I have to admit, it was tempting to rip on Kenny Rogers, talking about how he "gambled away" his all-star appearance, how he didn't "know when to fold 'em", how he "roasted" the dude with the camera, how he didn't want to be "chicken", how he's going to "face the music" today. I'll leave that to other bloggers and writers that are wittier than I.
And really there isn't an excuse for going off on a camera guy, especially if you put one in the hospital. Rogers will probably get suspended, as well he should.
However, word out of Dallas is that there's another side to the story that may suggest bigger problems for the Texas Rangers organization.
With apologies to Paul Harvey, this is "The Rest of the Story"
A couple days ago, Rogers injured his non-throwing hand punching a water cooler, a la former Ranger Kevin Brown, who injured his pitching hand in a similar fashion with the Yankees last year. Rogers was upset after getting yanked after allowing 10 hits against the Anaheim Angels*.
Then a story surfaced, attributed to "unnamed Rangers officials" that Rogers had intentionally broken his hand so he could miss a few starts and pitch in the All-Star Game to help contract negotiations. Which, considering Rogers has only sat down one start during his career when not forced to by injury, is a curious statement to make. Rogers may have a chip on his shoulder, but he's not a jake. Buck Showalter even said such in the press conference.
So apparently the reporter attached to the Fox 4 camera crew confronted him with the report and that's what set Rogers off.
Again, the report is no excuse for going off on the cameraman.
However, Kevin Sherrington, had this in his column for the Dallas Morning News today:
Hart cited a report Thursday in The Dallas Morning News that a "club official"Hmmm...
floated a story accusing Rogers of faking the injury so he could miss a couple
of tough starts.
Hart called the report "laughable" on radio and "uninformed" at Thursday's news conference.
Accurate, is more like it. At least two members of the local media got the story, unsolicited.
And it's no secret. One player told me he's sure that Rogers is aware some faction
of the club is behind the media rips.
Couple that with reports from way back in spring training, also from "sources within the Rangers organization" that Rogers was threatening to retire if he didn't get an extension, and it seems like there's a problem between Rangers management and Rogers.
So where is Rangers GM John Hart in all this?
Mike Rhyner (from "The Hard Line" on 1310 AM "The Ticket" in Dallas), provided some interesting insights on Hart on the "Bucky and Erin" show on 1300 The Zone this morning(and I wish that The Zone podcasted the show so I could play the audio).
Among the things he said:
"Hart is aloof... It wouldn't surprise me if he had to be told by his staff if Kenny Rogers was a lefty or righty. You can go for a whole week of home games and not see John Hart."
"Hart was off in Frisco[, Texas] when the incident occured."
"You only hear from Rangers' management what they you want to hear."
"The players don't believe that management wants to win, and it goes back to the release of Ryan Drese."
"[Mark] Texiera and [Hank] Blalock are going to remember this when it comes time to renew their contracts."
By the way, John Hart's reaction to the leaked report? "Laughable" and "uninformed"
Considering, that at least 2 members of the Dallas media got the story unsolicited from the Rangers (according to Kevin Sherrington), Hart's statement is laughable because it shows he's the one who is uninformed.
No excuse for going after a camera man, but maybe some members of the Rangers front office need to be suspended. After all, don't you also punish accesories to a crime?
More on this as the situation develops.
UIL blacks out Tyler Lee game in Ohio
I don't like televised high school games. TV has already ruined amateur sports at the adult level, whether it's the NCAA or the Olympics, which is one thing because the participants for the most part are adults who can make decisions on whether or not to participate in that system for themselves. (From what we see with the NBA and MLB drafts, most people decide not to participate in the NCAA given the choice) When TV wants to get into youth sports, I have a problem. The adults don't have the right to make money off of the kids in their charge.
When the UIL decided to black out an ESPNU telecast of a pre-season game between 5A State Champion Tyler Robert E. Lee High School and Ohio's top-level state champ, most people were upset.
I think it's a step in the right direction. Now if they would just take the Texas Bowl off TV.
* - Out of respect for the residents of Orange County, Cheap Seats refuses to call them the "L-s Ang-l-s Angels of Anaheim."