Rogers Gambling with His Legacy in Detroit

Each day, the Kenny Rogers situation gets more and more bizarre, doesn’t it?How did the Tigers end up holding the bag after Rogers claimed “Motown or nowhere” for 2008? Surely Scott Boras has a role in it — but given how badly the A-Rod thing appears to have blown up in his face, he might not want to press his luck with Rogers’ future.But seriously: how did we get here?Almost two years ago Tigers fans wondered loudly what the Tigers were thinking when they signed 41-year-old hot head Kenny Rogers for two years.A year later, Rogers — improbably — was the toast of the town. His three dazzling 2006 postseason starts will be etched in the memories of Tigers fans for decades.Unless they aren’t.Detroit fans, I believe, are among the best at forgiving and forgetting with athletes that blaze a trail out of town and return as a member of the opposition. (Remember Grant Hill‘s return? Brendan Shanahan‘s? Joey Harrington‘s? Ahem.)This time, though, I think even Detroiters may be forgiven if they greet Kenny Rogers the Ranger or Mariner or Athletic with the same vitriol they (and I) dished out at the 2005 All Star Game. (If you want the skinny on Rogers’ potential suitors, read Ian‘s top-notch post.)From toast of the town to mere toast in less than a year? That’s what happens when you roll the dice on your legacy — a legacy that was not much to speak of (or speak of positively) before 2006.As the days pass and Rogers doesn’t sign with the Tigers, Dave Dombrowski is doing the wise thing by kicking the tires on plans B, C and, quite possible, a plan D.For Rogers, though, the clock is ticking on his place in Tigers history.Roll those dice, Kenny. But don’t be surprised if your chance of returning to Detroit comes up snake eyes.