World Series Game 2: Aftermath

And we have ourselves a best of 5 series. It was very comforting to see the team come out and shake off a bad game.

The Tigers seemed to get their hitting timing back, even if they couldn’t get timely hits. They knocked out 10 hits and put runners in scoring position in each of the first 6 innings. They should have had more than 3 runs to show for their efforts, but getting the guys on in the first place was an important part of the equation. Weaver was constantly having to work under pressure.

On the other side, Kenny Rogers allowed only 2 walks in the 2nd through 7th innings. He made it through 8 innings on only 97 pitches (by my count, certainly not unofficial). Kenny’s pitches/strikes by inning:

      1        2        3        4        5        6        7        8
   19/13     14/9      10/6     8/5      11/8     13/6    16/10    6/4

As for the Tigers approach, they were a little more patient and worked four 3-ball counts off of Weaver which was 3 more than the night before off of Reyes.

Keeping score at home, I made some notes throughout the game:

  • It was great to see the Tigers score again in the first inning. It was even better to see Kenny Rogers protect the lead with an easy 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 2nd.
  • I was actually a little worried that the Tigers were reverting to their impatient ways in the 2nd inning. They managed a couple hits and a hard hit double play ball from Curtis Granderson. But Weaver threw only 8 pitches in the inning. Fortunately the longer at-bats returned in the subsequent innings.
  • Kenny Rogers was awesome again, but he also benefitted a couple times from luck. In 5th inning he allowed a walk to Jim Edmonds. Preston Wilson hit a ball well to center where Curtis Granderson made a diving play out near triple-ville to save a run. In the 6th a walk to Scott Spiezio was followed by a rocket to Craig Monroe off the bat of Albert Pujols.
  • Todd Jones will get skewered tomorrow morning. But like the tricky Oakland save, it’s not like he pitched bad. He got Pujols to hit a weak grounder and was 1 strike away from a 1-2-3 inning. A bloop hit, an error, and another blooper and next thing you know the game is in doubt. I would love to see Jones spend a little time improving his defense. Anything through the box is an adventure with Jones.

Now there will be quite a bit made of the gunk on Rogers hand. He had it there in the other playoff games as well. I don’t know what to make of it, and when I say that I don’t know what Rogers gains from it. He certainly didn’t struggle after it was removed. He also didn’t seem to be trying to hide it. But if the Caridnals had a chance to get Rogers out of the game, and perhaps the series, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have tried to do it.

I’ll have the commentary round up appended here early in the morning.

What others are saying

Detroit Tiger Tales

Others get more attention but Carlos Guillen continued his amazing post-season with a triple, double, single and a walk. He is now batting .432/.463/.703 in 10 games. What a great hitter he has been this year.

Mack Avenue Tigers: A Detroit Tigers Blog » World Series Game 2: Tigers rally behind Rogers

On the flip side, there was that whole thing with loading the bases with no outs and putting a goose-egg on the scoreboard. And, of course, Todd Jones made the ninth interesting WAY, WAY, WAY too interesting, as he is wont to do. He’s done it once each playoff series (and many times during the year) and rebounded to pitch fine. That, too, is Tigers baseball. Just Tigers baseball we havent’ seen in awhile.

World Series: Tigers vs. Cardinals: Kenny Rogers = Shutout Innings — The Hardball Times

This series is headed back to St. Louis tied at one game a piece and it’s still anyone’s series. Similar to the Tigers heading into their series with Yankees, the Cardinals were almost written out of this series from the very beginning. Now, with the Cardinals ace, Chris Carptenter, set to start Game 3, it looks very likely that the Tigers could fall behind in this series once again before it’s all said and done.

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | World Series Prospectus: Game Two

So when one Tiger hitter likes to hit against a certain type of pitcher, chances are that a number of other Tigers are going to like to hit against him as well. Conversely, when a pitcher like Anthony Reyes seems to have the Tigers’ number, the problems are likely to run throughout the whole lineup.

Get Up, Baby! » Game Blog 2

Weaves did his job, but once again the offense has failed to put runs on the board against a soft-tossing lefty. Kenny Rogers has officially made my least-favorite-pitchers list, although it’s been fun to see sportswriters pretend they had nothing to do with his old Playoff Choker persona.

Cards Blogger Dan: Splitsville

And really, handwashing? After all, it’s not like he could put pine tar on his glove, or his hat, or his uniform, or — you get the idea. With the recent evidence being what it is I don’t trust Kenny Rogers to throw sans substance short of pitching in front of a black light. And the way things are shaping up right now, I’d feel a little cheated if Rogers pitches game six without a better explanation than a reappearing dirt spot and bad sanitary habits.

