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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dodgers’ Kent could face early end to career

“It’s Almost As If They’re Saying, You Live Your Lives & We’ll Live Ours”

Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, a five-time All-Star, former National League Most Valuable Player and almost-certain future Hall of Famer, might have played his last game in the major leagues.

Kent was sent back to Los Angeles for an MRI exam after leaving Friday night’s game at Arizona with pain in his left knee. Although that exam hadn’t taken place as of game time Saturday night, club officials had a strong suspicion as to what it likely would show.

Kent, 40, has been playing through pain from slightly torn cartilage in his knee for about a month, fully aware that the continued grind of playing baseball on an everyday basis meant there was a strong risk of additional, more painful tearing.

That additional tearing is believed to be what took place during Friday’s game. Kent was said to be in “excruciating pain” after leaving the game, and club officials were holding out slim hope of getting him back in what is widely expected to be his final season.

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2008 at 12:50 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, hall of fame, history

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   1. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: August 31, 2008 at 02:53 PM (#2923442)
I hope it's not the end for him. Will he go into the HOF as a Giant?
   2. JC in DC Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:00 PM (#2923444)
40's early for a professional athlete?
   3. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2923450)
If he gets in it will be as a Giant - longest stop of his career, and where he had the greatest success. But I'm not sure he'll get in, even though he's supremely qualified. His fielding is underrated because he doesn't look like a classic second baseman, he's got into a lot of scrapes, and he's annoyed a lot of journalists. At the moment the Hall looks dangerously like the Hall of First Baseman and Corner Outfielders and if Kent winds up being judged on his bat alone he will obviously not make it.
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2923451)
I think what the headline meant was that it's an early end to his season, and since he was probably retiring after the season, it's thus an early (earlier than expected) end to his career as well.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:28 PM (#2923453)
This is unfortunate, must be very frustrating and even depressing for him. Although he's supposed to be someone who doesn't really enjoy baseball as much as most other stars, playing hurt is not something all stars do.

40's early for a professional athlete?

On a site dedicated to nitpicking, this may be one of the most ridiculous examples ever. I believe the headline refers to how his career may have ended abruptly at the end of August instead of at the end of this season.
   6. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#2923455)
I think certain people are gleefully anticipating earlier ends to players' careers as proof that steroid testing is "working." If it happens, of course, it's really a reason why steroids should be legal.
   7. caprules Posted: August 31, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#2923484)
Vaux, aren't you a champion of the common man over rich people? If that was the case, wouldn't you prefer that rich athletese have their careers end so that young athletes have their chance?
   8. Jeff K. Posted: August 31, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#2923532)
Vaux, aren't you a champion of the common man over rich people? If that was the case, wouldn't you prefer that rich athletese have their careers end so that young athletes have their chance?

And the winner for "Most confusing attempt to paint someone into a position" is...
   9. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: August 31, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#2923536)
This wouldn't have happened if he was still batting in front of Manny.
   10. Marty Winn Posted: August 31, 2008 at 06:51 PM (#2923694)
Well this part way explains the horrible defense he played Wednesday night in the game against the Nationals that I went to and Maddux lost.
   11. JC in DC Posted: August 31, 2008 at 06:55 PM (#2923703)
I think certain people are gleefully anticipating earlier ends to players' careers as proof that steroid testing is "working." If it happens, of course, it's really a reason why steroids should be legal.


Yeah, that's exactly what this "certain" person was thinking. Not at all that the headline made me wonder if they had meant "Kemp," and what the heck had happened to him.
   12. Jeff K. Posted: August 31, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2923745)
I think it's much more nitpicky to criticize JC than to criticize the headline. I almost posted the same thing last night. While true that this would be an "early" end in a technical sense, it's much less useful to use that phrasing than it is to avoid it in this case.

Every career ends "early", in that it ended earlier than it possibly could have gone. I suppose Munson, Clemente, and Lidle might be exceptions.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 31, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#2923798)
So of all people it may end with a whimper instead of a bang?

I write that in reference to Kent's outspoken prickly nature.....
   14. PerroX Posted: August 31, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#2923851)
Off the cuff, I'd say Kent is a HOFer, but he was nothing more than an average player until his age 29 season when he began to benefit greatly from his partnership with Barry Bonds.

He's a marginal HOF candidate. I'd give Biggio the nod before Kent.

Still, if this is the end, Kent deserves respect for his accomplishments as a player.
   15. GregQ Posted: August 31, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#2923868)
When teh Giants got Kent he seemed to me to be a pretty average, at best, fielder. By the time he left the team I thought that he had improved a great deal. I think he deserves credit for that because it seems like it was something he worked on, and I believe a lot of players at that age do not put a effort into improving in the field.
   16. Robert S. Posted: August 31, 2008 at 08:07 PM (#2923884)
What a stupid headline.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: August 31, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2923910)
He's a marginal HOF candidate. I'd give Biggio the nod before Kent.


Well, I'd give Biggio the nod first too, but it's not like Biggio is a marginal Hall of Fame candidate.

Kent has both the career and peak to be a well qualified Hall of Famer too, and not a marginal one:
1) .289 .355 .499 rate stats
2) 122 OPS+
3) Career leader in HR at position
4) Top 50 career in RBI and 2B
5) MVP in 2000

If he's not voted in fairly quickly, it'll represent a huge reversal of the already existing standards that are generally used by the BBWAA. Hell, they're getting ready to vote in a corner outfielder with the same rate stats, and a shorter career.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 01, 2008 at 05:53 AM (#2924326)
With any kind of positional consideration, Kent should be elected fairly easily, although probably not 1st ballot since a considerable number of voters seem to want to carve out an inner-circle category with the 1st vote. He's one of only two 2nd basemen with more than 2400 hits and 300 HRs.
   19. bookbook Posted: September 01, 2008 at 05:55 AM (#2924330)
Yeah. But Jim Rice was one of the most feared hitters in the game.
   20. PerroX Posted: September 01, 2008 at 07:08 AM (#2924344)
Those Giant years are impressive, and the three following years were very good, but within the hitting environment his best years fell within, I see him as just over-the-hump as far as election and not a lock. Those rate and counting stats need context, and Bobby Grich had a better career OPS+.

Kent should probably make it, but Rice is more deserving.
   21. snowleopard Posted: September 01, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2924698)
Jeff Kent is a much stronger candidate than Jim Rice. It's not even close. Rice is simply not a hall of famer. You wanna put him, why don't you go ahead and put George Foster, Ellis Burks, Moises Alou, David Justice, and Steve Frikkin Finley in too. They are about as strong candidates.

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