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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Jeff Kent's Dodger Legacy
2008-08-31 10:55
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Jeff Kent, whose Dodger career began at age 37, is the greatest-hitting second baseman in Los Angeles Dodger history.

In his first three seasons in Los Angeles, Kent produced EQAs, adjusted for era, of .305, .295 and .301. Prior to that, there had been only three seasons of .295-or-better EQAs from second basemen in all of Los Angeles Dodger history: Jim Lefebvre (.300 in 1966), Davey Lopes (.310 in 1979) and Steve Sax (.313 in 1986).

If you go back to include Brooklyn days, only Jackie Robinson surpasses Kent offensively.

Kent didn't play long enough in Los Angeles to top Lopes or Sax in career value - Lopes is pretty much a no-doubter for the starting lineup of the all-time Los Angeles Dodger team – but it is still remarkable to consider that this guy, acquired at the end of his career, ranks third all-time in runs created among Dodger second basemen of the past 50 years.

Though sometimes he could pleasantly surprise you, Kent won't generate many fond memories for his fielding or his diplomacy. In some respects, he evokes Tommy Lasorda in the ferocity of his strengths and weaknesses. A streak hitter and a streak personality, he could be heroic and exasperating, sometimes in the same day.

Before he left the team this weekend for an MRI that could possibly signal the end of his career, one month early, Kent chafed most Dodger fans. Often he could seem as much a problem as a solution. But before he goes, understand that when it comes to second basemen, Los Angeles fans have not seen a hitter like Jeff Kent.

Comments (87)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-31 11:03:11
1.   Linkmeister
Er, I'm speechless.
2008-08-31 11:11:30
2.   D4P
This off-season could see the removal of all remaining Depo players from the roster. Kent will probably retire, and Lowe and Penny might be gone. Penny is the least likely to leave, but there's no guarantee Ned will keep him.
2008-08-31 11:16:12
3.   Tripon
There's no guarantee Ned will keep himself.
2008-08-31 11:56:57
4.   scareduck
I'm at the OC Airport now waiting for the plane that will take us to Chicago and a set of three games at Wrigley against the Astros. I missed yesterday's win entirely, which was of the running away variety. Win aside, the Dodgers haven't had many of those this season, period. I'm going to miss this game, too, and the Angels game as well. See you all tonight after I get settled.
2008-08-31 11:58:23
5.   MJW101
If I were the Dodger GM (OMG) after the post season I would:

Offer ARB to:

Lowe - Bora$ would probably decline, wanting a long term expensive contract. However, Lowe would be worth a $13M one year (or two) contract until our younger SP (Elbert, McDonald, Lindblom) mature.

Manny - Again Bora$ would probably decline, wanting a long term expensive contract. Manny would probably wear out his welcome in one year anyway.

DO NOT offer ARB to:

Nomar - Nomar's rare periodic highlights do not balance the enormous downtime and mediocre time that he has spent in LA. This team does NOT need another expensive, injury prone defensively challenged PVL.

Furcal - When Furcal has been healthy he has played very well for LAD. However, in his time in LA he has been injured or has played poorly in 14 out of the 18 months covering three seasons. Four months of superior play DO NOT equal $39M. With his current back injury it will be exceedingly difficult for him to play well or maybe even at all.

Blake - Kent at 3B. Unfortunately, he might accept ARB if offered. He also has said he wants to go back to Cleveland. Not worth the risk. I would trade him back to Cleveland for Santana before the end of the season.

Kent - Should retire.

2008-08-31 11:59:58
6.   scareduck
2 - The further away from Depo
The nearer we are to chance
Then turn not pale, beloved snail,
but come and join the dance!
2008-08-31 12:03:58
7.   D4P
Whose players these are, I think I know
His home is in San Diego though
He won't be here to see them go
Or take them to the train Depo
2008-08-31 12:05:08
8.   Jacob Burch
Question for Bob or BH, or any other user of the Bob Carpenter Scorebook:

Was there a delay in hearing back after the placement of an online order? I'm guessing its more of a RFQ system than an actual online order, but my checking account hasn't taken a hit and I haven't gotten an email back after placing an order. Half hoping I can get it in time to break in the last week in the season when I hopefully go for a game or two.

Two and a half sounds mighty fine right now..

2008-08-31 12:12:46
9.   LogikReader
The streak is over!

