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July 5, 2005

Shame on The Gambler

If you watched SportsCenter on ESPN this past week you saw endless replays of the Texas Rangers Kenny Rogers altercation with a couple of TV cameraman. Always a surly character, Rogers had placed himself "off-limits" to reporters this season and, to my knowledge, had not granted any interviews to the media, despite putting together a stellar first half; 9 wins, 4 losses and a 2.45 ERA. After reviewing the incident, Commissioner Selig issued Rogers a 20 game suspension and levied a fine of an undisclosed amount (rumor placed it at $50,000). Not surprisingly, Rogers appealed the suspension, pitched this past Sunday and will also take part in the upcoming All Star game in Detroit.
Which leads me to ask this question: What kind of message does this send to the kids that watch, and play, the game of baseball? Act like a spoiled brat, lash out at someone for no apparent reason and we'll still let you play in the game. This is not right and the Commissioner of Baseball should do something about it.

Asked about Rogers' selection to the team, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who will manage the American League team in Detroit, had this to say, "He was voted on the team by the players and the league, he appealed his suspension, the league is not going to look at that until after the All-Star Game. So I abide, like everybody else, by the league rules. That's kind of where it starts and it ends."
That's where it starts and ends? Where it should start is with the Commissioner of Baseball issuing the following statement: "Upon further review of the incident, I have decided not to allow Mr. Rogers to compete in the 2005 All Star Game. As is his right under the agreement with the Office of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Union, Mr. Rogers may appeal the 20 game suspension I have handed down. However, it is my opinion that by allowing him to take part in All Star Game festivities would send the wrong message to the fans, specifically the children, that watch our game. Furthermore, I am increasing his fine to $100,000 and I demand that Mr. Rogers seek counseling for anger management supervised by Major League Baseball." Now I know that this is never going to happen as this commissioner has never shown that he has the backbone to deal with incidents such as these as harshly as he should. So... Kenny Rogers will travel to the All Star game, and probably pitch, so shame on him. While Bud Selig will add another incident to a long list of incidents in which he has failed to do the right thing....so shame on him.

Posted by Kevin O'Leary at 9:38 PM


Sports figures like Rogers need to take a closer look at the function of the media. Without them, the public would know nothing about them and the players would be performing in a neighborhood lot for free. The late football coach, Hank Stram loved the media and gave them nearly unlimited access. When asked why, he said a writer never cost him a football game. Wake up Kenny, or go get a real job.

Posted by: Michael Waldron on July 7, 2005 2:38 AM

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