Monday, October 23, 2006

It All Makes Sense Now

I have a theory (spurred by some comments on ESPN Radio) that I think now makes sense of all this Kenny Rogers weirdness. Here goes (and remember, everything I'm stating here is simply theory):

Most big league pitchers probably use a little sticky something in cold or wet weather in order to help them grip the ball. The probably see it as not really cheating, because they're not using it to alter the flight of the ball--just to help them hold it properly.

Last night, the cameras caught Kenny Rogers not being careful enough about it. Tony LaRussa is now in an awkward spot. He knows his pitchers use the same stuff, and it's just an unspoken agreement that nobody will make a big deal out of it as long as it's not causing the ball to flutter. But the FOX cameras have just shown it to the world. So he goes out between innings and says to the umpires, "Look, I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but Kenny's making me look like an idiot here. The clown's not even hiding his sticky stuff--he's got it right on his hand. The whole world sees it. If I don't squawk about it now, I'll be crucified. Tell him to go clean up his hand, and we'll leave it alone." Which the umpires do.

That would explain why TLR didn't do more at the time. It would explain why he still doesn't want to talk about it. It would explain why even the Cardinals players have been quiet on it. And it would explain why the umpires didn't nail him to the wall. I have to admit, I find this theory persuasive (though there are some holes--the pictures below clearly show Rogers using the stuff on a sunny day in July). If my theory is right, we'll continue to see the Tigers, the Cardinals, and Major League Baseball just try to make this story go away. I'm really starting to lean more and more in the direction of, "If it doesn't bother the Cardinals, it doesn't bother me."

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