STLtoday – Sports – Columnists

Could La Russa have pressed the issue? Sure he could have. But why should he? That’s not the way he plays the game. That’s not the way his players play the game, either. They have their World Series destiny firmly in their own hands right now, and with the next three games at home, and Carpenter, Suppan and possibly Reyes ready to go to the mound this week, why cheapen the thrill of a potential world championship by eliminating the opposition’s best weapon on a technicality?

69 thoughts on “World Series Game 2: Aftermath”

  1. The Cards didn’t even try to get him ousted. Why? The Leyland/La Russa factor maybe? Appealing to the UMP to yank Rogers from the game and from the series would be a very aggressive move, a blow below the belt so to speak. La Russa obviously didn’t want to go there against Leyland. I guess that one worked in our favor… but that’s just what I was worried about going into this series.

    If Rogers had the same stuff on his hand during previous games, what are the odds it’s dirt? And is this controversy going to go away? Or are we just at the beginning of it?

    If it was pin tar, I can’t fathom what Rogers was thinking….

  2. If Rodgers had been caught doctoring the ball, the batter would’ve have been awarded a ball. That’s it. No ejection.

    And yes, I’ve seen it happen ages ago. Against Gaylord Perry when he was with the M’s during a televised game (I want to say it was against the White Sox, but I may be wrong).

  3. Mike F. is right. The pitch is called a ball. However, a second violation can result in the pitcher being removed from the game(rule 8.02 if anyone cares for the details). It’s possible MLB may impose harsher penalties, especially for repeat offenders, but I couldnt find any evidence in a quick search.

    A curious part of this rule tho says only that the ball cannot be defaced. It doesnt say anything about a substance on the hand to improve grip, although I certainly agree it can be implied. The rule also notes and allows for the rosin bag. I’ve never seen one of the things up close or used one, but they are supposed to provide for better grip on the ball. I know the bag itself is white, but is the powder too?

    Its terrible that this is such an issue. It would be a real tragedy if it marred the integrity of the series.

  4. It had been mentioned earlier in the post-season and then again tonight that in the colder weather many pitchers will use pine-tar, or something to help with grip. I don’t think Larussa made a big deal out of this whole thing because i think he knows what goes on. It seemed to be something Fox picked up and made a huge ta-do about.
    -Kenny also seemed to get much better as the game went along without said substance on his hand which no one seems to mention.

    -Also interesting that all those “moral” Mcgwire fans in st. louis are so interested in keeping the integrity of the game….

  5. Damn right….

    the way I look at it, there are different kinds of cheating. Doctoring a ball is the cool kind. Everyone loves Gaylord Perry all the more. It certainly isn’t a “tragedy that will marr the integrity of the series.” Its pine tar. Who hasn’t used a little dab here and there in cold ass early Spring baseball?

    Injecting yourself will D-ball, horse hormones or whatever the hell else McGwire, Pudge and Bonds mutated their body chemistry with is another story.

  6. Just spent the last hour reading through all the Cardinals fans comments about “Rogers-Gate”.

    They basically jumped to assume that it was pine tar- no one is even considering alternatives.

    They’re also speculating that Rogers continued to cheat by putting pine tar in his glove or on the brim of his hat.

    They’re questioning Tony LaRussa’s failure to investigate the matter while the substance was still on Rogers’ hand.

    They’re absolutely trashing Kenny Rogers and even if you presented evidence which directly contradicted the pine tar theory, I imagine they’d still be convinced he’s a cheater.

    While I’m not jumping on the “cheater” bandwagon, I do think there’s something to it. It was something, and Kenny did seem like he was trying to cover it up during postgame interviews.

  7. I just finished watching the postgame interviews too…Kenny’s got the look and sound of guilt about him. It was something, and he knew it wasn’t supposed to be there. I just want to know why he thinks he needs it.

    Just one more thing to make this series great – controversy. Rolen tackling Inge yesterday, ‘dirtgate’ today, what’ll happen next?

  8. Yeah, there’s “cool kinds of cheating”. Whatever. He dodged the question, lied about the umps talking to him about it, and the MLB official (Sam Pearlzatto?) verified that by stating that the umps DID address the situation. Leyland lied (and I like this guy a lot) by playing ‘dumb’. Ommision is a lie. The umps would’ve looked like jack-asses and MLB just can’t let the game be diluted further after the ‘roid problem, especially during the World Series. Really sad. This sucks, no matter which team you root for. If it was a Cardinal I’d call for his head on a platter. Don’t defend cheaters. The evidence is very, very strong. Innocent ’til proven guilty, I know, but you gotta scrutinize this junk.

  9. KEN-NY KEN-NY KEN-NY!!!!!!

    I say before his next start* (if needed) he should eat a ring ding, ding dong, or devil dog before he takes the mound and have chocolate all over his hand.

