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A fitting capper to the affair

Morning Briefing

October 26, 2006|Mike Penner | Times Staff Writer

Did you know Kenny Rogers wears a different cap from his Detroit Tigers teammates during games?

A cap, supposedly reserved for batting practice, that features a puffier polyester bill and a black underbill instead of gray?

Before Game 2 of the World Series, did anybody care?

In an article headlined, "The cap that killed the Cardinals?", ESPN.com's "Uni Watch" columnist Paul Lukas contends that Rogers' cap, not his hand, is the place to look for any possible foreign substance.

Lukas reports that Rogers has worn the batting-practice cap with the black underbill all season, instead of the standard-issue wool New Era 5950 game cap the other Tigers wear. The batting practice cap has a black underbill, the 5950s have gray underbills.

"Now ask yourself, if you wanted to take a foreign substance to the mound with you, wouldn't it be easier to hide it against a black background than a gray one?" Lukas writes.

"Far be it from Uni Watch to accuse the Gambler of taking cards from the bottom of the deck, but you have to admit it's an interesting coincidence at the very least. Uni Watch's suggestion: Make Rogers wear a 5950 like everybody else, and then let's see who holds 'em and who folds 'em."

Trivia time

How many major league teams has Rogers pitched for?

Buckner gaffe explained at last!

In another recent column, Lukas offers the most logical reason to date for Bill Buckner's infamous error during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series: Underneath his first baseman's mitt Buckner was wearing a Chicago Cubs batting glove.

The article includes a photograph of Buckner walking off the field after misplaying Mookie Wilson's grounder. Buckner, who was traded by the Cubs to the Red Sox in 1984, is holding his mitt in his left hand. Another photo zooming in on Buckner's right hand shows a blue, white and red Cubs batting glove.

"The poor Red Sox," Lukas writes. "It's bad enough they were saddled with one curse; they didn't know they were fighting two of them.

"No wonder Buckner missed that ball. He never had a chance."

World Cup 'injuries' explained at last!

Baseball is hardly alone when it comes to cheating. FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, revealed this week that more than half of the players who received medical treatment on the field during this summer's World Cup were feigning injuries.

"Fifty-eight percent of the players who were treated on the pitch during the 2006 World Cup eventually turned out not to be injured," read a FIFA statement.

Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA's chief medical officer, revealed his findings to the FIFA referees committee Tuesday. According to Dvorak, most of the players faking injuries did so for tactical reasons. Which is another way of saying: They cheated.

Trivia answer

Six, including three stints with the Texas Rangers. Rogers broke in with the Rangers in 1989, playing with them through 1995. He rejoined the Rangers from 2000 to 2002 and pitched for them again from 2004 to 2005. Besides the Rangers and the Tigers, Rogers has also pitched for the New York Yankees (1996-1997), the Oakland Athletics (1998-1999), the New York Mets (1999) and the Minnesota Twins (2003).

And finally

New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, talking to FSN about "Little T Learns to Share," Terrell Owens' new children's book: "He may be drawing on someone else's experiences."

mike.penner@latimes.com

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