T.R.’s Memoirs: Kenny Rogers is in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. His career was a long, at times messy, drama (Part II)
(The Associated Press/Ed Zurga)
Editor’s note: T.R. Sullivan covered the Texas Rangers over 32 years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.Com and is sharing his “memoirs” with this newsletter. This is the second of three parts on Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers and the events that led up to his assaulting two television cameramen in 2005.
If there is one place I always wanted to do well, it was here. It’s an extreme joy for me to come back to play here.
Kenny Rogers, on signing a two-year, $6 million contract with the Rangers in January 2004
Kenny Rogers made a triumphant return to the Rangers in 2004 for his third tour with the ballclub. He made 35 starts, set a career high with 18 wins and was selected to the American League All-Star team.
The Rangers also enjoyed a terrific season in their second year under manager Buck Showalter. After four straight last-place finishes — including a 71-91 record in 2003 — the Rangers went 89-73 and finished just three games out of first place in the AL West.
The Rangers, as always, were short on pitching, but decided what they really needed to do was upgrade their offense. They made a concerted effort to sign switch-hitting first baseman Carlos Delgado, who was a free agent and had been averaging 38 home runs and 120 RBIs over the previous seven seasons.
To me, that started the long and complicated chain of events leading to Rogers assaulting two television cameramen later on during the season.
I blame the whole mess on Carlos Delgado. If only he had been willing to be a designated hitter and taken Tom Hicks’ money.
Blame it on Delgado.
Never mind that Rogers blames it all on me and will for all eternity.
You see, your honor … it happened this way …