    The Cards should have asked that he put back on his hand whatever it was, cuz they couldn’t hit him without it!

  10. Toro,

    If he really wanted to doctor the ball, why would he put the pinetar in the palm of his hand where everyone could see it?

    I guess he was doctoring the ball after he cleaned his hands too? I don’t think so. But, he if the Cardinals and their fans want to start playing the victim, more power to them. I have the victim mentality will lead straight to defeat.


  11. Toro,

    If he really wanted to doctor the ball, why would he put the pinetar in the palm of his hand where everyone could see it?

    I guess he was doctoring the ball after he cleaned his hands too? I don’t think so. But, hey if the Cardinals and their fans want to start playing the victim, more power to them. I have found that the victim mentality will lead straight to defeat.


  12. Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of Cardinal fans,Ray.That McGwire was juiced was an open secret-guys like him,Bonds,and Sosa looked more like pro wrestlers than ballplayers.Adam,there has been much speculation about players like Pudge,who “trimmed” down and/or had their power numbers drop when steroid testing became more widespread.
    One thing I dislike about the modern game is the demise of the complete game.Like Reyes the night before,Rogers was pitching a gem and should have been allowed an opportunity to finish.

  13. I saw it and wondered if he ate a Babe Ruth candy bar or something before the game and got some chocolate on his hand. 😉

    The sad thing about all of this is that this is all we will hear about at least through the game tomorrow night and again if this game goes 6 (Rogers next start). Tim McCarver will still be babbling about it when the pregame starts up tomorrow night.

    Nice point about the hypocrisy of Cardinals fans. Very convenient that they looked the other way when McGuire was popping pills and homers. Now they are all high and mighty and sanctimonious.

  14. Ya know, I was tired last night. I was laying on the couch toward the end of the 8th; after having watched the entire game whilst playing monopoly with the kids and getting up periodically to do a quick chore. I was relaxed. The kids were in bed. Kenny Rogers continues to be Cy Young in the post-season. I figured the Tigers shook off the rust from the first game. I was ready to watch the end and crawl into bed. Then what happens? Rollercoaster comes on in the 9th and totally shakes me out of my relaxed state. I watched the 9th, of course, pleased with the Tigers victory – but no longer relaxed in the slightest; and awake for the next hour as a result.

  15. On of the ESPN commentator’s on Baseball tonight last night said something to the effect of, “after i put pine par on my bat, if i dropped it and got a pebble on it, i knew it was there, Kenny knew the dirt was on his hand.”

    -Okay good point, holds in the summer. But this is 35 degree weather. I live in Detroit and have experienced the winters. after spending that much time outside, his hands would have been numb. speaking from personal experience, i see it a very viable argument that Kenny did not know about the “substance” on his left hand

  16. I think there might be a difference in the baseball rulebook about “doctoring” a pitch, and having a foreign substance on your person (as a pitcher). On ESPN’s post-game coverage last night, they showed the wording of the foreign substance rule, which calls for an immediate ejection and a 10-game suspension.

    Also, how Cardinals’ fans reacted to McGwire 8 years ago is hardly relevant to the current situation. Seems to me that 99% of America was looking the other way at the time, I know I was, and that circumstances change and you have to look at things differently. I agree there is a difference between steroids and ball-scuffing, but I don’t think ball-scuffing is “cool”. It’s kind of annoying to see Kenny get called into question when he’s pitching SO well, but he seems to bring this kind of thing on himself, especially with the way he approached that post-game interview last night.

    Finally, what I hate about the powers-that-be at Major League Baseball, they never let the actual parties speak for themselves in these matters. Why couldn’t we have heard from Marquez (the HP ump) last night after the game, instead of sending out the head of the umpire’s union? His voice might have cleared up a lot of the controversy (or it might have made it worse), but still, he should be the one talking, not some representative who was only the periphery of the matter. Same thing happened last year with the Pierzynski 3rd strike controversy. And speaking of that, I wonder how all of this would have played out if someone other than Buck & McCarver were calling the game…

  17. This is funny. The Cards can’t hit a guy who’s been blazing hot since late-August and suddenly Rogers is a cheat. Guys who doctor the ball, morons that they are, don’t put it on the one part of their hand that’s beamed directly into everyone’s livingroom. I guess I’m willing to give everyone who was on the field last night a little credit. Perhaps they know what they’re doing, since they work for MLB. I’d believe it if they found a ball with some gunk on it. Course, they didn’t.

    I hear none considering a real simple alternative: moisture (breath condensation, etc) + dirt + maybe a little rosin, or just plain rubbing the ball could generate a spot like that. Just think how you warm your fingers in the cold. You rub your fingertips right on the heel of your hand. Pitching and playing in Iowa spring weather, I’ve seen similar things.

