Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenny Rogers was filthy in Game Two

Big controversy surrounding Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers and the "dirt" that he claimed to have smudged on his pitching hand in Game Two of the World Series Sunday night.

This image from shows Rogers' hand as it appeared in Game 3 of the ALCS (left), and Game 2 of the World Series (right).

Dirt, huh? Dirt that just happened to be smudged in the same exact spot in your last start?

The popular theory is that it was pine tar, something that is common for pitchers, and position players, to use on cold nights to help them get a better grip on the ball.

What's interesting is that Major League Baseball doesn't do anything more to stop players from using a 'performance enhancing substance' like this. And if the Cardinals lose the World Series, shouldn't more criticism rain down on Tony "The Genius" LaRussa for not making more of a stink about the Rogers situation in Game Two after LaRussa was told about the "smudge" by some of his players who noticed it on a television monitor in the clubhouse?

The "dirt" may or may not have had any direct impact on Rogers' ability to shut down St. Louis' lineup, but if I'm LaRussa, I'm talking to the umpires immediately, and talking to baseball officials about the possibility of getting Rogers tossed from the series. Or, I'm at least doing everything I can to get as many cameramen in Rogers' way wherever he goes in the hopes that he'll shove a couple of them and draw a suspension.

Now I'm not sure. I just looked at the picture again. Maybe it's not pine tar after all. Maybe he's just a sloppy wiper.

Yep, he was filthy alright.

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