Monday, August 18, 2008

Jeff Kent Shoots His Mouth Off Once Too Often

In an interview with the L.A. Times T.J. Simers, Dodger second baseman Jeff Kent says the unthinkable. Will his words become career suicide in Los Angeles?

Five simple words from the mouth of future hall-of-famer, Los Angeles Dodger second baseman Jeff Kent. Five words that, even if he wanted to, he will never get back. Let them echo in your mind one more time.

"Vin Scully talks too much."

The reason for Jeff Kent telling Simers - and anyone else who will listen - why Vin Scully, hall-of-fame broadcaster and play-by-play voice of the team since 1950, talks too much?

Well, since the 40-year-old became the lucky Dodger to hit 3rd in a line-up that has newest superstar Manny Ramirez batting 4th, Kent has seen his offensive statistics magically return to his pre-Dodger glory days when, as a member of the San Francisco Giants, Kent experienced the same good fortune batting next to Barry Bonds in the Giants' order.

Coincidence? Don't tell that to Jeff Kent.

"Kent's batting average has increased by more than 20 points in the past 10 days since hitting third," Simers said in his column of August 17. "Manny being Manny has rejuvenated Kent [and] it's so much fun telling him that."

Kent's response was classic red-ass.

"It's so pathetic," he said. "You guys write about things happening in a week's time. That's why we don't like you. Baseball is a six-month game."

And if that weren't enough, Kent went on to tell everyone why they shouldn't listen to Scully.

"I've been here four years and I have never seen Vin Scully down here in the clubhouse," Kent said. "How does Vin Scully know me? How does Vin Scully know Derek Lowe?"

Oh, I don't know, the way play-by-play guys have been figuring it out since before the turn of the last century? As Simers said to Kent one more time:

"Scully is making the same point everyone else is making. He says the stats indicate you are having success hitting behind Ramirez - tell me that isn't the case."

To which Kent, exercising his ability to state the obvious, responded:

"See my answer to the first question. Listen, I'm so tired of talking about this stuff. It diminishes my whole career and all the hard work. I take it as an insult."I'm 40. You don't get better when you are 40."

Or, apparently, smarter.

When asked by Simers for a comment on Kent's thoughts, Vin Scully, as expected, declined.
In Kent's defense, throughout the interview, you can tell he thought he was being funny. Other famous people who thought they were being funny include King George III of England who, on July 4, 1776 wrote:

"Nothing of importance happened today".

And of course who can forget the words of the ancient Egyptian astrologer Ptolemy, who said:

"The earth is the center of the universe."

Or in Jeff Kent's case...

Just for the record, right now, in triple-A Las Vegas, the Dodgers are at work turning rookie third baseman Blake DeWitt into a second baseman. Kent, in the final weeks of his contract with Los Angeles, has for some time been expected to make this his last season as a player.

And if Kent, as pointed out by Scully, weren't hitting .500 since being dropped in front of an unconscious Man-Ram in the batting order, well...

Jeff Kent talks too much.

Don't let the club house door hit you on your red-ass as you go.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday