Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cheaters Never Win!

So let me get this straight.. Kenny Rogers gets caught cheating in a World Series game and the response is "hey fella, no more cheating please"?

Why in the world did Alfonso Marquez just act like a soccer mom and essentially tell Rogers "Kenny, come on now, you know better than that! Play fair, Kenny. Now you get back out there and you play nice with the other kids, ok?"

Why exactly is cheating acceptable here? Why wasn't Rogers ejected? Kenny Rogers had pine tar on his hand, in direct violation of MLB rule 8.02:
The pitcher shall not --
(b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.

At least this explains why one of the worst postseason pitchers ever has all of a sudden become an unhittable machine.

If he were tossed though I bet Leyland goes through two packs in the clubhouse entryway before the 6th inning.


Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers, seen here cheating.

-----

Oh and then there's this:

While Rogers worked out of two-out trouble in the opening inning, the FOX network broadcast noticed a smudge on his left hand near his thumb. So, too, did home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, who determined it was a piece of dirt mixed with resin and asked Rogers to remove it, according to umpiring supervisor Steve Palermo.

The Cardinals didn't complain about it, Palermo added, though others suggested the Cardinals thought the ball was acting funny. If Rogers had any physical edge before, he seemingly had his usual emotional one after that. The runner on second base in the opening inning was the only runner he allowed to reach scoring position.

"If there's any conspiracy theorists out there," closer Todd Jones said, "I think they wouldn't have much of a theory now."

If anyone listened to Rogers' postgame interview, the very first question he was asked was about the substance, and Rogers replied (paraphrasing) that he noticed the "clump of dirt" between the first and second innings himself and that nobody asked him to remove it and that he simply wiped it off. Rogers was directly asked whether the umpires spoke to him, and he said they did not.

Leyland's postgame interview said that a couple of the Cardinals complained to LaRussa that Rogers' ball was "moving funny" and that LaRussa asked the umpires to ask Leyland to have him wash his hands, which he then did. Leyland then in a second interview completely changed his story and claimed that there were complaints to the umpires by the Cardinals but that the umpires did not speak with the Tigers about it.

(If anyone can find a link to the postgame interviews, please let me know - they are missing from MLB.com currently.)

So Todd Jones, here's your conspiracy: Leyland said the umpires told him the Cardinals complained. Steve Palermo says they did not. Rogers point blank said nobody talked to him. Leyland said someone did (and then said no one did). Palermo said that not only did someone talk with him, but that it was home plate umpire Marquez. Leyland said Rogers washed his hand. Rogers said he wiped it off.

There wouldn't be a conspiracy here if in fact the three people most directly involved - the umpiring supervisor, the pitcher and his manager - didn't all have three completely different recountings of the events in which they were involved just a couple of hours earlier.

Something is fishy here. There's no proof and no evidence of exactly what happened, but if nothing suspect was going on, why the differing accounts?

Besides, this is an isolated incident, right? It's just an accident, something Rogers overlooked I'm sure.

On the other hand:

On the left is Rogers pitching against the A's in the ALCS.
On the right is Rogers pitching against St. Louis in the World Series.



After the substance was noticed, ESPN reviewed tapes of Rogers' pitching performances earlier in the postseason. The tapes revealed that, in starts against both the Yankees and Athletics, a similar-looking brown substance was spotted on Rogers' hand.

"The cold makes the ball so hard," Rogers said after the game. "There's no grip."

After the game, Rogers denied that his meeting with the umpires had anything to do with the substance on his hand.


So here we go again. Not only did Rogers deny the meeting with the umpires had anything to do with the dirt (in direct contrast to Palermo's story) but now it's pretty obvious that if you believe that Rogers "accidently had dirt on his hand" in Game 2, then you also have to accept that Rogers has "accidently had dirt on his hand" throughout the postseason.

Who knows, maybe the guy just never washed his hands since Game 3 of the ALDS, which would make sense since he's a dirty, dirty cheater.

I mean is there any other rational explanation?