Branagh/Youngs defeats May-Treanor/Walsh to end their, very... very long undefeated streak!

2008-08-31 12:13:07
10.   LogikReader
...just happened on NBC, live in fact :)
2008-08-31 12:15:35
11.   CanuckDodger
I think it is almost a certainty that Penny gets cut loose, and that is as it should be. With all of the problems the Dodgers have had signing veterans who turn out to be less than able bodied (Schmidt and Jones for sure, but Furcal and Nomar to a lesser extent), how dumb would it look giving a guaranteed $9 million to a pitcher who was crap even when he could pitch in 2008?
2008-08-31 12:22:37
12.   Jacob Burch
$7 mil effective cost for a pitcher who has likely been hurt the whole year isn't the worst move in the world, but I wouldn't argue for or against either action that strongly.
2008-08-31 12:23:32
13.   whodat807
I was watching the Cal game and thus missed most of the Dodger game, and had no idea Kent was hurt until now. It's a shame - Kent's not my favorite Dodger by any means, but I'd like to have seen him finish his career off on the field.

Is DeWitt our new 2B? Is Hu going to be given a shot? And does DeWitt look as good at second as he did at third?

2008-08-31 12:26:51
14.   Andrew Shimmin
Wolf cost seven and a half.
2008-08-31 12:28:00
15.   Tripon
Sherman also wonders if Robinson Cano should be dangled this off-season in an attempt to land a starting pitcher like Zach Greinke, Chad Billingsley or Matt Cain.

...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08312008/sports/yankees/the_reconstruction_126820.htm?page=0

2008-08-31 12:31:40
16.   fordprefect
1

"See that you remain that way!"

2008-08-31 12:32:24
17.   D4P
D4P also wonders if Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones should be dangled off a cliff this off-season.
2008-08-31 12:33:11
18.   Tripon
13 DeWitt started two DPs that Kent wouldn't be able to, and finished one of them himself. DeWitt played fairly deep for most of the game, and shown considerable range. The 2nd DP he started was one where he 25-30 feet away from 1st and 2nd, caught the ball cleanly, made sure the runner to 2nd had to stop to avoid a tag by DeWitt, got the runner at first, and then got the 2nd out on a rundown.
2008-08-31 12:47:22
19.   Ken Noe
Interesting commentary of the sad state of LA Dodger second basemen once you get past Lopes, Sax, and Lefebvre. Where are you now, Paul Popovich?
2008-08-31 12:50:17
20.   Andrew Shimmin
Over the game and a half (or so) he's played, DeWitt has looked good at 2B.
2008-08-31 12:52:28
21.   Linkmeister
16 Ha! You fool! You've let the dragon loose!

19 Where, for that matter, is Charlie Neal? Didn't Jim Gilliam play 2b sometimes too?

2008-08-31 12:54:59
22.   Tripon
What, no Delano DeShields mention?
2008-08-31 12:58:56
23.   Ken Noe
Gilliam came up as a second baseman but moved to third. Neal came, peaked, and went pretty quickly. Like Juan Samuel, I'm trying to forget that Delino ever existed. I'll be the first to rank Grumpy ahead of Samuel and not-Pedro.
2008-08-31 12:58:57
24.   trainwreck
How did Kent hurt his knee?
2008-08-31 13:01:45
25.   Ken Noe
Before I forget, we had a conversation here two months ago about Kent's constant painful grimace as he ran the bases. If we thought there was a problem then, where was Dodger management? I sure hope Ned takes Conte to Moose Jaw with him.
2008-08-31 13:02:00
26.   D4P
How did Kent hurt his knee?

Trucks ain't gonna wash themselves...

2008-08-31 13:05:06
27.   Tripon
Didn't Kent hurt his knee on a botched double play?
2008-08-31 13:14:07
28.   Andrew Shimmin
I thought it was the play where Nomar threw the ball away, but he took the field again the inning after that. It was this game.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ARI/ARI200808290.shtml

2008-08-31 13:19:36
29.   Alex41592
CC Sabathia is working on a one hitter through eight innings. The one hit? Andy LaRoche's fifth inning single.
2008-08-31 13:19:37
30.   Dodgers49
23 Like Juan Samuel, I'm trying to forget that Delino ever existed.