    Now if it was pine tar, he should be gone. But hey, he removed the spot on his hand and he continued to tie dudes up. Cards fans can go conspiracy-theorist all they want, but somethimes you just got to let it go…

    I don’t see this going away anytime soon; sans a NY team or Boston, the national media needs something to spice things up — and they just got it.

  18. Andy,

    Gotta agree on Buck and McCarver. Overall, I don’t mind Buck so much (other than the obvious bias in this series), you could do worse. But McCarver? How is it that this guy is the post-season color guy for the greatest game? Freakin’ idiot with absolutely nothing insightful to say about anything other than the price of corn flakes. And you’d think he’d at least make an effort to get guys (at least those not named Albert Pujols) names right. “Steve Rogers”?

  19. In these days of rampant steriods, it makes me feel good to see someone potentially getting back to old-fashioned ball-doctoring.

    Your roundup posts are great!

  20. I read and all of the articles talk about Dirtgate.

    Geez – gimme a break.

    He washed it off after the 1st inning, through 7 more innings, gave up 1 more hit.

    I think we are still seeing a NY bias.

    See – Kenny pitched for the Yankees and sucked in the postseason.
    He is now older and wiser and pitching great for the Kittys. He must be doing something to the ball because he is not that good.

    I love how this guy has 200+ carreer wins and close to a .600 lifetime winning precentage yet no one in the National Media gives him any credit for what he is. A dam good lefthanded pitcher who has gotten alot of guys out and won alot of games for nearly 20 years.


  21. Everyone in Chicago, Boston and L.A. used to say that Laimbeer was cheating too. That is what happens when people can’t figure out how they are getting absolutely dominated by someone that doesnt look like they should be dominating. He is in the heads of the Cardinals players, manager and fans. With the help of the media, they wont be able to focus on the task at hand. Instead they will be focussing on Kenny Rogers hand. Who cares what the Cardinals fans or media says…best of 5 series now-Advantage Tigers.

  22. I’m a Cardinals fan, and I’m not complaining and here’s why:

    1) That the Cards didn’t hit Kenny Rogers is no surprise. He’s a lefthander, and lefties own these guys. Glavine shut them out in Game 1 of the NLCS (though they did knock him out in four innings in Game 5). Darren Oliver shut them out for 7 innings in Game 3. Oliver Perez held them to one run in 6 innings in Game 7. David Wells gave up only 2 runs in the Game 2 of the NLDS. This is not a new thing.

    2) Even if it turns out Rogers was doctoring the ball to gain an advantage, what good does it do St. Louis now? They lost. Selig is not going to say “Because Kenny Rogers cheated, the Tigers forfeit and we award Game 2 to St. Louis”. The game’s done, series is tied, time to start prepping for Game 3.

    It’s still possible for the Cards to finish this series before Rogers ever becomes a factor again.

    Of course, the same is true for Detroit.

  23. The Tigers are 5-2 in the postseason when Kenny Rogers is merely watching, so kudos to them – and this controversy shouldn’t diminish ALL they have accomplished.

    But Kenny Rogers had the exact same substance in the exact same place on his hand for three straight playoff games. His wicked curve which has proven alomost unhittable this postseason, would be aided by applying some kind of substance to improve the grip around his thumb area. He is clearly intenionally doing something to his hand. His answers after the game were bizarre and non-sensical.

    At this point, I’m sure it could end up going several ways, but based on the evidence, further investigation is required – and this thing isn’t going away. Calls for people to lighten up about it or playing the steroid card here is just not going to get it done.

    In the Mets/Dodgers NLCS in 1988, a Dodgers pitcher was ejected with pine tar on his glove. He was later suspended.

  24. I can underdstand Cardinal fans being outraged – just for the fact that there was a no consistent answer about what happened. But the national media is jumping waaay overboard on this. is basically flat-out accusing Rogers of being a cheater. Same for some other sites I’ve read. Two things don’t add up. One, when the home plate ump talked to Rogers, he would have been able to see the foreign substance up close. I think an MLB umpire would know what pine tar looks like. Second, if he was trying to doctor the ball, why would he put it in a completely obvious place? Guys who cork their bats don’t leave the tops unfinished. Steroid users don’t juice up in the dugout between innings. Cheating is something you try to hide and Kenny didn’t try to hide anything (except perhaps what the home plate ump said to him?).

  25. *** His wicked curve which has proven alomost unhittable this postseason, would be aided by applying some kind of substance to improve the grip around his thumb area. He is clearly intenionally doing something to his hand. ***

    So why did he throw 7 shutout innings of one-hit ball after washing “whatever it was” off his hand?

