Thursday, November 4, 2010

Revisiting the Jeff Kent Shunning

Jeff Kent was the first player who declined my interview request.  We were on the field at Dodger Stadium well before the game was to start.  At the time, abtting practice hadn't even begun and a handful of players had just reached the field and started lightly stretching.
After nabbing interviews with Hall of Fame broadcasters Jon Miller and Peter Gammons and coaches Larry Bowa and Mike Easler, I was feeling good.  I approached Kent and was shot down.  Kent said he had to take bp (although it hadn't started yet).
I actually like Kent and think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame.  I must be impartial though, as I present the splits for his 2008 season before and after shunning Johngy's Beat.
Before the shun, in 52 games, Kent hit .257, with 8 HR's, 28 rbi's and 28 runs scored.
After the shun, in 69 games, Kent hit .296, with 4 HR's, 28 rbi's, 21 runs scored and was 0-1 in stolen base attempt.
Kent's average did go up, but his production certainly went down.  Kent probably suffered the least effects from the shun, but still suffered.
Did the effects of the shun push Kent to retire?  He was only 23 HR's away from 400.  If he would have kept his pre-shun pace, he would have finished 2008 with around 382, only 18 away from the magical 400.
It might be a close call on his Hall of Fame enshrinement.  It isn't a close call on the Shun Splits, though, as it now stands Johngy's Beat 5, players (Kent, Torre, Byrd, Jenks and Manny) 0.
Jeff Kent in Los Angeles, CA-June 2008.


Anonymous said...

I don't like Jeff Kent, but don't see him having much trouble getting into the Hall. It may take 3-5 years, but I believe he'll get there. He was anti-PED, and his numbers are very good for a 2B.

Johngy said...

I know he was anti-PEDs, but I still have suspicions. Unfortunately, that is what has come from the era.
I agree with you about the HOF. His numbers are there.