Rogers the Dodger

During Game 2 of the World Series, Fox showed The Gambler's hand with and without the mysterious substance that has led many to think the guy's a cheater and a jerk.

Either Kenny Rogers has started wiping his ass with his left palm, or else he's cheating.

The same pitcher who earned his ticket out of Texas by violently shoving a KDFW-Channel 4 cameraman in the summer of 2005 is now causing quite a stink as a Detroit Tiger in the World Series. Rogers, a career catastrophe in the post-season as a Yankee and Met, is suddenly Cy Young with Detroit. He's pitched 23 scoreless innings in October, only four short of the all-time record. In Sunday's Game 2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, he allowed only two singles. Impressive, but I think Rogers needs to be tested for steroids. Now.

If you saw the 40-year-old him pitch Sunday or any of his playoff starts, Rogers acted like a complete madman. Barking at himself on the mound. Demonstrative reactions and emotions after almost every pitch. In the 9th inning, when closer Todd Jones loaded the bases, you got the feeling watching Rogers in the dugout that one more hit and he was going out to the mound to choke his teammate. In short, Rogers acted like a guy on, um, I dunno, steroids? At the very least, he didn't act like a human being who supposedly completed anger management classes as part of his penalty for shoving cameraman Larry Rodriguez.

And now, overshadowing his pristine performance, is the controversy surrounding his pitching hand. Photographs and TV cameras have caught Rogers with a brownish, sticky-looking substance on the palm near his left thumb in the American League Championship Series and World Series. In Game 2 Cards manager Tony LaRussa mentioned the goo--"which, of course, is totally illegal"--to umpires and, just like that, Rogers had a clean hand by the second inning. Rogers lied that he didn't know he had anything on his hand, but most aren't buying it.

And, furthering his asshole image, Rogers brought his pent-up anger to his post-game press conference. Obviously blaming the metroplex media for his Rangers ordeal, Rogers refused to answer questions posed by Fort Worth Star-Telegram writers Jim Reeves and Kat O'Brien. "Anyone else?!" Rogers snapped before either of the two finished their question. Rogers can wash his hands, but he'll never cleanse his soul. Here's hoping he gets shelled for 10 runs in his next start. Go Cardinals. --Richie Whitt

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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