Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Duel of the Dogs
2006-10-22 11:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

...Or battle of the once and future chumps, however you'd like to put it. After the Cards rolled over the Tigers in Game 1, it's Jeff Weaver and Kenny Rogers in Game 2. It's been my feeling all along that Rogers won't win a pressure game this October. This isn't exactly a 2-0 game, or a 2-2 game like the one Weaver started in the NLCS, but there is some heat on the Tigers to win tonight. Let's see if the real Gambler finally shows.

2006-10-22 12:04:28
1.   Levy2020
This is much, much worse thatn the Weaver-Wells NLDS game. I'm not sure in what way or what "worse" means, but it is.
2006-10-22 13:30:32
2.   randym77
A lot of the talking heads are saying they should have started Kenny yesterday. Supposedly because his veteran-ness would have settled down the skittish rookies.

I dunno...I think Rogers is going to step up. Just because Alex's predictions are usually the kiss of death. ;-)

2006-10-22 14:12:47
3.   Bluebleeder87

last time i heard something like that the pitchers threw the ball really well.

2006-10-22 14:37:07
4.   Simone
The real question is: Has Rogers' deal with the devil expired as yet?
2006-10-22 14:44:08
5.   Simone
Here is the most accurate quote from Cashman re: the Yankees' loss to the Tigers in Klasphish's obligatory "A-Rod may be traded" article on ESPN:

"Whatever problem Alex has with Derek, if he has one, doesn't affect us on the field," he said. "We didn't not beat Detroit because of any issue with Alex. Their pitching was exceptional, they were a better team. Not because Joe doesn't like Alex or because Alex doesn't get along with Derek.

"It's because the Tigers did everything exponentially better than us. That's the bottom line."

2006-10-22 17:20:24
6.   randym77
I think it's snowing in Detroit.
2006-10-22 17:41:26
7.   Simone
Thank goodness Weaver gave up that home run. I was beginning to think that I was in the Twilight Zone watching him and Rogers pitch.
2006-10-22 17:57:19
8.   bobtaco
4 I don't know, but it looks like his deal with the pine tar has.
2006-10-22 18:02:04
9.   Eirias
Geez, couldn't Rogers have been caught tampering during the Yankees' series?
2006-10-22 18:04:54
10.   rsmith51
If somebody had said Kenny Rogers vs. Jeff Weaver in the W. S. before this season began, I would have said, Which team did Rogers get traded to?
2006-10-22 18:39:49
11.   yankz
I JUST saw the Chavez play (been really busy). WOW.
2006-10-22 18:44:33
12.   BklynBmr
I missed the early innings. What was this 'substance' thing with Rogers? La Russa was evasive about it, which brings a question to mind: could STL protest this after the game, or would they have to inform the umps at the time of the incident? — assuming it's something serious enough...
2006-10-22 18:56:18
13.   Peter
12 In the first inning, Rogers had a brownish discoloration on his left hand. It was washed off by the second inning. The Fox crew were speculating it was pine tar.
2006-10-22 18:57:59
14.   Simone
Oh please, Rogers was trying to show up the Yankees. He said afterwards that Joe's remarks about in him in the past motivated him. Now here is Rogers allegedly cheating with pine par. Ha. Bet he was using it against the Yankees. I wonder who tipped Leyland off?
2006-10-22 19:13:52
15.   OldYanksFan
Who is this Rogers kid? Is he available next year?
2006-10-22 19:16:32
16.   BklynBmr
13 Thanks, Peter. Interesting. No mention of anything since, but I'm sure we'll hear about it one way or the other...

14 Rogers is one of the most unlikeable guys in the game, and you're exactly right — no one is buying his act. But zero runs allowed in the PS? Something is going on. My guess is a heart transplant.

Update: Buck just interviewing Leyland on the substance topic — I dunno, but 'ol Jimmy's eyes were blinking a little too much when he said he 'didn't know anything about it'.

2006-10-22 19:24:36
17.   Peter
There's already a story up on about the mystery substance.

