This story is not real. All names are made up, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. All quotes are fictional and any similarity to actual quotes is coincidental.
DETROIT--41-year-old lefthander Kenny Rogers has been nearly unhittable this postseason while leading the Detroit Tigers to the brink of a World Series championship. A fierce, intense competitor, Rogers credits his amazing postseason run to hard work, commitment, and severe, unresolved anger issues.
"I am literally in a rage when I take the mound," Rogers said after Sunday's nights win against the St Louis Cardinals. "I hate the other team, I hate the opposing manager, I hate my manager, and I even hate the ball. All this frustration and anger fuels me to be the best pitcher I can be. Thank God I'm not emotionally mature. I'd be sitting at home watching all this on TV right now."
Rogers, who was suspended last year for shoving a cameraman to the ground, says anger has always been a part of his game.
"My anger has been a key component to my career since Day 1," he said. "I don't know where it all comes from, but it's crucial to my success as a pitcher. That's why I've been screaming and yelling so much this postseason. It gives me such an edge over the rest of the calm, non-crazy players. The only problem is finding some sort of outlet on my off days. Any of you pussies feel like getting your asses kicked in MLB 2K7?"
Tigers manager Jim Leyland spent the better part of the season learning how to handle Rogers' fragile psyche. His strategy? Add fuel to the fire.
"You want to keep Kenny as pissed off as possible," Leyland said. "If he's not angry before a start I try to do something about it. Sometimes I'll call him names, sometimes I'll insult his family, or sometimes I'll just put my cigarette out on his shirt. Then when he gets all riled up I just point him toward the pitcher's mound. It never fails -- except when I use it on the other players. Note to future managers: Nate Robertson does not like being called a 'jerk.'"
Rogers doesn't know the root cause of his anger problems, but admits that he has been prone to fits of anger ever since he was a child. The constant rage can be a burden at times, he says.
"I have anger simmering just below the surface pretty much all the time," Rogers said. "It can be tough when I'm not playing football. There are nights when I sit alone in my living room, fists clenched, burning with pain and rage. I should be on a massive program of anti-depressants, but I don't want to extinguish that fire. Not yet, anyway. I'll wait until I retire and become a color commentator, when I'll actually need the personality of a zombie."
The anger management issues that plague Rogers have started to rub off on his teammates as well. Several Tigers players said they were pumped up by the 41-year-old's angry display while he pitched a shutout against the Cardinals on Sunday night.
"I love that crap. Seeing him like that lights a fire under me," said third baseman Brandon Inge. "I feed off of it. Last night he was pumping his fist like crazy and screaming at us every time we made a play. He was happy, but in an angry, violent way. It was kind of cool. He actually attacked me between innings after I started a big double play. Four people had to hold him back. He was like 'Great play! That's what I'm talking about! Come on! Come on!' Finally they were able to pin him down on the floor. They didn't let him up until it was time to pitch again. That happened every inning from the 5th on."
Rogers finally calmed down at the end of the game, when he cornered in the clubhouse and subdued with a tranquilizer dart.
Dave Saraiva is the author of thebrushback.com. Click here to buy his book, The Brushback Report: All the Sports News That's Unfit to Print.