photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Gosh, my second bubble wrap reference in only a few posts. Obviously this says several things: it speaks of the long dark shadow that Injuries cast over our team, and it also speaks of the wondrousness of bubble wrap. Pop pop!
Kenny Rogers has re-signed with the Tigers for a year, making all of us who took his firing of Boras as a Sign most incredibly smug.
The Detroit News says that it believes the contract is for around $8 million, and we know it’s for one year. That’s not bad at all. That’s also not something that Boras would have agreed to, because even a player of Kenny’s age could probably command at least two years from some desperately frothing team or other. Kenny himself admitted what we all knew the moment he tossed aside the Bore:
Me changing representation, I guess you could say, was moreso my desire to stay with Detroit,” Rogers said. “It had nothing to do with Scott as an agent or an attorney. He’s as good or better than anyone else out there. But my position was [to re-sign] with Detroit.”
If I felt like being a true free agent, Scott would still be my representative. But in my heart of hearts, I felt like I didn’t want to pitch anywhere else.”
Why go through the whole charade in the first place, then? I initially thought it just took Kenny that long to actually make up his mind about how much he wanted to stay in Detroit, but I think he’s probably telling the truth when he says that he knew, on some level, that he wasn’t keen on pitching elsewhere pretty early in the process. I reckon it was a Respect thing. If he’d just re-signed with the Tigers right off the bat, they might have gotten to feeling all high and mighty and in control of Kenny Rogers. Of course KENNY ROGERS, Enemy to Cameramen, cannot have anyone thinking he is so easily controlled (so very like Gary Sheffield in this way!). He had to stick his nose out into the free agency winds just a little bit, so the Tigers would fully recognize his autonomy and the fact that HE, and he alone, had power over his own destiny.
I can accept a little chest-pounding and puff-feathered posturing from the male of the baseball-playin’ species. It is to be expected.
So, obviously, I like this deal. Kenny is a known quantity, and by that I mean that we KNOW he can pitch consistently when healthy, which is more than we can say for some of our rotation (I am going to harp on poor Bondo continuously until this is fixed, because this is not a problem that can be cured by ignoring it, BONDO). The key there is “WHEN HEALTHY”, and that’s a difficulty for Kenny. Kenny Rogers is 43 years old and experienced shoulder liquefaction last season. He may be healed from that particular bout of woe, but his durability wasn’t exactly improved by the experience.
Bubble wrap for his shoulder. Inflatable swimmers for his arm. Padded walls for his hotel rooms. Whatever it takes to keep this dinosaur healthy and pitching should be done. A healthy Kenny Rogers will make Dombrowski look like a genius (and if he gets hurt, you just know you’re going to start wondering if the Tigers should have pushed a little harder for an additional starter during this time of year….).