2006-10-22 19:54:50
18.   OldYanksFan
Not much action here at the banter tonight.
I blame ARod.
2006-10-22 20:17:48
19.   Yu-Hsing Chen
This the Bizarro world we are living in.... why can no one hit Kenny Rogers again?
2006-10-22 20:19:47
20.   randym77
They shoulda left the Gambler in.
2006-10-22 20:20:35
21.   Yu-Hsing Chen
oh oh, looks like Todd Jones suddenly remembers that he is ... Todd Jones.
2006-10-22 20:22:11
22.   Yu-Hsing Chen
at least Yadier Molina also remember that he is... Yadier Molina
2006-10-22 20:23:18
23.   randym77
Well, the Tiggers won one, but they aren't exactly squashing the Cardinals like bugs.
2006-10-22 20:31:10
24.   JeremyM
Anyone else just about 100% convinced that Rogers is juicing or on some kind of PED? The guy is just oozing testosterone on the mound and seems to be completely out of control of his emotions. And his fastball has been popping a few mph faster than normal all postseason, which should not happen to a guy his age. If he's going to cheat with "pine tar" then it's not much of a reach that he would go further- in my opinion.

And I so thought the game was going to be tied or won by Molina. Something about Todd Jones bugs me--maybe it's that he has more saves than strikeouts this year, or his wad of chew?

2006-10-22 20:40:10
25.   randym77
24 I don't know if I'm "100%" convinced, but as I said earlier this week, I do wonder if his famous quote (about how steroids can make ordinary players into stars) was based on personal experience.

At his age, it's very suspicious that he's suddenly throwing the ball faster than he has in years.

2006-10-22 20:41:33
26.   BklynBmr
Rogers. Aside from the fact that a Chris Berman nickname has actually permeated sports fans' dialogue (no offense, randym — even our fearless leaders here run with it) —— I am so sick of this guy I don't where to begin.

What's with this sudden 'passion'? The anger, the stalking, the dugout body language and profanities... pul-eeze. Who is he kidding?

24 PED? Street grade meth. Test this puke. Now.

2006-10-22 20:44:55
27.   Simone
Are you watching ESPN? ESPN is showing Rogers' hand throughout the playoffs. Rogers has had this pine tar on his hand since the ALDS when he played the Yankees. He has been cheating all along. So that is his secret weapon.
2006-10-22 20:46:03
28.   yankz
If they prove something, what are the consequences? Is Rogers stripped of his stats but the team isn't punished?
2006-10-22 20:49:15
29.   yogifan
How does pinetar increase the speed of your fastball?

Face it. He's pumped to show up the Yankees and the entire baseball universe for dumping on him in the past.

2006-10-22 20:50:20
30.   BklynBmr
27 I switched to The Weather Channel while Molina's ball was en route to the shortstop...

I'm into 'Storm Stories' ;-)

2006-10-22 20:57:53
31.   BklynBmr
29 How does one go from 'everybody has you figured out in the postseason' to 'no one can touch you in the postseason'? I can't recall any such dramatic turnaround of performance level and I've been watching this game before television broadcasts came in color...
2006-10-22 21:05:30
32.   rabid stan
I hate Kenny Rogers, and it looks like he's been loading the ball with pine tar throughout the postseaon, but I don't think he's suddenly on PED's. I think FOX has a goofy gun, and that's where the "extra" velocity is coming from.

Remember, they had Randy averaging 96-98 in Game 3. I can count on two hands the number of pitches he threw that hard in the regular season.

2006-10-22 21:05:54
33.   randym77
Rogers says it was just dirt, and the umpires apparently agree.
2006-10-22 21:07:24
34.   randym77
32 Pretty ironic if true, since Fox always gripes about the Yankees' radar gun being overly generous.
2006-10-22 21:08:16
35.   rabid stan

I can only hope that's pine tar. It certainly isn't dirt.

2006-10-22 21:09:42
36.   Simone
But the umpires never inspected his hand so how do they know? Did they touch it or smell it? How come he has dirt on his hand throughout the playoffs? That must be some special dirt. Nope, Rogers has been rubbing something on his hand that he feels helps his pitching.
2006-10-22 21:10:33
37.   rabid stan
My mistake, by the way. ESPN had game three, but Kenny was sizzling around 94 on their gun too.

Man, it feels so long ago.