    Rogers isn’t Don Larsen, coming out of nowhere to pitch brilliantly. He’s won over 200 games, has made a living off of locating pitches just on the edge of the strike zone. He has hot streaks and cold streaks (July was his cold one), and now, fortunately for the Tigers, he’s red hot.

    But this is all fine, because if this keeps up and there’s a game 6 the Cardinals will be nearly completely psyched out. All he’ll have to do is the Gaylord Perry “touch the cap, touch the glove” routine and they’ll be swinging wildly at the plate.

  26. No one is considering the obvious. It’s the playoffs and players get nervous, especially the starting pitchers. Perhaps right before the game he takes a big nervous crap and he is not a good wiper. Since he disdains the sink, he isn’t a hand washer. The brown stuff on his left hand is poo. I knew something stunk out there last night. It wasn’t pine tar. It was just something too embarrassing to actually tell the truth about.

  27. If he was cheating, I don’t think you’d hear Tigers fans standing up for him.

    I also don’t think you’d hear Tony La Russa saying it wasn’t a big deal.

    And I don’t think the umpires, the guys on the field, closest to the situation, guys who are all stars of their profession, would have ignored it and allowed Rogers to continue pitching.

    Fact is, the people on the field didn’t think Rogers was cheating or he would have been thrown out. Why should we think unexperienced media members and viewers who saw it on TV know more than these professionals with real stakes do?

  28. Hey everyone, just released some very depressing evidence.

    They’ve got close-ups of Kenny pitching in the ALDS against the Yanks and ALCS against the A’s with the same frigin’ stain on his left-hand.

    He’s screwed!

  29. I agree,Kurt.This is a Fox TV controversy,not unlike the nonsense O’Reilly or Hannity spin over on Faux News.I trust the umpires and,especially,LaRussa,more than Buck and McCarver(who is annoying as hell-Pinella was alot more informative and entertaining-this is a case where the A team is the B team).
    The only possible reason I can think of for LaRussa ignoring this(if there is a “this” to ignore) is not his friendship for Leyland,but that his own pitchers are doing the same thing-Cardinal pitchers are overperforming in these playoffs,and much of it has to do with their breaking stuff and offspeed pitches.

  30. I think LaRussa was too easy on the Tigers. He could’ve easily had Rogers booted. Pitchers have been booted for much less in the past.

  31. Dave from ‘The ATL’,get a grip(and change your underwear)-nobody’s “screwed”-oh,sorry,I mean “screwed!”

  32. Anyone have any video footage of Tram and Sparky during the pre-game? I wish they had showed that on tv instead of the studip crap they DO show!

  33. Bob,

    I totally thought Joe Buck was making more out of this last night than he should’ve until I saw the film footage on ESPN showing Rogers with the same stain on his left-hand.

    I just don’t want anything taking away from our Tigers great success this year.

    Something like:

    World Series Champions:
    2006: Detroit Tigers*
    2005: Chicago White Sox
    2004: Boston Red Sox
    2003: Florida Marlins

    *Kenny Rogers caught cheating during ALDS, ALCS, WS.

  34. I’m not going to argue over whether he’s guilty or not guilty. At this moment that’s an excercise in futility. What I want is some evidence. And showing the same substance on his hand in the ALDS and ALCS isn’t evidence since we don’t even know what the substance is in the first place. That’s what this entire case is revolving around. This case needs witnesses to push its way further, witnesses that can testify to what was on his hand down to the precise detail. And the umps are either lying or telling the truth, but if they’re saying it’s just dirt than there’s nothing else that can really be done about it. Until someone steps forward, is verified to actually have had contact with Rogers, and says it’s more than dirt, than we’re getting somewhere. And whether LaRussa is protecting an old friend or not who knows, but come on, this is the World Series. He has to step up to the plate and say something if he knows more to the story. I wrote a lot more about that in my blog.

  35. larussa and the umpiring crew had ample time and opportunity to “catch” kenny rogers “cheating”.
    They didn’t.
    The oposing manager knew all about what you consider cheating, but he didn’t do anything about it.
    The umpires who are paid to enforce the rules, didn’t find pine tar or anything on Kenny Rogers, and they didn’t do anything when they had a chance.

    Do you really think Larussa didn’t do anything because he is good buddies with Leyland? You must not know how competitive he really is.

    No, none of the people that really matter (umpires, managers, etc.) did anything about this – its people who do not matter (Fox, espn, etc.) that want to make this into a much bigger thing than in really is.

    -I’m one to think that Larussa doesn’t wanna say anything about this because he has been around a long time, and he knows how often this happens. just last week Lou Piniella was mentioning how many pitchers use something in the cold to help hold onto the ball. Point is, this world series is between two midwest teams without a big-time storyline, and the ratings will not be great. Fox dug this up to make it a big deal, and thats it.