What does Juan Samual have against Delino? :-)

2008-08-31 13:20:56
31.   Andrew Shimmin
LaRoche has decided to spend his career chasing Bob's title of Dream Destroyer in Chief.
2008-08-31 13:26:51
32.   Andrew Shimmin
Dustin Pedroia is less clutch than Manny would have been.
2008-08-31 13:26:58
33.   Dodgers49
Has Joe Torre seen this? :-)

Dodgers' Juan Pierre one of the best in September

>> What does Juan Pierre have in common with Ted Williams, Albert Pujols, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Derek Jeter and Vladimir Guerrero?

With the season on the line, he's a tough out. <<

http://tinyurl.com/5upq62

2008-08-31 13:32:33
34.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Nice perspective, Jon!
2008-08-31 13:34:43
35.   Tripon
33 I don't remember Juan Pierre having any power.
2008-08-31 13:34:59
36.   Dodgers49
Speed, defense could be Repko's ticket to call-up

>> "The way he defends and runs the bases, he could be a difference-maker (for the Dodgers) coming down the stretch," Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy said <<

## KEY: 51s starting pitcher Jerome Williams allowed two hits and had seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings. ##

http://www.lvrj.com/sports/27714389.html

2008-08-31 13:35:37
37.   Alex41592
29 - Sabathia pitches a one hitter in Pittsburgh. LaRoche's hit in the fifth was a swinging bunt that Sabathia picked up and dropped but was ruled a hit. If Sabathia cleanly fields the ball he has a no-hitter.
2008-08-31 13:47:17
38.   Dodgers49
Suns' affiliation uncertain

>> The question is, will the Dodgers and Suns renew their affiliation agreement so that equipment can be sent back to Jacksonville next March? Early indications are probably not. <<

http://tinyurl.com/5vhl4g

2008-08-31 13:47:40
39.   Tripon
I can't see Repko as anything but a backup, and we have D. Young for that. Something tells me Repko's not going to be on the 40 man in this off season.
2008-08-31 13:48:23
40.   Alex41592
Diamondbacks acquired infielder David Eckstein from the Blue Jays for RHP Chad Beck.
2008-08-31 13:53:58
41.   Alex41592
Peavy has 9 K's through 4 innings.
2008-08-31 14:07:01
42.   Tripon
40 Hahahahahahaha. Oh man, its too bad we miss him this week, but I'll be glad to see him next with the D'Backs.
2008-08-31 14:22:36
43.   ToyCannon
Here is a breakdown of LA Dodger 2nd baseman based on win shares headed into 2008. Jeff Kent has certainly left his mark on the field and in the dugout. In the end he may have done more harm then good but that is a story for another day.
http://tinyurl.com/truebluews2nd
2008-08-31 14:31:42
44.   Dodgers49
Plenty of blame to go around for Dodger debacle

>> once you consider all the angles, the Dodgers stand as the most disappointing team of 2008. <<

http://tinyurl.com/6gsokx

2008-08-31 14:54:47
45.   Andrew Shimmin
I think Detroit is a much bigger flop, this year. And I wouldn't necessarily put the Dodgers ahead of the Indians for floppiness.
2008-08-31 14:56:33
46.   ryu
44 45 Yankees?
2008-08-31 14:57:20
47.   Michael D
Maybe I just missed but I don't see it anymore, David Eckstein has been traded to Arizona for Chad Beck.
2008-08-31 14:57:34
48.   KG16
33 - the other thing that Juan Pierre has in common with all those guys is that he is a professional baseball player. Of course, the thing that separates them is that all those other guys are either in the Hall of Fame or headed to the Hall of Fame.

Of course, if Pierre manages to get 3000 hits, 700 stolen bases, and maintain is life time .300 average, that might not be a difference. In all honesty, though, I have to wonder, if Pierre moves on, and manages to reach those three plateaus over the next six or seven years, would he be a legit Hall of Famer?

2008-08-31 14:57:58
49.   Michael D
Yeah that sentence didn't come out well at all, sorry.
2008-08-31 15:00:05
50.   trainwreck
48
No. I can't imagine him getting those numbers either. As his speed decreases, he is going to get worse and worse.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-31 15:00:11
51.   KG16
44 , 45 , 46 - I think in biggest flops this year, you have to go with the Tigers as #1 (remember, at the start of the year they were being hailed as The Greatest Offense Ever ™). The Yankees second because they are the Yankees and were expected to be in the play offs.

The Indians and Dodgers I'd put further down, probably in the same category as the Cardinals and Rockies. Teams in what were suppose to be pretty good divisions that turned out to not be quite as good as most projected.

