The Tigers need to stop this lying

Let me first say that I don’t think Kenny Rogers’ pine tar on the hand was the key to his pitching. The Cardinals clearly couldn’t hit the man either way. The Cardinals had one hit on Rogers with the substance on the hand, and one the next seven. Rogers was rolling regardless.
Rogers cheatin'
But, uh, I have to think that it was pine tar on his hand and not a clump of dirt, as he happens to claim. I mean, there’s the picture, linked from Oh, and that shot on the left? From the ALCS against the A’s, not two shots from last night. So this was not a clump of dirt, as Kenny claimed after the game. But, the Tigers just couldn’t get their story straight…

  • The umpires after the game came out and said they observed Rogers’ hand and told him to wash it off.
  • Rogers said it was a clump of dirt and he was not told by any damn ump that he had to wash his hands
  • Jim Leyland was fairly confused and gave two stories. One that the ump did tell Rogers to clean the hands and the other that they did not
  • Baseball has a rule against using a foreign subject on the hand in a way to affect the baseball.

It was not a clump of dirt on Rogers’ hands because it was there in the Oakland series. Rogers this time just used more of the pine tar and it was more noticeable as something he was doing wrong. ESPN went back into the game tapes from the A’s Series and Yankees series and provided the photo above from the A’s series. They also said, ” On Sunday night, an ESPN video analysis of Rogers’ left hand during his previous starts during the ’06 playoffs appears to show a similar substance. If it was dirt, no problem. The MLB rule book has nothing against dirt.”

For starters, the umpires don’t ask him to wash dirt off. Second off, they don’t then mix their stories. The umps said they told him about the dirt…Kenny says that he and the home plate ump just talked about the time between innings. Right.

Todd Jones said it could have been “anything”. It could have been “chocolate cake.” Look, I’m all for sticking up for your teammates, but, uh, it wasn’t chocolate cake. Twice, maybe three times. Nor was it dirt in both of those pictures.

Maybe Rogers wasn’t trying to cheat at all. Maybe Rogers used pine tar before the games before the cold. But, it was not dirt. Not twice. Plus, it really…really looks like it is pine tar. This lying about it and trying to cover things up, well, it just makes Kenny look guilty. I watched the first inning, noticed the pine tar and only casually cared about it the rest of the way. Rogers was pitching great without the pine tar, as I said earlier.

The Tigers and Rogers compounded it after the game. In an poll, of 39,000 at the time I’m writing this, 37% do not believe Rogers was trying to gain an advantage with the mysterious substance. At the very least, that means that there are other reasons out there aside from this dirt debacle. The Tigers half assed their cover up and that has made this situation much worse than it would have otherwise been.

The Umpires botched the situation by not checking his hand enough and if they simply told Rogers to just wash the substance off without looking directly at it? Well, that’s pretty bad. I guess they assumed FOX wasn’t so quick with this whole spot the pine tar thing. The umpires might not have realized that Joe Buck was doing the game and of course he was going to make a big deal about this.

On Buck’s behalf, he wasn’t as crazy as I thought he was going to be about the whole ordeal…but there’s at least three more games left to be played and hopefully another Rogers appearance down the line. So, in other words, most people are now saying that Rogers at least attempted to cheat, but, uh, by the time Joe Buck gets done saying his piece, most people are going to have a ton of sympathy for Rogers.

  1. Kevin said:

    Doug, I happen to know for a fact that it was chocolate cake…Kenny’s mom baked it for him so he would pitch a super game, however, OAK came rolling through the clubhouse before the game and snatched it right out of the Gambler’s hand…Kenny was so pissed that he didn’t bother to wash up and proceeded to mow down the Cards… Moral of the story: Don’t you EVER open up a choclate cake anywhere you might even suspect Charles Oakly to be hangin around.

  2. Benny B. said:

    I think Rogers should take the chocolate cake idea and run with it. Why is it there for three games? In the exact same spot? And why did he claim to not notice it was there? It’s simple: he was embarassed to admit it before, but before this spectacular streak of no-run innings, he was nervous and started binging on cake right before he went out and didn’t have time to wipe it off. He had such a great game the first time, he didn’t want to jinx it, so he’s continued to binge on cake and make sure to get some on his throwing hand, just in case. Yeah, cake is a foreign substance, but the umps just laughed and said “Bitch if anything that cake will hurt your throwing – but either way, get that shit off your hands, just so we don’t look bad.” And that embarassing good luck token is the reason everyone else is either quiet or spreading disinformation. Pujols wouldn’t want anyone telling the media about his lucky poop stained lady’s underwear would he? After all, Buckner claimed to not even realize he was wearing the Cubs batting glove because of embarassment. If McNabb and Hasselbeck get to enjoy a little Chunky soup, I see no reason why pitchers can’t enjoy a little chocolate cake before the big game…

  3. arleen said:

    I think it’s clearly not dirt or mud. Especially with the evidence that he’s shown with the exact same stain on his hand in the same spot in previous games.

    That said, it’s not possible to prove it was anything else due to the way the umpires handled the situation. And the way Larussa handled it. Had Larussa gone to the umpires, asked to inspect Rogers’ hand, all would be well. He didn’t though and play went on.

    Another fact is that he shut them out for 7 more innings after it was washed off. Curious though how ineffective Kenny Rogers has been before this year of his career. I’d like to see tape from all of his starts this year.

  4. Kevin said:

    Ineffective huh? Maybe someone better check their stats again. 14 seasons of double digit wins. Winning record in 8 of the last 10 seasons (the two losing seasons cut short by injury). Four Gold Gloves. 1800+ strike outs. Oh, I almost forgot to throw a perfect game in there. I’d say that he is all and all a bum…ineffective as all get out…

  5. arleen said:

    I think he’s 0-3 in his past 9 post seasons with an ERA approaching 8 isn’t he?

  6. Kevin said:

    Yep, he lost three with the Mets…the Mets…I rest my case.

  7. lancer said:

    There has to be something that has a similar affect to pine tar without such an obvious appearance.

  8. Yeah it’s called good mechanics and changing grip pressures. But when you’re a 41 year old “crafty lefty” you’re a little more Eddie Harris than Rick Vaughn. It’s pretty much assumed that almost all non-power pitchers use whatever they can to gain a little advantage, but, you have to at least make an attempt to conceal it. It seemed like after each post season outing he got a little more brazen with the pine tar since the spot got darker each time. Why he would leave it on his hand with the plethora of other spots to hide things and the other options out there is beyond me.  The hat, the belt or even just using some of that tobacco he had in his mouth since they were allowing the pitchers to blow on their hands would have been a much better idea. To answer your question Lance, my personal choice during cold weather was to use adhesive mouse traps. The adhesive on them stayed viscous for long periods of time, it was clear and either odorless or you could get such smells as peanut butter so it was a lot less obvious.

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