2006-10-22 21:13:37
38.   yankz
I demand a recount!
2006-10-22 21:17:54
39.   jdasilva
I've never loved Kenny Rogers, but if we're going to rip on him using foreign substances, then as Yankee fans, we'd better be prepared to disavow most of Whitey Ford's career.

As far as I can see, he's facing a terrible, terrible, team, but he's also getting great location. He's also seemed to have the Cardinals guessing, and guessing wrong, a greal deal.

Like it or not, that type of gamesmanship/strategy/cheating is part of the game. Sometimes, getting caught also is, I guess. LaRussa loves catching people, so it'll be interesting to see the fallout over this.

2006-10-22 21:20:05
40.   rabid stan
38 Yeah!

If the Tigers win the World Series, they have to beat the Yankees again in a new five game series. And Kenny Rogers will have to throw right-handed.

If the Tiger's lose that series, MLB does the whole AL postseason over again. Whoever wins the CS will be the assumed winner of the World Series.

Baseball in November!

2006-10-22 23:18:54
41.   brockdc
40 It sure as hell might postpone my YWS (Yankees Withdrawl Syndrome). I don't recall my YWS ever being this bad. Jeez.
2006-10-23 05:07:14
42.   rbj
Not to worry 41, it is only 116 days to pitchers and catchers.
(gawd, what a long, slow, cold trip it'll be.)
2006-10-23 05:29:58
43.   choirboyzgirl
5-ESPN Article regarding Cashman/A-Rod etc.. I'm sorry but that is one of the more lousy articles I have read now they are ripping on Alex because he didn't attend Lidle's funeral it wasn't as if he was the only one on the team that didn't show up. Out of the 40 man roster they only named 3 actual team members who went. One was the captain of the team, one was a childhood friend and the other a fellow pitcher, who probably got to know him more in the past 3 months then Alex did. Then it goes on to question his .31 point decline in his batting average, did they question the .35 increase from 2004 to 2005. Not of the numbers Alex put up this year (except for gdp) where career highs (some did tie those highs). There can be a number of reasons for the decline this year....including the fact that he just had an off season. The guy is steering clear of the media right now and still can't catch a break its crazy!

As for Kenny Rogers I'm no fan of his and you won't see me defend him like I do Alex :) . But I have to ask. They found the dirt, pine tar etc.. in the first inning. If that was helping him ( how he was cheating) then why weren't the Cardinals able to put up more hits/runs in innings 2-8, after he washed it off? Shouldn't he have lost something on those pitches afterwards?

2006-10-23 05:38:47
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here's an article by ken rosenthal all about kenny's mysterious smudge, complete with before and after pics.

43 and yes, he managed to pitch just as good (arguably better, that S.O.B.) after he washed his hand.

25 talk about emotions... did you see him after the game? he was fighting back tears.

is it sad that the very INSTANT i saw the shot of his dirty hand i was looking forward to reading the reactions here?

2006-10-23 05:50:49
45.   Simone
I think LaRussa was discrete about Rogers' pine tar because he didn't want to make a fuss during the World Series in front of a national audience. Selig is probably very thankful.
2006-10-23 06:24:18
46.   Murray
There's a certain level of baseball detente involved when a pitcher is caught applying a substance to the ball, or scuffing the ball, or when a hitter is using a doctored bat. The accusing manager has to know, or at least be sure, that his roster isn't benefitting from such advantages, either, to level such a charge. Otherwise, the recriminations get ugly pretty quickly.

I don't think you have to discount most of Ford's career. The revelations in "Ball Four" date to the final four years of Ford's career. That's when I'd expect a once-great pitcher to seek additional assistance to maintain his career. I doubt that the 1957 Whitey was throwing the buckle ball or the ring ball.

2006-10-23 08:45:23
47.   KJC
46 "The revelations in "Ball Four" date to the final four years of Ford's career. That's when I'd expect a once-great pitcher to seek additional assistance to maintain his career."

Not that Kenny Rogers is a "once-great pitcher" but he is in the final years of his career. So is Rogers' "additional assistance" justified because of his age? And wouldn't a guy his age have found a better hiding spot for his pine tar than his pitching hand?

(BTW, if this sounds like I'm defending Rogers, I'm not...)

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