Sports News

Seller feels MLB heat over Rogers "cheat" T-shirt

ST LOUIS (Reuters) - A women selling T-shirts accusing Detoit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers of cheating says Major League Baseball is trying to make a federal case over it.

Amy Spetner, holds up one of the T-shirts she is selling outside Busch Stadium in St. Louis, October 26, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Amy Spetner, a nurse and ardent St Louis Cardinals fan, made the T-shirts with an image of Rogers and the controversial smudge on his hand that caused a furor in Game Two of the World Series saying, “The Cards brought the heat. Detroit had to cheat.”

She said a major league official told her Wednesday to stop selling the shirts under threat of an FBI investigation and confiscated other shirts he said constituted trademark infringement because they said, “Go Cards”.

A call on Thursday to Bryan Day of MLB Properties, who left his business card with Spetner, was not returned.

Spetner, selling the T-shirts for $8 in the parking lot of a bar across the street from Busch Stadium, was still selling the shirt on Thursday and accused baseball of trying to cover up a scandal.

The Game Two controversy came when TV cameras showed a close-up of a dark smudge on Rogers’ pitching hand that disappeared after Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa complained to umpires.

Rogers insists it was dirt. Some Cardinals said afterwards it looked like pine tar, a sticky substance that would improve one’s grip on the ball.

Spetner said she was outraged Rogers was not ejected for cheating.

“This is about saying, hey everybody in the world saw this on TV,” Spetner told Reuters. “We think Major League Baseball came in there and covered it up like another scandal and I went out and put it on a T-shirt for all the world to see.

“It’s about having fun and saying I think MLB tried to put the squash on this and now they’re trying to put the hush on me.”