  36. Ray,

    I agree that Fox is blowing this out of proportion. However, someting’s definitely ‘fishy’ here. Kenny first says the umps asked him about it then he says they didn’t. He’s acting more strange than usual.

    All I know is I work with a few St. Louis natives down here and the moment I came into work today they were all over me!

    I don’t want our 2006 Tigers tainted because of this!!! Brutal!!!

  37. Frankly, I’d prefer to believe that Rogers has been cheating all along.

    23 consecutive postseason innings of scoreless pitching by Kenny Rogers? Legitimately, without cheating? That would have to be one of the signs of the coming apocalypse, wouldn’t it?

  38. Hey Dave,

    Last I checked, Rogers hadn’t been caught doing anything inappropriate on the field.

    Last I checked, Rogers posted zeros for 7 innings, post-stain removal.

    Last I checked, Rogers only pitched once in each postseason series and doesn’t swing the bat. Rogers didn’t homer to left or triple to right.

    Last I checked, I was a Tigers fan. I’ll give Kenny the benefit of the doubt.

    (My semi-disclaimer:)

    Now, if Rogers is caught cheating I want him gone and totally agree with you sentiment above. The thought of having this season ruined by something so low would spoil it forever. So far, that has not happened and everyone re-hashing “the stain” to a fine powder ain’t going to change anything except ruin the potential to treat a man fairly.

    There is a ton of baseball left, most, if not all, of which will have nothing to do with Kenny Rogers. CAN WE ALL PLEASE MOVE ON!

  39. if everything he has done is tainted, are innings 2-8 of last night’s game just some stroke of luck?

    this guy is a 4 time all star who won 17 games this season…not the same pitcher from almost 10 seasons ago who struggled under the media pressure in new york during the postseason.

    it would have seemed more plausible that after wiping off the “miracle goo” he wouldv’e started giving up runs – but he got better instead.

    but its just assumed that he pitched well because there is a view of discoloration on his hand, and that makes him unhittable, while after its gone, there is no change- in fact, he arguably got better.

  40. Keith Olbermann was on the Dan Patrick Show and he says, without any evidence, that he believed it was benzoin. Musicians use it all the time. It looks like iodine when applied in heavy amounts, and even after it’s washed away it’s slightly sticky. He said it had maybe a 5% effect, but it was more psychological than anything. It’s not like this stuff is going to transform him into Sandy Koufax or anything. But it does have effect. He painted a very broad picture of how pitchers cheat almost like clockwork, discussing methods that some even showed him. He also theorized that LaRussa didn’t call Rogers out because Leyland might have had some dirt on Cardinal pitchers since he was in the organization for a couple years. This is all speculation of course.

  41. Everyone has got this story all wrong. To set the record straight, the foreign substance spotted on Kenny Rogers’ left hand was not pine tar. The truth is that Rogers took a dump prior to the game and was careless wiping. It’s no secret that he was a bad wiper in Texas, he was a bad wiper in New York, and he’s been a bad wiper everywhere else he’s been.

  42. I hear the same story on the Dan Patrick show. Bottom-line Kenny’s going to be under the microscope in Game 6 if he pitches.

    Hopefully, this all goes away and nothing else comes out of it.

    I just thouht you’d all like to here one Tiger fan perspective as I come into work with a bunch of St. Louis people. The St. Louis fans are not happy with LaRussa.

  43. Umpires: took no action. I do not question the umpire’s integrity.
    LaRussa: downplayed the event, took no action. He would not look the other way at an opposing player cheating in the W.S.
    Buck: St. Louis announcer.
    McCarver: ex-St. Louis catcher and well-known moron.

    There is no mystery here. McCarver is just looking for something to blame besides his own team. Quit whining loser (2 outs in the 9th, Lolich sets, the pitch, McCarver pops it up in foul territory, Freehan is under it, the Tigers win the World Series)!

    I saw Kruk saying something to the effect “if the umpires saw it and didn’t eject him it’s a travesty.” Right…they saw it and they didn’t eject him. They didn’t think anything was wrong.

  44. It seems the Tigers are stuck in the middle of this thing. Too bad they can’t play out the rest of the series and deal with the Rogers thing some other time. I think the fans on here who think the Tigers should not be tainted by this are mostly correct. But thinking it’s not important seems way off base as well. This is a big deal. I hope that the Tigers win and the Kenny Rogers saga concludes separately, but that seems far fetched.

    The most damning evidence against Rogers in my opinion is his obvious lying about the substance. He claims he did not know it was there. Yet we see it on his hand three times in the same place in three separate games. It’s obvious that he is intentionally applying something to his hand, and he deliberately lied when asked about it.