2008-08-31 15:02:24
52.   KG16
50 - yeah, I don't suspect that Pierre will get there. He needs about 1500 more hits and 370 stolen bases, and he's 30. But he's got a pretty crazy training regime, no? He could end up like Jerry Rice, in the sense that he's in incredible physical condition long past his "prime". Still, I doubt he'll be there.
2008-08-31 15:02:27
53.   trainwreck
However, the biggest blunder in ACC country Saturday took place in the sky. A pair of parachuters who were slated to deliver the game ball for North Carolina's opener against McNeese State inadvertently landed eight miles away -- at Duke's stadium. "In about five years," said concerned UNC associate AD Rick Steinbacher, "maybe this will be funny."

Oh no -- it's plenty funny right now.

2008-08-31 15:08:55
54.   GiantturnedDodger
Memories from Arizona: Was lucky to be at the game Friday night in tremendous seats. I posted earlier that they were 2 rows behind the home dugout but ended up in another set of company seats 3 rows just behind the home on deck circle. They seem closer to home then comparable seats at Chavez and the absense of a screen is intimidating being that close. Went early for batting practice. On the way AZ sports talk was wondering why Pierre has taken innings from Ethier. Some things are universal. It's really a nice stadium with convienent parking and bars and restaurants. Of course these types of tickets I guess would make any stadium nice. I missed the Bison taking BP but saw Manny, Nomar, Kent, Pierre, Ethier, Sweeney and a couple of others of less note. Hanging on the cage were McCourt and Gammons who spent most of the time talking with Mattingly. I was so close it was unbelievable. Manny was crushing, balls hooked to left center, in side out shots to right center, drives out to both fields, really a show. He was even bouncing around picking up balls to help the pitcher. Ethier was really squaring up the ball too. Pierre hit some typical flairs to left and then began to try and pull the ball out. After a couple of warning track shots he got two out. I thought of Dodger Thoughts. Sweeney drove nothing with power. Nomar couldn't square anything up, hitting weak grounders to the left side and popping balls in to the top of the batting screen. I wondered at the time if it would carry over to the game. Anyways I was really impressed with the place. It's a different experience that close. I was on the 10 East in less than 5 minutes after the game. Sorry for the long post from a non regular but I though you would enjoy the batting practice stuff.
2008-08-31 15:09:58
55.   Andrew Shimmin
The Cardinals are not a flop. They had no business contending this year, and it's taken the team with the best record in baseball to push them out of contention. How does St. Louis keep coming up with these slugging outfielders from nowhere?
2008-08-31 15:12:08
56.   Dave60
0 Re Kent: Good perspective on his Dodger tenure. I can't add a word.

Re DeWitt: Given that he was moved off second in the minors, I don't have a lot of faith that he can now return there. However, he looks to be covering the position moderately well and has a bat that has already provided some thrills. I hope that he gets the chance to lose the job at second.

Re Las Vegas: I apologize if this has already been covered, but is Las Vegas changing their nickname? The PCL schedule handed out in Sacramento two nights ago lists the Las Vegas team as the TBAs. When I first heard "51s", I thought it was one of the worst ideas ever. Since then, I've grown more accustomed to it and now consider it only quirky and unfortunate. It it really going away and is there any advance information about the new name?

2008-08-31 15:16:43
57.   berkowit28
53 Not funny for him.
2008-08-31 15:17:20
58.   Dodgers49
45 I think Detroit is a much bigger flop, this year.

I agree. I thought Detroit was going to score a boatload of runs and just run away with that division. And I still haven't given up on the Dodgers yet. But that's probably because I can never quite bring myself to do so until they are actually mathematically eliminated. :-)

2008-08-31 15:24:05
59.   Alex41592
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
Manny, LF
Loney, 1B
Kemp, CF
Casey Blake, 3B
Blake DeWitt, 2B
Berroa, SS
Lowe, P

Drew, SS
Young, CF
Jackson, LF
Dunn, RF
Reynolds, 3B
Clark, 1B
Snyder, C
Ojeda, 2B
Webb, P

2008-08-31 15:29:20
60.   Tripon
Nomar's out a second day. Maybe he's hurt and can miss work.
2008-08-31 15:31:35
61.   Alex41592
We should all be very happy Nomar is on the bench.

