Jeff Kent Can't Even Remember Which Bridges He Left Standing

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Probably because they're all a pile of smoldering ash. But really, Jeff Kent must have forgotten all the nonsense he caused in San Francisco because he wants to go into the Hall of Fame with a Giants cap etched onto his head for perpetuity.

"Absolutely, but I believe that's not up to me anymore. I've had my best years in San Francisco, I've had the most fun throughout my career in San Francisco. There's no doubt all my accomplishments, my passion and my heart was left in San Francisco."

Things that were not left in San Francisco by Jeff Kent:

Speaking of which, Kent addressed that incident back in 2002, when he claimed he broke his wrist while washing his truck but reports indicated that it had broken while falling off his motorcycle doing wheelies. Does he have any regrets about it?

"No I don't. I don't think anybody knows the real story. That's what's so comical to me ... It was spring training. Players don't get paid, the games don't mean anything. And that was one of my better years, too."

I've never broken my wrist before but I can't imagine it inspires comedy. I guess he was referring to his hilariously awful lie. Or his embarrassment towards the steroid era but not that awful moustache.

(quotes courtesy of Andrew Baggarly's excellent Extra Baggs blog)

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Players don't get paid, the games don't mean anything.

It sure was nice of Jeff to give back all the pay he received while on the DL. What a prince.

He needs to wear the Giants cap so everyone can be reminded that his greatest career accomplishments occurred when hitting behind one of the most notorious steroid abusers and people he hated the most (which is an accomplishment for Bonds).

That photo never ceases to be spectacularly funny.

Jeff Kent in the Hall of Fame is not a lock, is it?

rfs1962, no, I don't think Jeff Kent is a HOF lock, although I believe, sadly, that he will make it. His argument for the HOF is that he has compiled some of the best counting statistics of any second baseman, and on the surface, that *probably* will be enough, but there are some factors that will come into play here that can, and hopefully, will work against him. (Obviously, I'm not a fan of the "man".)

So in effort to bore, here are some things that might keep him out:

Steroids -- I know, I know, Kent has never been linked directly to steroids, but that doesn't matter, at least for my self-serving argument against roid-rage Kent. There have been whispers or, at the very least, speculation he might have used. Not as strongly as, say, a Mike Piazza, who has never been caught, but is almost universally thought of as having been chemically enhanced. Many of the voting members of the BBWAA will take into consideration the possibility of steroid use, especially for any player right on the edge, as is Jeffie.

--First, Kent never made it to the Majors until he was 24, which as Bill James has noted (although not specifically about Kent) is late for a HOF-level player. Greatness usually announces itself early, either by the player making the majors quickly, such as a Robin Yount, or by establishing a high-level of play right out the gate, such as a Wade Boggs. Kent did neither, which will make him unusual for a HOFer if, indeed, he's voted in.

--Second, as I just alluded to, he really didn't establish himself on a more elite level until he was 30 years old, his seventh season in the bigs, when he finished with an OPS+ of 142. Prior to that, he was in 105-110 range. Nice, but nothing great.

--Last, his break-out season occurred one year after he showed up in San Francisco, home of Barry Bonds, their roid counterparts, the Oakland A's, and that fine athletic-enhancing outfit known as BALCO. I think he discovered PEDs when he was traded out west.

Greatness? -- Even ignoring the possible roid use, is he really a great hitter? I suggest he's simply someone who would have been slotted at one of the corner infield positions, or in left field, if he came of age at another point in the history of the game. Hitting was king in the 1990s, with defense always placing second, no pun intended, which means Kent and his bat was allowed to remain at second. His lifetime OPS+ is 123. Certainly good, but nothing spectacular, and certainly not if we moved him off of second to most other positions. I mean, if he was a great fielder, then we could take that into account, but he wasn't. We're not talking Joe Morgan, who could hit, run and field. We're talking about a bat that was put at second base. I suggest in time we'll see more and more second baseman put up very good offensive numbers that will suddenly make Kent's numbers seem a bit more ordinary, or at least not as extraordinary.

Fungible -- If he was really such a great hitter, why did he play for six teams in 17 seasons? I'm sure his personality contributed, but if he was truly great, I think there would have been less movement in his career because his greatness would have overcome his personality quirks (I'm being kind for a second.) Even his counting stats, including 2400+ hits and 377 HRs, while good, don't stand out considering the offensive period in which he played.

The Stache -- No one has ever been kept out of the HOF for facial hair, but can't we make him the first?!!!

Granted, I don't really like Kent so I'm searching for reasons why NOT to induct him. Do I think Kent will make the Hall? Yes. Do I think he deserves to make the Hall? Maybe. I don't think it's a no-brainer.

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