    I think denying this is important and being decidedly defensive about it before all the facts are in might be a disservice to Tigers fans when it’s all said and done. Just as it would be a bad idea to assume he is cheating before the facts are all in.

  45. I think the only way to solve this is to do an experiment:

    1.)Get your hand wet
    2.)Put a little dirt on your hand
    3.)Play with a Rison bag.
    4.)Compare with video

    Problem solved.

  46. Kenny was “cheating,” period. I doubt it was benzoin resin, either. More likely, good old-fashioned pine tar. Yup, he was “cheating.”

    But, what is cheating? By definition, from rule 8.02, “The pitcher shall not — (b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.” But is pine tar really foreign? Not to baseball. Players can put it on their bats, up to 18″ worth, which is another regulation routinely ignored — no, it doesn’t really matter if it’s 18″ or 20″. What, do NL pitchers wash their hands following every at-bat? No, they don’t. Other pitchers don’t use this? Yes, they do. Extensively. Yes, practically, they ALL do it, or at least half of them.

    LaRussa probably didn’t really call Rogers on it for numerous reasons.

    First and foremost, it’s kind of chicken – – – – to be worrying about pine tar on a pitcher’s hands in freezing weather. LaRussa’s a competitor, but he’s not a complete jerk. He’s not going to be complaining about this. He’s been in the game far too long for that. Better pine tar than Stick Um, which would improve the grip even more and be harder to see. Rogers was being straight about what he was doing to those who play the game. It’s no secret that pitchers use pine tar to improve grip, especially older pitchers who rely more on skill than strength. You can buy pine tar at any decent sports accessory store specifically for use in baseball and softball. It’s not a secret to real fans and certainly not to pros.

    Second, it didn’t help the Mets out last time this came up in a World Series, 1988, and it probably gave the Dodgers even more motivation to win than if the matter hadn’t been brought up. LaRussa remembers this. He’s a great manager. It should be noted that Dodger pitcher Howell, who received a three-game suspension as opposed to the “mandatory” 10 games mentioned in rule 8.02, had his suspension reduced to only two games following an apology. Why? As a NY Times headline puts it, “…Pine Tar Is Not a Cheater’s Tool.” It’s just not.

    Third, LaRussa was taking others’ word for it. It’s unlikely he was watching TV, and he’s too far from the mound to see it, as I’m sure other players could if they were paying attention and more than likely did see. He’s not going to demand a search, even though he’s well aware Rogers is more likely than not using it, if he hasn’t seen it with his own two eyes. He’s not going to risk looking like an idiot like that without 110 percent certainty.

    Fourth, LaRussa is not going to take a chance that his pitchers get called out for using it sometime during this series, because half of them will be using it, too.

    Last, and most important, is why the use of pine tar is not really cheating, which LaRussa is well aware of. The rules against doping the ball are for preventing the doping of the ball. The purpose is to prevent spitballs, to prevent making a greasy ball do unnaturally wobbly and curvey things. What Rogers was doing with pine tar, unless that was motor oil on his hand (unlikely), was just getting a better grip. That’s all. No more, no less. It was gunk for his hand, not the ball. He wasn’t doping the ball. He wasn’t doing anything to make it behave in unnatural ways. He was just making sure he could hold it good.

    LaRussa and the umpires, in my opinion, did the only thing they could do after Fox brought it up. It’s not a stain against the game or against Rogers, and only casual fans don’t understand this. Well, and somewhat understandably, desperate Cardinals fans who actually know better anyway.

  47. Olbermann, as usual, talking out of his —.

    I think LaRussa is letting Leyland handle it because he knows and trusts Leyland.

  48. Whatever the stain may have been… whatever the condition of Rogers’ ballcap… the bottom line is the umpires took no action, and LaRussa did not pursue the issue. They were far closer to the situation than anyone in the stands, in a broadcast booth, or watching on TV.

    I have to think that if there was any chance of a rule violation going on, LaRussa would have demanded a thorough inspection of Rogers, his uniform, and all the baseballs he had pitched. LaRussa is too much of a professional to drop the case because he’s best buds with Leyland. And if the Cards’ pitchers had been cheating, he could have gone full-bore against Rogers and then told his pitchers they’d better cool it because they’ll be under a microscope for the rest of the series.

    Conspiracy theories can be fun, but where’s the beef?

  49. Of course, Bob S., how could we have been so blind?

    Election in a week…Fox sweating the polls big time, their ratings at serious risk…it’s another October surprise!

