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All Things Baseball

Did Kenny Rogers Cheat?

A day after Kenny Rogers threw perhaps the best playoff outing by a Tigers’ starting pitcher in team history, questions are pouring in about a mysterious light-brown/yellowish patch that was observed on the base of Rogers’ left (pitching) thumb.  FOX Baseball cameras picked up the patch of “dirt” on a zoom-in shot of Rogers heading to the mound and there has been a controversy about it every since. 

Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa suspects Kenny Rogers of cheating

After the first inning of yesterday’s Game 2, word about the mysterious patch on Rogers’ hand got to Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa, and he promptly went out for a conversation with umpiring crew-chief Randy Marsh, and later with home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.  After the conversation, Marquez caught-up with Rogers as the lefty was on the way to the dugout and said “Kenny, do me a favor and wash off your left hand”.  Interestingly enough, Kenny Rogers says that he hadn’t noticed the “dirt” until after Marquez told him about it.  He wiped it off with a towel and returned to the mound in the 2nd inning, performing better without the “dirt” than he did with it in the 1st inning. 

Was it dirt?

That’s the burning question in the MLB world as the World Series departs Detroit and heads to the Gateway city, St. Louis for Game 3-5.  Kenny Rogers says the blot on his hand was caused by a mix of “dirt, mud, rosin, spit, and sweat”, which got onto his hand because he rubs-up baseballs with mud before the game and his pitching hand tends to sweat during his warm-ups.  The Tigers and their fans are perfectly happy with that explanation, the majority of the rest of the baseball fans are not.  Unfortunately, we will never know the truth because the “dirt” is now off Rogers’ hand and somewhere in a Detroit sewage or sanitation plant. 

We can take comfort in knowing the “dirt” did not help Rogers

Among those that are skeptical of Rogers’ explanation is Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa.  He said today, for the first time, that he is confident the blot on the southpaw’s hand was not caused by dirt.  While La Russa did not explicitly say that he believes the patch was pine tar, there’s nothing else available in a baseball dugout that even resembles what was on the Gambler’s hand.  The problem with pine tar being the explanation?  It doesn’t come off unless you really wash your hand vigorously, which Rogers did not. 

What’s important however is that Kenny Rogers was not aided by the dirt, pine tar, or whatever it was that caused the yellowish blot on his pitching hand.  He walked a batter and allowed a hit in the 1st inning, which was the only inning in which Rogers was in much trouble.  After washing off his hand, the veteran pitcher allowed just 1 more hit and walked 2 more batters.  That means he actually pitched better without the “dirt”, and thus the “cheating”, even if it occurred, was not of any help to Kenny Rogers or the Tigers. 

The Cardinals need to move on or they’ll find themselves in trouble

Regardless of whether Kenny Rogers’ alleged doctoring of the balls affected the Tigers Game 2 victory (which I’ll say for the record that I believe he did not cheat), the St. Louis Cardinals have much more important things to focus on.  The World Series, whether the Redbirds like it or not, is tied at 1-apiece and a potentially pivotal Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday night.  With their ace, Chris Carpenter, on the mound, the Cardinals need to come out victorious because they could face plenty of difficulties later on should they fail to end the Tigers’ momentum quickly. 

So, in response to the title of this post, I don’t believe he did.  Call me a filthy Tigers’ bandwagoner, but I’m with the minority of people who do not question the “dirt” and have little to no skepticism about it.  Do you have a different opinion?  If so, voice it by adding a comment to this post. 

________________________________________________________________

Trivia Time!

Yesterday’s question was…

Q: Kenny Rogers threw a perfect game on July 28, 1994 while pitching for the Texas Rangers. Who was the Rangers’ opponent in that game?

The correct answer…

A: The Rangers faced the California Angels on July 28, 1994, when Kenny Rogers threw the only perfect game of his career.

Today’s question is…

For the sciency folk — What is the primary component/ingredient in pine tar?

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One Response to “Did Kenny Rogers Cheat?”

  1. He’s a cheater and deserves the contempt of baseball fans everywhere, including Detroit. He may prefer to call the pine-tar that he uses to juice baseballs “dirt”, but the only dirt involved is Rogers’ dirty play and contempt for the rules and regulations governing baseball. We knew that back when he slugged that news photographer in Texas.
    As for his mannerisms on the mound, I think he should be drug tested daily. That guy is on speed of some sort or another; maybe even on something worse.
    He deserves to be banned from baseball.


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