KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
SEATTLE -- This afternoon in the Pacific Northwest should be quite eventful for Kenny Rogers.
He pitches again for the first time in 10 days, and his selection to the American League All-Star team for the third time in his career should be announced.
That would make for a sufficiently memorable afternoon for anybody, but today's start also marks the first time Rogers takes the mound since he shoved two cameramen in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday.
Suspension being appealed
That led to Rogers being suspended Friday for 20 days by commissioner Bud Selig, a punishment that is being appealed. Rogers remains active until the appeal is heard, most likely after the All-Star break.
The turbulence over that situation, plus dealing with a broken bone in his right, non-pitching hand, make this start more intriguing than the usual July pitching.
"We deal with distractions every day," pitching coach Orel Hershiser said. "We deal with blocking things out every day. Not to belittle the situation, but he'll have to be in his own little world, making pitches, picking up things from hitters and being into the strategy of the game."
Rogers has dominated sports news for four days with videos of the altercation being replayed constantly both locally and nationally. Sunday's start adds to the intense scrutiny.