  50. Anyone who as ever pitched, even in little league, sneaks foreign substances: a simple lick of the finger while on the mound (as opposed to stepping off the mound) is applying a foreign substance. If you haven’t done that you haven’t pitched. Every one knows there are certain unspoken levels of cheating that are accepted on range of somewhere between a smirk or disgust.

    1. Steroids- complete disgust
    2. Corked bat-disgust
    3. file while pitching-disgust with a bit of a smirk
    4. pine tar up to far on the bat-slight smirk
    5. pine tar on a pitchers hand while playing a game in Reykjavik, Iceland conditions- total smirk. It aint cheatin’ if you don’t get caught. Cardinals coaching didn’t have the balls to call out Kenny. Their loss.

    Cracks me up some people don’t know the difference. The sanctity of the Tigers season is not in any way or form in jeopardy.

    Cobb wore spikes that were way too big for the sole intent of slicing middle infielders, but I bet you same sour pusses who are so “ashamed” of a little pine tar probably think that fact is “neato”

    This is not the Black Sox scandal!!!!!!

    If anyone thinks it is, I’ll by your tickets so that you will have the time to atone for Kenny’s horrible sin church.

  51. I need to start sneaking a dictionary when posting like Kenny sneaks a dab of a little pine tar.

  52. Good post, Brian Bell. The bottom line here, as far as I can tell, is that this is a fairly routine practice (which is technically illegal). Everyone involved–the umpires, Rogers, and even LaRussa–appear to be going out of their way to not talk about it because no one thinks this merits any controversy.

    Now the media and at least some fans, on the other hand, are quite interested in controversy.

  53. I will say that this article on the pine tar topic is pretty interesting–if only because of the meticulous reporting. The gist of it is that Rogers uses a BP hat during games–perhaps because the underside of the brim is black instead of gray.

    Unrelated interesting fact: The Old English D on the Tigers’ uniforms doesn’t match the one on their hats.

    Unrelated disturbing fact: How big that WS patch looks on Jones’ artificially shortened right sleeve.

    And here’s hoping this image is prophetic:

  54. I will say that this article on the pine tar topic is pretty interesting–if only because of the meticulous reporting. The gist of it is that Rogers uses a BP hat during games–perhaps because the underside of the brim is black instead of gray.

    Unrelated interesting fact: The Old English D on the Tigers’ uniforms doesn’t match the one on their hats.

    Unrelated disturbing fact: How big that WS patch looks on Jones’ artificially shortened right sleeve.

  55. Yea, I could easily see Kenny or any pitcher having dirt on their hands from attempting to get a better frip on the ball. It was bitter and cold out there, and there could be a million reasons why it is was there in the first inning.

    The bottom line is that after the first inning, Kenny without the mud was lights out. Filthy. And no one was hitting him

    Pulling him out was a good idea because keeping him and then maybe heaven forbid he give up a double, then you are asking on a rusty bullpen to shut it down. The bullpen needed the work.

    All this kenny hype, is the media desperate for a story.

    Go Tigs!

  56. Good point on the TV ratings issue. Fox would love nothing more than to create a scandle to up the ratings. Also great point about the NL pitchers after they bat. I’m sure the umps were NOT going to put in a “you must wash you hands, kiddies, after you bat but before you pitch again” rule.

    This could have gotten real ugly and Kudos to Kenny for quickly washing his hands, Tony and Leyland for making it a non-issue, and the umps for dealing with the issue relatively fairly and quickly.

    Now back to the game . . . Is they any hope Pudge will get his swing back?? I’m thinking of batting him 8th in tommorrow’s game.

  57. Sorry to pierce your sacred cow,Bobber-just making the point that Fox Sports like Faux News is apparently in the business of manufacturing controversy.Was it Will Rogers or Rupert Murdoch who said no one went broke underestimating the gullibility of the American public(Bobber,look,WMDs-ah,just kidding).
    Actually,I’m pretty happy about this-it can only boost membership in the Get Gaylord Perry the Hell Out of The Hall of Fame Society,which I will soon be starting and you can all join for the low price of $99.

  58. Sorry, Bob S., Fox News (or whatever it’s called) couldn’t make a nickel off me. Don’t watch.

    Just extreme boredom on this end with the incessant blurring of lines between sports and “news” — in a sports blog.

  59. Try to stay awake for this,Bobber-MEDIA HYPE.
    There ain’t nothing to see here folks,now move along.
    I will,however,make an effort to strike any allusions to historical personalities, politics,literature,music,sex,or anything else that will distract you from playing with your ball of yarn in the Universe of Sports.

  60. Naw,I just read all the sections of the newspaper-you know,the boring parts.Try checking out more than the sports page when you’re waiting to ring up the next customer at the 7-11.

  61. I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding World Series Game 2: Aftermath, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong 🙂

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