Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kent to Announce Retirement

The all-time home run leader for second basemen, Dodger infielder Jeff Kent is announcing his retirement tomorrow at Dodger Stadium, ending what is likely a Hall of Fame career.

The 40-year-old Kent will retire with a resume worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. The all-time leading home-run hitter at his position, he played the last four seasons of a 17-year MLB career with the Dodgers, hitting a combined .291 with 75 home runs.

He will retire with a .290 career batting average, 377 home runs, 1,518 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage. His 351 home runs hit as a second baseman are 74 more than the next closest second baseman, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.

The 2000 National League MVP, Kent was a five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger. He drove in more than 100 runs eight times (a record at the position), scored at least 100 runs three times and had at least 20 home runs 12 times. In 2008, he passed Ralph Kiner, Gil Hodges and Carlton Fisk on the all-time home-run list and passed Billy Williams, Dave Parker and Mickey Mantle on the all-time RBIs list. He's tied with Eddie Murray for 20th on the all-time doubles list with 560.

Look, I know that some of my fellow Sons don't agree with me, but I for one am happy that Kent spent some of his career with the Dodgers. Sure, he's a crusty old curmudgeon whose divisiveness and lack of clubhouse leadership helped catalyze the Dodgers' disastrous freefall out of the playoffs in 2007.

But his bat was oftentimes the only one with pop in a lineup that had no other pop to show. Sure, one could hear his knees creaking from the upper deck, when Kent would topple over to one side trying in vain to stop a ground ball. But he leaves with a Dodgers tenure that was largely professional--nothing more, nothing less--and his porn-stache and statistical record intact.

And, he never broke a bone "washing his truck" while he was a Dodger. Fare thee well, Mr. Kent.

Somewhere, Bass Pro Shops salivates. And deer of the world worry.

7 comments:

Andrew said...

As much as I hated him while living in SF when he was with the Giants, and as much as he had the spirit of a senile grandfather, man could the guy rake. Watching him with the Dodgers really gave me a respect for his ability to be a run producer.

Alex Cora said...

He going into the Hall with a dodger cap or a giants cap?

Steve Sax said...

Blue Jays, I hope.

Hong Like a Chi Kuo said...

If he still holds a grudge against the Giants he might sport Dodger blue, but his HOF resume was written as a Giant.

Steve Sax said...

They should use real hair on the plaque's mustache.

Baseball Cynic said...

I always thought he ran like my grandmother.

Delino DeShields said...

Years from now, we'll be able to take our sons to the Hall of Fame to see Kent's mustache, floating in suspended animation right next to the display of no-hitter balls.