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KBO pitcher warned by club after inappropriate action vs. former team

2018/03/26 15:43

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By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- Nexen Heroes right-hander Esmil Rogers received a warning from his Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club on Monday over inappropriate action against his former team over the weekend.

Rogers threw 6 2/3 solid innings against the visiting Hanwha Eagles on Saturday at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, holding his former club to two earned runs while striking out six in a 6-3 victory.

In this photo provided by the Nexen Heroes baseball club, Esmil Rogers of the Heroes (L) taps Choi Jae-hoon of the Hanwha Eagles on the helmet after Choi was thrown out at home during the second inning of the teams' Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on March 24, 2018. (Yonhap) In this photo provided by the Nexen Heroes baseball club, Esmil Rogers of the Heroes (L) taps Choi Jae-hoon of the Hanwha Eagles on the helmet after Choi was thrown out at home during the second inning of the teams' Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on March 24, 2018. (Yonhap)

Aside from blowing a 2-0 lead in the loss, the Eagles were also not happy with some of Rogers' antics during the game, and raised the issue with the Heroes on Sunday.

After Hanwha's Choi Jae-hoon was thrown out at home to end the second inning, Rogers crossed paths with Choi near the home plate and tapped the back of Choi's head with his glove on his way to the dugout.

Choi was trying to score from third on a fly ball hit by Lee Yong-kyu. Rogers also hit Lee on the helmet.

Rogers, who has been known as a flamboyant player, later explained, "I was just playing around with them."

   Then in the fifth inning, Rogers picked off Yang Sung-woo at first base and pointed two fingers at his own eyes, apparently telling Yang, "I have my eyes on you."

   In response to the Eagles' complaint, the Heroes said they have warned Rogers.

"Whether Rogers intended it to be that way or not, our opponents were offended by his behavior," a Nexen official said. "We told him he should refrain from such action, even if he just wanted to be friendly with them. And he accepted it."

   The Dominican right-hander first pitched for the Eagles from August to September in 2015 as a midseason acquisition. The Eagles brought him back for the 2016 season but he only pitched from May to June before elbow issues cut his season short. Rogers never actually played with Choi, who arrived in a trade from the Doosan Bears in May 2017.

After Saturday's game, Rogers said he kept his feelings for his former teammates in check and added, "If I go outside and see them, I'd say hi. Inside the lines, we're enemies. We're not friends anymore."

   But prior to Sunday's game, Rogers shared a hug with Eagles' first baseman Kim Tae-kyun and had some light moments with Lee Yong-kyu.

In this photo provided by the Nexen Heroes baseball club, Esmil Rogers of the Heroes points at his own eyes after picking off Yang Sung-woo of the Hanwha Eagles in the fifth inning of the teams' Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on March 24, 2018. (Yonhap) In this photo provided by the Nexen Heroes baseball club, Esmil Rogers of the Heroes points at his own eyes after picking off Yang Sung-woo of the Hanwha Eagles in the fifth inning of the teams' Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on March 24, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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