Nomar vs. Brandon Webb lifetime:

1 for 20.

2008-08-31 15:37:04
62.   Michael D
60, 61 So it won't hurt for him to miss work.
2008-08-31 16:03:16
63.   Bluebleeder87
62

but will they give him cash which is just as good as money?

...no wait, don't answer that.

2008-08-31 16:06:32
64.   trainwreck
Another excerpt from Athletics Nation's interview with team owner Lew Wolff:

Blez: How much do you pay attention to what the media says about the team?

Wolff: Very little. I like the media and enjoy debating with the media. I think I'm pretty good at it. But I don't do what other owners do. My God, some of them make decisions based on the media.

Blez: One of those teams happens to be in Southern California, but I won't name any names. If you were to make a succinct pitch to A's fans as to how they should weather the storm, how would you do so? The storm is not ending any time soon.

Wolff: I think you have to enjoy the fact that we're giving opportunities to people that might be ready for the majors or they might not be. You have to go out and look at a Gio Gonzalez and it's fun to watch him. Before you were born, the Philadelphia Phillies had a team like ours next year and they won the pennant. People were out there and didn't know one damn name but they were watching the hustle, the youth and the experiment. That's what I think we have to market.

2008-08-31 16:06:44
65.   adrian beltre
hall of famer peter gammons just said something to this effect: the dodgers' young players are getting better, but sometimes the inexperience kills them and they are hurt badly in their middle infield defense...which has consisted of no one younger than chin lung hu, who hasn't played since the beginning of the year.
2008-08-31 16:17:23
66.   Alex41592
Tony Jackson has the complete list of callups:

http://www.insidesocal.com/dodgers/2008/08/complete-list-o.html

2008-08-31 16:19:46
67.   Gagne55
Kruk says Webb will pitch a shutout. :(

Phillips though says Manny will be player of the game. :)

2008-08-31 16:21:54
68.   Gagne55
66 "Rafael Furcal and Takashi Saito might be added later"

Sadly, I think that is wishful thinking.

2008-08-31 16:26:15
69.   Bob Hendley
0 - I remember pining for us to get him when he left that team.
2008-08-31 16:42:30
70.   Gagne55
Is the game thread up yet? I don't see it and it's 15 minutes till gametime.
2008-08-31 16:48:25
71.   natepurcell
Dejesus homers off Jeremy Hellickson in the 1st to extend his hitting streak to 23 games.

Dejesus is probably an untouchable.

2008-08-31 16:52:22
72.   whodat807
Three top Dodgers of all time according to Tim Kurkjian:

3) Snider
2) Koufax
1) Robinson.

Jackie Robinson was awesome.

2008-08-31 16:56:30
73.   fordprefect
54

Thanks for the perspective. We went to AZ for spring training but couldn't time it right to get a tour of Chase Field. Stopped at Alice Cooperstown, kinda fun....

2008-08-31 16:58:16
74.   fordprefect
Is there not a Gameday feed?
2008-08-31 17:01:08
75.   fordprefect
Oh, nevermind...
2008-08-31 17:01:33
76.   Alex41592
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2008_08_31_lanmlb_arimlb_1&mode=gameday&ist=t

Game is on ESPN2.

2008-08-31 17:03:26
77.   Bilshaw
Miller & Morgan sound off
2008-08-31 17:03:44
78.   Bluebleeder87
why are we on ESPN2? I can't believe NASCAR is on regular ESPN.

sigh.

2008-08-31 17:04:37
79.   Gagne55
So I guess this is the game thread?
2008-08-31 17:06:06
80.   Alex41592
Jon just put up the game thread.
2008-08-31 17:06:47
81.   Gagne55
Torre is advertising State Farm.
2008-08-31 17:07:07
82.   fordprefect
77

Voluntarily I assume?

2008-08-31 17:09:29
83.   fordprefect
I look forward to much more grit and scrap in the Snakes, lineup soon. Not on FJM, they must be asleep....
2008-08-31 17:10:15
84.   fordprefect
Oops, Snakes' not Snakes, my bad
2008-08-31 17:11:06
85.   fordprefect
While Kent is in for th MRI, can someone please give him a personality implant?

Please?

2008-08-31 17:12:02
86.   thinkblue88
woo hoo!!
2008-08-31 17:23:04
87.   Michael D
Wow some offense for once against a good pitcher. Nice to see. Not dead yet.

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