As for rule 8.02 from above, there is a disclaimer:
Rules 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6) Comment: If a pitcher violates either Rule 8.02(a)(2) or Rule 8.02(a)(3) and, in the judgment of the umpire, the pitcher did not intend, by his act, to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball, then the umpire may, in his discretion, warn the pitcher in lieu of applying the penalty.

In this case, it would seem, the umpires felt that Rogers "did not intend, by his act, to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball."

So the umpires did not have to immediately toss Rogers if they believed his "dirt" was accidental, but now that the evidence of past games is out there, it is blatantly obvious that there was in fact intent and that the intent was there for at least the entire postseason.

If Major League Baseball wishes to salvage any integrity here, it will suspend Rogers for the remainder of the postseason.

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:25 PM   22 comments







22 Comments:

At 10/22/2006 7:47 PM, Blogger Karen said...

What sucks is that he's continuing to be dominant sans substance. They'll just be all "Eh, it's not like that's what was helping him pitch well."

I bet A-Rod put it there when he wasn't looking.

 
At 10/22/2006 11:52 PM, Blogger lupe_velez said...

no, what sucks is that the umpires noticed and yet allowed him to continue to pitch when the rules clearly state that any pitcher with a foreign substance on their person is to be ejected immediately.

 
At 10/23/2006 6:52 AM, Blogger Brave Sir Robin said...

I'm sure that it wasn't a foreign substance and that it was made in the USA

 
At 10/23/2006 7:10 AM, Anonymous Jake the Snake said...

Problem is, the opposing manager has to call for him to be searched. A player can't be ejected from a game unless he's searched. If he isn't searched, how do we know that it's pine tar on his hand? Oh, right, HD...funny thing is, I've seen the photos "produced" by ESPN on three blogs and sites so far. It could just be my monitor, but all three sets seem to have different hues and levels of glare to them. But, it's CLEARLY pine tar, right?

But, of course, who needs officials when we have HD? We'll just make the calls from home, have everyone vote from their cell phones, and the majority will decide. That way, you'll be vindicated the next time a "clean" Kenny Rogers shuts down the opposing lineup.

Bottom line is, St. Louis didn't have the stones to call him on it.

 
At 10/23/2006 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Jake the Snakes comments and put the issue to rest. The bottom line is the Cardinals should have asked he be searched if the ball was 'moving funny'. And what about Kinney with enough tobacco in his mouth that he could hardly close it. Does he get to blow on his hands cause its cold and should Leyland challenge it? Just asking

 
At 10/23/2006 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't all on the Cardinals. Keep in mind that the umpires are under a duty to investigate.

Rule 9.01(b) provides that:
"(b) Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties."

 
At 10/23/2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is unfortunate is that this is what MLB is all about. Rules are written in the book but .... a different strike zone every night, hitters lean into pitches and get hit, when was the last time a middle infielder really touched 2nd base on a dp?

Any one who sees a picture of KRs hand and has been around the game knows that was not dirt.

All you need to do is watch the sequence of events, the palm on tv, Rogers being told in the dugout by a teamate and disappearing in the tunnel, residue on the palm after the handwashing, the stories that don't match and not pictures of the same substance in prior games.

Who are we kidding? Anybody think the same accident will happen in Game 6 (if needed)?

No question that he continued to pitch well. The question is should he have had the opportunity?

 
At 10/23/2006 9:47 AM, Blogger Hank said...

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . .

 
At 10/23/2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Hank said...

Think it matters that Rogers conditioning coach is Floyd Landis?

 
At 10/23/2006 10:04 AM, Blogger lupe_velez said...

This isn't all on the Cardinals. Keep in mind that the umpires are under a duty to investigate.

this is my main gripe, along with larussa's puzzling decision not to pursue the issue.

 
At 10/23/2006 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone has a recording of the game, watch Rogers go to his hat. There is clearly a dark spot on the outside of his hat, left side, between the WS logo and the MLB logo on the back. Rogers would hit that spot on his hat w/ his pitching hand.

