Monday, October 23, 2006

Dirt, Pine Tar, Who Gives a ...

I won't finish the Happy Gilmore quote in the title, but I think you can probably get the general idea. This Kenny Rogers thing is ridiculous. Let me just say the following things and be done with it:

- There are rules in place which allow opposing managers to request that a player be inspected. Tony LaRussa did not make that request. Whether it went down this way because he's "old school" or because he "likes Jim Leyland" or because he didn't think it was pine tar or because he was sleepwalking on too many ambiens, the point is that he didn't do it. End of story.

- Rogers threw seven more shutout innings after the brown stuff was removed from his hand. Whether he washed it off or wiped it off or was told to do it or saw it on his own, I mean, who cares? And it's not like the pine tar - if that is what it was - helped him. He threw better in every inning after he took it off than he did in the first.

- Even if he did "cheat" and use pine tar, are we that naive to think this is rare? Or that it makes a big difference? Pitchers use pine tar all the time, usually in cold weather when rosin becomes worthless. In fact, MLB should just make a rule that if the temperature drops below 45 degrees, rosin is swapped out for pine tar. Contrary to what Dave Duncan would have you believe, pine tar is not like a scuffed ball or a spit ball - it doesn't move and dance all over the place. It is for grip. Big deal.

- Enough with the "worst thing about this is that it puts Rogers under suspicion" angle. I love how people are so desperate for a fresh angle that they've now resorted to sob stories about how the presumed cheater never got a chance to show he was innocent and therefore, will be under a "cloud of suspicion." Give me a break. This is a guy that beats down photographers and screams "flip it, flip it!" at the top of his lungs every time there is a ground ball. He's a nut.

I think that is all. I just want this to go away. Blah.

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