Chair toss victim sues players

By wire services
Published April 29, 2005

OAKLAND, Calif. - The woman whose nose was broken last year when Texas reliever Frank Francisco threw a chair that hit her filed a lawsuit Thursday against the pitcher, two teammates and the Rangers.

The suit filed by Jennifer Bueno seeks damages for battery, assault and negligence. Also named in the lawsuit are Texas pitchers Doug Brocail and Carlos Almanzar, the Texas Rangers Baseball Co., and Staff Pro Inc., the company hired by the Athletics to provide security at the game.

"As a matter of policy, the organization doesn't address issues related to litigation, especially when it involves a lawsuit, which we have not seen and only heard about from news reports," Rangers spokesman Gregg Elkin said.

Brocail and Almanzar declined to comment. Francisco was unavailable as he was preparing for season-ending ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow today.

Bueno's attorney, J. Gary Gwilliam, said at a news conference that the incident was the fault of the players involved and repeatedly maintained that Bueno's husband, Craig, did nothing wrong to incite the players.

Craig Bueno was among a group of fans who heckled the Texas bullpen during the Sept. 13 game at the Coliseum.

MARLINS BALLPARK: A day after the Florida House passed a bill spending millions to help professional sports franchises, Senate president Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said the measure has virtually no support among his members.

Lee said about 30 of the 40 senators are opposed to a $60-million subsidy to help Miami officials build a ballpark for the Marlins, not to mention the millions more included for other sports projects.

"Just the Marlins alone," he said. "When you weigh the rest of it into there, goodness only knows. It certainly doesn't get better."

ANKIEL RETURNS: Rick Ankiel, the Cardinals' pitcher turned outfield prospect, was activated by Double-A Springfield after being sidelined by a back injury since the end of spring training.

Ankiel played a handful of games at extended spring training the past week. Once one of the Cardinals' brightest prospects, he decided to stop pitching in March and devote his efforts to making it back to the majors as an outfielder.

Meanwhile, closer Jason Isringhausen said he felt much improved a day after going on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right abdominal muscle. The right-hander said he should be ready to go when he's eligible.

The Cardinals also recalled right-hander Kevin Jarvis from Triple-A Memphis to help bolster their bullpen.

ANGELS: Second baseman Adam Kennedy went 7-for-13 (.538) in his first three games of a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake, and Los Angeles hopes he can return by early May. Kennedy is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his right knee. ... Right-hander Bret Prinz (strained right shoulder) could begin a rehabilitation assignment in Arizona this weekend.

MARINERS: Infielder Dave Hansen signed a minor-league contract and was expected to join Triple-A Tacoma. Hansen, 36, has played with four teams in 14 seasons, plus one in Japan.

REDS: Right-hander Ramon Ortiz, who has made only one start because of a strained right groin, threw a 12-minute bullpen session.

RED SOX: Right-hander Wade Miller pitched five scoreless innings in a rehabilitation outing for Triple-A Pawtucket. Miller, out with a frayed rotator cuff, said he would pitch for Pawtucket again Tuesday against Rochester.

ROCKIES: Right-hander Jay Witasick was brought up from Triple-A Colorado Springs and right-handers Scott Dohmann and Ryan Speier optioned to the Sky Sox. Outfielder Dustan Mohr, out since April 6 with a strained left calf, was activated from the disabled list. ... Manager Clint Hurdle returned after missing two days with the flu.

TIGERS: Infielder Ramon Martinez could rejoin the team in Chicago today. He was scheduled to play his third game for Triple-A Toledo as he continues to rehabilitate from a sprained left thumb. Tuesday, Martinez had six hits against Louisville, most in a game by a Mud Hens player since 1965.