Steve Henson's latest Vero recap highlights Jeff Kent, and how he has reported to camp with a positive attitude, honed obliques, and an eagerness to contribute. Clearly, TJ Simers isn't in Vero Beach.
[Kent] slapped a gold star and a smiley face on every topic Wednesday, noteworthy because Kent normally isn't a smiley face kind of guy.
And noteworthy because the optimism comes after, perhaps, his most frustrating season. Kent, 38, was on the disabled list twice for the first time in his career and played in only 115 games....
His off-season was marked by a specially tailored workout regimen provided by team strength and conditioning coach Doug Jarrow, who visited Kent at his Texas ranch. Jarrow taught the drills to the personal trainer of Kent's wife, who then put Kent through workouts three days a week.
"The oblique gave me a lot of trouble, so we tried to get that muscle strong the best we could," he said. "It went well. I'm a little nervous I'm in such good health."
The cynical side of me thinks that Kent, who earns $9M this year, is focused on the 550 plate appearances it will take to trigger a $9M option for next year. But if Kent can get back to the 37 HR level that he had during his 2002 season (his walk year from the Giants), I'd be pretty stoked.