Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There's Talk Of Splotches And Baseball Galore....Did La Russa Blow It??

Game three of the annual classic is tonight, starting shortly after 8:00 in St. Louis. And the talk of Kenny Rogers and his left hand splotch will just not go away. But now that the brown mystery blob of goo is gone, washed away forever, no one will be able to prove anything. But the fan base and the media in St. Louis will not let it die. And now it has come to light that Rogers had similar splotches near the base of his left thumb in the ALCS game against the A's and the ALDS game against the Yankees. La Russa has been blamed for not pressing the cheating case to the umpires more strongly because of his close friendship with Leyland. This is a big mess, a she-said she-said type of thing that will die down at first pitch time. I hope. But LaRussa had such a great chance to get under Rogers' skin, to destabilize his mental processes so that, just maybe, he'd start making his pitches more hittable. A manager's job is to take any possible advantage for his team and USE IT. This was a missed opportunity. At the least Rogers would have been shaken mentally. At best, for the Cardinals, he would have been suspended and banished from his last post season start. This talk will not go away, and if the Cardinals go meekly, LaRussa will be skewered by the fans from that wonderful city. Don't think all this talk won't be back full force if there is a Rogers' started game 6 Saturday. And there will be a game six, and the talk will continue. And the focus will be taken away from the game of baseball yet again. A shame, a crime. But in my mind, LaRussa BLEW IT...for his team and its fans. A golden opportunity, somewhat like the merry-go-round ring pull that he had a chance to reach for, but maybe because of his dark glasses, he didn't see it. Well, he didn't see something here, and that something might have allowed his team to take that next step. And maybe deservedly so.....hey, if someone cheats, they should pay.
Tonight it's Nate Robertson versus Chris Carpenter. May the best team win. And may the pitchers wash their hands before coming out to the mound in the first. Please. Baseball mixed with drama...I guess that's what we should expect. It almost is making me root for the Cardinals. And Tony.....YOU BLEW IT! Every little advantageous matter to help your team, YOU DO! Well, YOU DIDN'T.


At 10/24/2006 10:35 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I kinda see it from the other side, where I see that he chose NOT to make a deal of it, and to let the game be the game. He didn't want drama. He didn't want controversy, he wanted baseball. And he's right, Rogers pitched well enough even without the smudge to beat them. I think this controversy will go on and on and on because there is no end to it, there is no way to know. But I don't think he should have to point a finger in order to be right. I think there were a whole lot of people who could have called that out if they wanted to. He's a good coach and I think he did the right thing. He played the game and left the drama alone.

At 10/24/2006 10:49 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

Kenny Rogers gave his explanation for the substance on his hand (and it happens almost every time he pitches) - rubbing the ball during warmups causes the mud plus the spit, sweat and whatever else, to leave the mess on his hand. An independent opinion was sent in to Nate Robertson's blog with the same explanation -

Hey Nate...Enjoy your comments.All the best Tues. PM. Too bad our TV is soured by a couple of ST.LOUIS announcers. The B.S.about the dirt on Kenny's hand was started by McCarver.(You know, the guy who made the final out in 1968).I pitched 50 years ago & when the ball is cold & slippery, you spit on your hand in warmup to get a grip. After about 10 min.,its a mess. When he was rubbing a game ball, some of the 'mud' made it look yellow.If it had been "foreign",it would not wipe off. Only a loser like McCarver would think otherwise. Go get um Tues.PM.
Don, Grand Rapids

I think the whining and crying after the fact should stop. I can only hope there's a game six and KR can wash his hands of the whole matter and pitch the game the way he has been pitching.

As for tonight, we're really pulling for our hometown boy; hoping the best for him. Go Nate! Go Tigers!

At 10/24/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Amy, and BFW, I did not want to stir up any turmoil. It's already been done...pick your source of media. But I CAN understand if the fans in Missouri, near the arch, and central America itself, are wondering why their manager did not make a little bit, accent on LITTLE, more fuss. Anythng a major league manager can do to give his team an edge, even a micro sized edge, should be done. The pictures are out there. And I agree with both of you...let's not let this take over from the importance of the game itself. But he should have been a LITTLE more vocal. Thanks Amy and BFW..for reading, and for putting up with me. Enjoy game three, and the rest of the long winding road to game six, or maybe seven! And I'm smiling.....unlike many Cardinal fans.

At 10/24/2006 12:10 PM, Blogger MattySox said...

I just don't see the point in fussing. As an old pitcher myself, I see the point in rubbing the ball up...we used to do that all the time...made it easier to grip (with legal substances only, of course). And as a hitter who never wore batting gloves, but used a little pine tar over the leather grip of an aluminum bat, I can tell you that pine tar does not wash off that easy. So A. I don't think KR had anything illegal on his hand, and B. LaRussa apparently did say something to the umps, who did say something to KR, who did go wash his hand. So I'm just lost trying to find a reason why LaRussa should have gone nuts...not his style, KR took care of the issue, and he pitched better after the first than in it. I don't think you can rattle him right now. He's made some deal with the devil, like Orel in '88, or D-Lowe in '04. You could be firing at him with snipers while he's in his windup and I don't think he'd notice. He's locked in and anyone looking to make this smudge thing a big deal is eating sour grapes. Wichita is right- both announcers are St. Louis boys, the mass media is centered in New York (they lost)and God forbid anyone accomplishes anything in this day and age without someone else trying to prove they did it with "assistance." What a paranoid sporting culture we live in when a fine performance cannot be applauded as such, but must be slipped under the microscope of public scrutiny. And usually, the "scientists" doing the scrutinizing have no clue what they're talking about. Sad. Let's play ball...

At 10/24/2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10/24/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

PLAY BALL. Yes! But allow me a little poetic license..I was writing what the St. Louis fans, and too many of the baseball experts (ha ha-no way) have been saying. With good reason? Look at the pictures, and decide. I like to expand all the sports stories here, and you are welcome to disagree. But remember...I might be speaking and writing about those hometown fans from Missouri...what they're thinking. I re-read your comment, looking for the positives, but there were not many to find. I'm always a fan of you, but I'm a fan of baseball, the nationwide look at the game we love. So forgive me if I sometimes go "out on a limb," imagining what the St Louis fans, their supporters and detractors, might be thinking. We're in the same "love the Sox" group. Take care..Although I am a little disappointed. But not much Matty.

At 10/24/2006 1:40 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

And Matty, as I just wrote on your blog, do you still love me? I always mean the best, and I cherish all my readers.....OH, lunchtime...take care.

At 10/24/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger Michael Leggett said...

Considering that Sr Sunglasses once managed "The Bash Bros" in Oakland, I think that Sr Sunglasses is about to go down in flames again:

Actually, "The Tim-Inator" is base in Bryn Mawr, PA, outside of Philadelphia, & yes, he did drive Jack Buck, crazy.


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