Oct

23

Kenny Rogers, pitching ace of the Detroit Tigers, is today an overnight sensation at the ripe old age of 41. In 2005, despite pitching with All-Star credentials after a 17 year career with seven different clubs, he achieved notoriety when he shoved a cameraman who was, he felt, too close to his mug while documenting a disagreement Rogers was having with his then employer (Texas) over not extending his contract. This one indiscretion in an otherwise sterling career threatened to render his accomplishments insignificant as he became the poster boy for what many of us hate about pampered athletes today. The story could have ended there… but it didn’t.

Resurrected in Detroit, leading a band of misfits who had not had a winning season in 12 years, he has become the beating pulse of a team best defined by their heart. What’s more, judging by the emotion he’s displayed on the mound and in the post game interviews, I sense he understands that the only true road to redemption is to shock the world, to achieve such amazing results that the resulting antiseptic closes the previous wound so completely that though the scar remains, it becomes a remembrance of survival, his badge of courage, rather than the open sore it once was. Twenty-three scoreless post-season innings, heady stuff, surpassed only by the likes of Christy Mathewson (27 innings in the early 1900s).

 


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