As speculation runs rampant about the nature of Kenny Rogers’ dirty left paw, the LA Times’ Bill Plashke and ESPN’s Buster Olney each are puzzled why the Cardinals haven’t made more of a stink about it. The latter writes,
After the game, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said: “It’s not important. I wouldn’t discuss it.”
Why not? La Russa is the manager of a team trying to win the World Series and the opposing pitcher — a guy who is on an incredible roll and hasn’t allowed a run in the month of October — has a blotch on his hand so visible that tens of millions of people can see it from their living rooms, from bars, yet La Russa doesn’t at least ask the umpires to examine Rogers’ hand?
It’s not as if La Russa is the type to shy away from uncomfortable confrontation; he has always been a manager who has looked hard for an edge. Over the years, he’s had bats checked, he’s gone toe-to-toe with opposing managers, he’s stood and watched as his pitchers retaliated time and again in brushback wars. Yet in the midst of Game 2 of the World Series, he had a chance to ask the umpires to check Rogers’ hand and the outcome could not have been bad for the Cardinals; La Russa had nothing to lose.
It’s possible that if La Russa had gone to the umpires immediately, in the top of the first inning, Rogers might’ve been ejected for having a foreign substance on his hand. At the very least, La Russa could’ve gotten in Rogers’ head by asking the question. And if La Russa had done so, he would’ve been completely justified; everybody in the world saw that Rogers had something on his hand.
Given the close relationship between La Russa and Jim Leyland, perhaps the two have a gentleman’s agreement : St. Louis doesn’t say boo about the gunk on Rogers’ hand, and the Tigers cease funding research for a human growth hormone test.
What the Guardian blog’s coverage of the Fall Classic lacks in insight, it more than makes up for in original comments by a skeptical local readership.
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