Maybe it was appropriate for Kenny Rogers' start to be broadcast to a national ESPN audience on Sunday night, since it could very well be his last start as a Detroit Tiger, and maybe his major league career.
Before last night's game in Texas, the Tigers announced that Rogers wouldn't pitch for the team again this season. Operation Shutdown is under way.
"I'm not going to pitch Kenny," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said Monday. "I'm going to shut Kenny down for the rest of the season. We had a nice talk after the game yesterday."
Rogers has been getting roasted lately (sorry, I couldn't resist), failing to get the win in his last four starts while posting an ERA close to 12.00 over 18 2/3 innings. His struggles could at least be partly attributed to a sore hip, but it's unclear as to when that began to cause him difficulty. Since late June, Rogers has had difficulty stringing together two quality starts, while his ERA rose from 4.60 to 5.70. Leyland insists that Rogers is "all right" physically, so maybe this is being done to send Rogers out with a semblance of dignity.
If he's truly taken the mound for the last time with Detroit, Rogers' Tigers career ends with a 29-25 record and 4.66 ERA. But as The Detroit Tigers Weblog suggests, it would be a nice gesture to pitch Rogers in at least one inning during the season's final homestand so the fans could express their appreciation for his three years with the team.
We'll always have 2006, Kenny. Especially that post-season.