Monday, July 11, 2005
Rogers (left) should step aside for Bonderman
First, let me admit that I have a bias when writing this post.
Jeremy Bonderman of the Tigers should be in the All-Star Game -- you've all read my post about it a few days ago. I'm sure it was the talk of the Internet (hey, let me have my dream, okay?). Bondy deserves it, the game is in his ballclub's town, and he has a distinct advantage over a certain 40 year-old lefthander from Texas:
HE'S NOT FREAKING SUSPENDED FROM MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!
Yeah, yeah, I know that Rangers' pitcher Kenny Rogers isn't "technically" suspended -- his case is on appeal, which means he can play in the meantime -- but come on, he got 20 games for the infamous cameramen assault. You think he's not gonna serve some time? That makes him suspended in my book. That also makes him a leper as far as this All-Star thing is concerned. You do the crime, you do the time -- even if that means sitting out the Midsummer Classic.
Rogers apparently told the Dallas Morning News Sunday night that he plans on hopping on a plane for Detroit and taking his place along the third base line with the other American League All-Stars, despite his lovely status as a man appealing his punishment, which would banish him for nearly a month's worth of games.
Rogers pitched seven innings Saturday night, which means he probably wouldn't be of any use to AL manager Terry Francona anyhow. So not only is Rogers selfishly taking up a roster spot, he will be doing so without any realistic chance of even throwing one pitch.
That's where Bonderman comes in -- or should.
Had Rogers declined to participate, which most reasonable thinking players in his situation would have done, there was a very high probability that Francona would have tabbed the 22 year-old Bondy to take Rogers' roster spot. In front of his home fans. For the whole world to see. And, since Jeremy hasn't pitched since last Wednesday, he would have been very available to Francona, who probably would have let the youngster throw an inning or so, electrifying the Comerica Park crowd.
But as Steve Martin would have said during his standup days, "BUT, NOOOOOOO....!"
Rogers, just days after reading a statement in front of TV cameras in which he apologized and promised us it wouldn't happen again (Lord, I would think not!), now pulls this narcissistic act. For not only is his place in this game, or any game, tainted until his appeal is heard, he has now created a needless sideshow and distraction for the next couple of days in Detroit.
"I earned it," Rogers was quoted, referring to his presence at Comerica.
Maybe, Kenny, but then you unearned it.
You attacked two cameramen without any evident provocation. You committed an act that, had it happened on any city street, would have subjected you to time in county lockup. You embarrassed yourself, your family, the Rangers ballclub, and baseball players in general. And you "earned" a place in the All-Star Game? I think not.
Like I indicated, I am biased because Bonderman's selection to the AL squad was probably riding on Rogers' decision. But gosh darn it, I believe I would feel the same way even if a Tigers pitcher didn't have a stake in it. I just may not have been riled up enough to write about it, but that doesn't make me a hypocrite -- just a Tigers fan.
Seriously, Kenny Rogers has no more right to be on the All-Star team than I do, quite frankly. He gave up that right when he decided to show those cameramen his Jackie Chan impersonation. New rule: no players who have suspensions of 10 games or more on appeal should be allowed to play in an All-Star Game. Simple as that. What kind of message does that send when Rogers is allowed to represent the game around the world having done what he did? And don't give me any bull about due process. His violent act came out better than my wedding video, for crying out loud. He done did the deed -- the only reason for the appeal is that Rogers can play until the league gets around to flying him to New York to explain himself. He's playing the game. All he's doing is buying time, squeezing it out like the last bit of toothpaste from the tube. And just as the toothpaste will eventually run out, no doubt about that, so will Rogers end up suspended after all.
But yet he has the nerve to show his face in the American League clubhouse at CoPa.
Of course, as I've written, Jeremy Bonderman will be playing in a ton of these All-Star thingies. He doesn't need this to be his first appearance. But golly, wouldn't it have been nice if Kenny Rogers had done the honorable thing and withdrew himself from All-Star Game eligibility?
You gotta know when to fold 'em, Kenny.