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Pitching coach says Rogers retiring

Pitching coach says Rogers retiring
DETROIT -- Kenny Rogers still has not made an official announcement whether he wants to pitch this season at age 44.

New Detroit Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp, a long-time minor league teammate of Rogers in the Texas Rangers organization, has spoken with Rogers and knows his intentions.

"He's retired," Knapp said Saturday. "His wife says that he's retired. Kenny and I go way back."

Knapp rattled off the cities they pitched in together: Sarasota, Fla., Burlington, Iowa; Salem, Va., and Tulsa, Okla. Both were low-round draft picks. Knapp never reached the majors as a pitcher, but Rogers has 219 wins to rank 18th all-time among left-handers.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has spoken with Rogers, but won't elaborate on their conversations.

"I'm not looking to add another starter right now," Dombrowski said. "In Kenny's case, it's tremendous what he's done for this organization. And at this point in time, he's not close to signing with anyone. I think he's in a position where he's content where he is."

Rogers won 29 games in three seasons with Detroit, going 17-8 in 2006 and 3-0 in the postseason without allowing an earned run in 23 innings. He won Game 2 of the World Series for Detroit's only victory against St. Louis in the Series.

Cold can't deter fans

The statues outside Comerica Park of the growling Tigers have snow on the tops of their heads, backs and hind legs.The sellout crowd of more than 8,500 didn't seem bothered by the frigid conditions as they gathered for TigerFest.

"You see people standing outside waiting to get in and they are standing all the way down the street and around the corner," said new Detroit pitcher Edwin Jackson. "That says something."

Third baseman Brandon Inge said seeing the fans "gives me chills," and that had nothing to do with temperature readings in the teens.

Perry heads for Erie

Dombrowski expects last year's first-round pick, closer Ryan Perry, will pitch at Double-A Erie after spending the beginning of spring training in the major league camp.

He said, "When you see Perry, you are going to say, 'Wow.' "

Over 100 free agents remain

Signing relievers Brandon Lyon and Scott Williamson could be the last significant offseason moves by the Tigers unless a trade is made.

"There were 170-some free agents," Dombrowski said, "and still over 100 free agents out there. That's a different kind of year. But I don't think we are going to actively be involved in that market."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: January 28, 2009

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