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So This is Why They Call Kenny Rogers 'The Gambler'...

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Can we just blame this Kenny Rogers drama on Alex Rodriguez? If A-Rod hadn't put his agent in the corner and begun negotiating a new deal with the New York Yankees on his own, would Scott Boras be playing this game with the Detroit Tigers over his Rogers' new contract?

The Tigers' off-season has been going so smoothly that maybe we forgot the business aspect of negotiating new contracts, even for free agents who made their intentions quite clear before the end of the season. Remember "it's either here or nowhere"?

Of course, Rogers is entitled to change his mind, especially if there could be more interest on the free market for his services than he may have originally anticipated. And that's really the big question now. If Rogers is looking to make $10 million next season (and Billfer expertly breaks down whether or not Rogers is really worth that much), is there a major league team willing to write that check?

According to SB Nation broham Lone Star Ball, the Texas Rangers might be interested in bringing Rogers back to the team where he's spent the majority of his career (in three separate previous stints) and the area he calls home. Rangers GM Jon Daniels admits there's interest, but only "under the right circumstances," which you'd have to think is code for "less than $10 million."

(While you're over at LSB, check out Adam's post on Gerald Laird, a catcher I think the Tigers should think about pursuing, though he's not so good with the basestealers.)

However, Rangers owner Tom Hicks (who we should still hold responsible for this whole A-Rod mess, by the way) stepped between his general manager and Scott Boras, clarifying what sort of "circumstances" might expedite Rogers returning to Arlington.

"He's got to take care of some unfinished business," Hicks said. "He's got to apologize."

Apologize for what, you might ask? Well, there's that cameraman attack that was an easy joke to make until the "clump of dirt" on Rogers' hand in the 2006 World Series replaced it. But if you don't remember, the sequence of events that led up to that incident is a little bit more complicated.

A tumultuous season started with unsubstantiated reports Rogers threatened to retire if not given a contract extension. Rogers denied making such threats, but the relationship between he and team management grew colder as the season wore on.

After one unidentified club official suggested in a report that Rogers was "ducking" a start after injuring his hand, Rogers ended up in a confrontation in which he shoved a camera off a TV cameraman's shoulder, knocking him to the ground.

In the aftermath, Rogers issued a statement that included apologies to fans, but did not include the organization. He privately apologized to cameraman Larry Rodriguez.

Why would Kenny Rogers want to revisit that whole ordeal? And why publicly repent and serve penance when re-signing with the Tigers is, as the Rolling Stones once sang, just a shout away? The easy answer, I suppose is 10 million greenbacks. But I think Hicks just blew up any chance Rogers might have given the Rangers. If/when he agrees on a new contract with the Tigers, maybe Mike Ilitch should send him a card. Or a pizza, because... you know.

But Rogers and Boras might still insist on keeping the Tigers on hold while they first dance with the Seattle Mariners or Toronto Blue Jays. Instead of seething by the punch bowl, however, Dave Dombrowski might instead walk over to Carlos Silva and see how he feels. And that could make this a dangerous game for Rogers (and, in turn, Boras, who isn't having such a good week).

Here's where I should probably include some lyrics from "The Gambler," but I just can't bring myself to do it...