 
At 10/23/2006 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, if the cardinals did not say anything, and they were there, then why should we be making such a big deal about this. If Rogers played for the Yankees, there wouldn't be nearly as many people calling for his head. But he plays for the Tigers, who like most Detroit teams get NO love from the national media or sports fans in general

 
At 10/23/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

Look, if the cardinals did not say anything, and they were there, then why should we be making such a big deal about this. If Rogers played for the Yankees, there wouldn't be nearly as many people calling for his head. But he plays for the Tigers, who like most Detroit teams get NO love from the national media or sports fans in general

Are you kidding me? If Rogers pitched for the Yankees he would be drawn and quartered by ESPN. The fact that he plays for the Scrappy Little Team That Could is what's protecting him here. Can you honestly imagine if oh, Randy Johnson had some junk on his hand this year? You'd never hear the end of it. Heck, the media isn't constantly printing stories about how well the Tigers get along or who is friends with whom on the team.

And I'll give you my theory about the way events went down:

- Cards players notice the "substance"
- Cards players tell LaRussa
- Someone from the Cards informs the umpires
- A Tigers official watching on FOX hears Joe Buck mentioning it
- Tigers official calls Tigers dugout
- Someone on the Tigers asks Rogers to clean his hand
- Rogers travels back to the mound, clean as a whistle.

 
At 10/23/2006 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just watch Rogers' behavior on and off the mound and you can see the guy is a lunatic. He tries to disguise his mental instability for fiery passion and competitiveness, but the truth of the matter is he's a nutball and now a known cheater.
What else you got?

 
At 10/23/2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the bottom line. Kenny Rogers is pitching the best ball of his life, with or without the pine tar. In the long run, the better TEAM will win this series, and that is the Tigers. They might not have Pujols but they have the best bullpen in the MLB not to mention the best manager in either league. The better team will always beat the better players, look at the Tigers vs the Yankees or the Pistons vs the Lakers

 
At 10/23/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger lupe_velez said...

If Rogers played for the Yankees, there wouldn't be nearly as many people calling for his head.

that is crazy talk.

 
At 10/23/2006 2:01 PM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

The better team will always beat the better players, look at the Tigers vs the Yankees or the Pistons vs the Lakers
No, the hottest team will win in a short series more often than not. The Tigers didn't have the best record in baseball, for one.

The wildcard is guaranteed another World Series, just as they have in the past few years. Wild card teams are usually the hottest coming into postseason play because of their recent playing of games that count.

I'm tired of the "team" argument. It's silly hyperbole.

This is a team that batted Neifi Perez leadoff for a good portion of the season. Better team? Crazy.

 
At 10/23/2006 4:03 PM, Blogger lupe_velez said...

i hate that neifi perez has a job more than i hate this whole thing. :D

 
At 10/23/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger Loopity Snoopy said...

Cheating is cheating no matter how you put it! Isn't it great that MLB will allow this and put out the message to our children that, its okay to cheat as long as you don't get caught. There really needs to be something done to halt this type of crap. If they can't pitch, they can't pitch. Take 'em out and put someone in who can. These guys are getting paid multi-million dollars to go out and cheat????

 
At 10/24/2006 7:45 AM, Blogger Wiseguy91 said...

Sour grapes CardsFan?

 
At 10/24/2006 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Detroit folded like a lawn chair down the stretch and could not even close out a Division crown after leading by almost 10-games at one point. Losers get desperate...desperate enough to cheat. If Lyland were the great Manager people espouse him to be, he would demonstrate the character of a great leader and make a clear statement that cheating is totally unacceptable. Accordingly, Roger's would be sent back to the family strawberry farm...immediately after he completed his 90-day rehab for anger management! The guys is a lunatic.

 
At 10/24/2006 10:30 AM, Blogger Mr. Faded Glory said...

Uh, Wiseguy, this is a Yankee blog...

.. besides even if it were a Cards blog, that's a terrible defense.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home


 L   I   N   K   S



P   R   E   V   I   O   U   S
P   O   S   T   S


C   O   N   T   A   C   T  




Subscribe to High and Tight via your favorite RSS reader:
Add to Google

Powered by Blogger