hold in American society: They are paid TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PLAY A GAME.
If they can't put up with the minor annoyances that come with that highly-favored position, then tough on 'em.
Get your checkbook out Frankie, it's gonna hurt!
I used to love pro sports and the players/coaches, but I now have such a low opinion of all of them, including the owners/organizations!
Profanity? No big thing. Water off a ducks back. Sticks and stones.....
Racial slurs? Almost the same thing except you call security and have them stand right behind the loudmouths and tell them that the police are waiting to arrest them for hate speech.
Sorry, Frankie gets no sympathy.
If he wants to do something he gets in a jawing match with them and matches them profanity for profanity and racial slur for racial slur. Otherwise he ignores them. He DOESN'T throw a metal chair into the stands.
Crap like this is why I do not watch or care for major league baseball.
If the fans are overly verbally abusive and the home team folks do nothing, take it up with the commissioner.
But physical violence cannot be condoned or excused. Convict this thug of a felony, ruin him financially, and send him back whence he came.
If MLB wants to yank this couple's season tickets, that's fine, too.
Tom Hicks, Rangers owner, will pay every dime of a settlement and fines.
The player will likely be ruined,and deservers it for losing control, but I have absolutely no sympathy for these fans. None. They're bullies and drunken thugs, and bullies usually end up with bloody noses when they run across somebody who won't put up with their crap.
Give the guy some punishment, misdemeanor assault, a couple weeks suspension...and get the teams to do something about the obnoxious fans.
Sticks and stones may break my bones,
- and here's the important part, Frankie -
But words can never hurt me.
He should be more concerned about the lady he hit with the chair. Did anyone see her on TV? She actually looked like she was in pain.
Her gutless husband ducked.
Whatever pain she was in will be soothed by a couple of mil.
Did you see the press conference? She wore a bandage on her nose the size of a dinner plate.
I don't really care in what sort of behavior the fans engaged. If they were over the line, the stadium folks should do something about it. It's beside the point.
The point is that physical violence is an order of magnitude beyond verbal abuse. Physical violence with a metal chair is a couple of orders of magnitude beyond verbal abuse.
If the couple were (seriously) threatening physical violence, then they themselves committed simple assault. If the player had real reason to fear for his safety, or that of his family, etc., a physical reaction could have been justified. The jackass who confronted Yankees players INSIDE THEIR OWN BULLPEN last year deserved the light beating he took. His behavior had moved from extremely abusive to physically threatening.
But potentially deadly assault is never justified as a response for verbal abuse.
Furthermore, these players are paid ludicrous amounts of money to play a game. Their position is one of great, unimaginable privilege. The yawning chasm between the players and the fans mitigates abuse offered by the fans. These players are paid better than Superman. They'd best be better than Superman. If they aren't, then they need to give back the money, or get the hell out of the game.
Yes, yelling at and taunting someone who makes a 7 figure income is certainly cause for removal.
Dear B Knotts,
Where I live, if you take a swing at a guy and break his nose, and you have no legal justification, you'll be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. First offense will get a probation before judgment (if you keep your record clean for a set period of time afterwards - say, a year or two - your record will be expunged).
If you use a physical object in the assault, and cause signficant injury, count on a felony charge, and likely a little time in the county lock-up.
The guy is being heckled so he throws a chair.
Don't misunderstand me! Sometimes I think violence is the ONLY way to solve things!
But you have to do it right.
He's being hassled.
He doesn't have the self-control or discipline to take the time to single out the person who's p&ssing him off, so he pitches the chair.
Not only does he fail to nail the guy making the fuss, he endangers everyone else in the area, MOST of whom are completly innocent.
The chair flies, and the wife's nose gets broken.
This idiot is ill-disciplined and needs to be tossed.
So it's OK to loudly call baseball players "nigger" and "spic" with kids in the same row?
The umpires were very close to declaring a forfeit of that game for what the Oakland fans were doing!
No. It is about sitting next to some jerk, even if you accompanied them to the game and getting hit by a chair someone else threw at them. It is about paying money to be at an event and being assaulted by one of the people you support by being there.
It is about a two-tiered system of behavioural expectations which goes back to the days of college athletes being treated better than those lowly slobs who were just there for an education.
flog the jerk (the one who threw the chair).
If a spectator had thrown a chair and broke the player's nose, we would be hearing a different story. We shouldn't.
There you go!
( And i like the bit about flogging!)
He sould be arrested and convicted of assault. We all saw that. No one can attack someone unless they are threatened!
'Racial slurs' - is that what Frankie's saying? I'm sure he considers it a sure fire way to silence the critics, but unless the fan was calling Frankie a 'gap-toothed imbred hillbilly cracker' I doubt very much he'd be foolish enough use racial slurs in any Bay Area crowd. He'd be hit by 20k chairs simultaneously.
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