I have no idea if Kenny Rogers likes being called "The Gambler." I'm going to assume that he puts up with it, just because people throw it out there so often as a "clever" reference to his country singer namesake, and it's not insulting or anything like that. But the nickname really has nothing to do with his pitching style, does it?
How about calling Rogers "The Stopper" instead? Not just because he put the skids on the Tigers' two-game (and hugely frustrating) losing streak, but because opposing teams have barely touched him in his two starts since rejoining the team. In 12 innings of work, Rogers has given up one run on six hits. He's walked one batter, while striking out eight.
Maybe shutting out Atlanta last Friday doesn't look quite as impressive now (given the circumstances, however, it most certainly was) considering the Braves only scored one run during their entire three-run series with the Tigers. But the Rangers had put up 17 runs over the past two games, crushing the Detroit bullpen like soup crackers. Yet they couldn't do anything against Rogers.
By the way, that run he gave up in the sixth inning was the first he surrendered in 28 2/3 innings at Comerica Park, including last year's playoffs and World Series. (I think my math is right on that. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)
Calling him "The Gambler" doesn't indicate any of that. We have to come up with something better.
For C-Mo, Plenty of Other Nicknames Come to Mind
Meanwhile, I have lots of ideas for what we can call Craig Monroe, but I've tried to keep it clean here in my three months at BYB. C-Mo contributed another donut to the boxscore today, going 0-for-4. At least he didn't strike out.
The plan was to sit him down yesterday, to rest a sore left knee. But with the rainout, Monroe got a day off anyway, and Jim Leyland put him back in the lineup today. What he probably should've done instead is call Monroe into his office and tell him that his knee still hurts so he's not playing.
Over at The Detroit Tigers Weblog, one of the commenters compared Monroe's situation somewhat with Chris Shelton's last year, and it seems pretty valid to me. By the trade deadline, the Tigers decided they'd had enough with Shelton's struggles and sent him down to Toledo after acquiring Sean Casey. You have to wonder if that's how long C-Mo has to turn himself around before Leyland and Dave Dombrowski they can't afford to have that hole in the lineup anymore.
Sean Casey was intentionally walked twice today by Texas pitchers, in the fourth and seventh innings, so they could deal with Monroe instead. Think about that. And C-Mo obliged the strategy by popping up and flying out. That tactic looked frickin' brilliant, and other teams could soon follow the Rangers' example. How long do the Tigers put up with this?