Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops

Jeff Kent on “Survivor” recap: “This game sucks”

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OK, so my weekly recap of Jeff Kent on “Survivor” is a day late since … well, there was this thing called the World Series on television last night. However, because I’m such a devoted blogger and at least three people like reading these recaps instead of actually having to watch the show I recorded it on DVR and watched it today …

– During the reward challenge Kent got into a brief disagreement with a player on the other tribe named Artis in which he laughed and said: “All right, relax.” I immediately imagined Kent saying that to Barry Bonds approximately 1,000 times per season in the Giants’ clubhouse.

– As part of the reward challenge Kent’s tribe receives letters from home and Kent gets choked up while reading his, saying: “I’ve got a pretty big family at home. Having your wife and kids write to you, after suffering through rain and no food and getting banged up, that’s pretty neat.”

– This week’s immunity challenge involves launching balls into the air and players having to fight over catching them with nets attached to sticks. Kent dominates the game early, making three straight catches to put his tribe within one point of winning, but then has the ball knocked out of his net on a potential game-winning catch. With the score tied Kent switches positions in order to match up with the other tribe’s top player, Malcolm, and then falls down tracking the ball as Malcolm catches it to win.

– Afterward Kent throws tribe-mate Carter under the bus (or truck, for you Kent-related jokesters), saying he was “out-muscled and out-maneuvered by Malcolm.” Apparently no one watched how the final point played out, because Kent doesn’t get called on it.

– Kent starts talking to Carter about who to vote out and says: “Katie is worthless. She can’t do anything in the challenges, she’s only gonna set us back.” However, he also thinks getting rid of Jonathan could be smart since he’s strong. “I think we need to pull a Penner punch,” Kent says, referring to Jonathan’s last name and making up a phrase that doesn’t mean anything even on a remote island situation created by a reality television show.

– Kent tells Carter that “we just gotta make sure Jonathan doesn’t know it’s coming, so he doesn’t use the idol” to protect himself from getting voted out. They all act toward Jonathan as if they’re only debating getting rid of the two women in the tribe.

– Kent has a monologue to the camera: “I’ve come into this game knowing I’m gonna have to lie, knowing I’m gonna have to jeopardize my integrity and character. I’m still weighing my options. All of them have to do with furthering myself in this game.”

– Kent then makes what has become a weekly forced baseball reference, saying: “You don’t know whether you’re gonna strike out or hit a home run, but you go up to the plate to swing the bat.” Or, you know, draw a walk, which Kent did 801 times in his career.

– During tribal council host Jeff Probst asks Kent if he’s ever played any kind of game with this type of strategy before, to which Kent replies: “This game sucks, Jeff.” (Side note: Imagine if you were watching it, instead of actually playing it!)

– Jonathan declines to play his hidden immunity idol, but Katie gets voted out anyway.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates Rajai Davis #20 two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $5 million contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

Sarasota County to build the Braves a new spring training facility

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The Braves have trained at Walt Disney World for several years. The lease is up, however, and they’ve been on the hunt for a new facility for some time. Disney is just too geographically remote from most of the Grapefruit League facilities so they’ve looked on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for some time.

Their search appears to be over, however, as they have reached an agreement to move to Sarasota:

The Atlanta Braves formally plan to move the team’s spring training home to North Port in 2019, the team and Sarasota County announced Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement set the stage for final negotiations this spring on a contract to bring the Major League Baseball team to a new complex in the West Villages district just south of West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41, near the State College of Florida campus in North Port.

It’ll be a $75-$80 million complex on 70 acres. The story says it’s envisioned to anchor a “town center” commercial and residential district. If anyone has ever been to a spring training facility, however, one knows how ridiculous such an idea is. There is nothing more geographically un-centered and dispersed than a spring training facility. It’s a sea of open fields which private citizens generally cannot access and large parking lots. These facilities typically require major arteries, not quaint town streets, for reasonable access. The best any facilities do to integrate with surrounding communities can be seen in Fort Myers with the Twins and in Surprise, Arizona with the Rangers and Royals, where the facilities are part of larger community parks and recreation centers. That’s OK, and certainly better than nothing, but they’re not the anchors of the vibrant live/work/shop developments like the Braves and Sarasota are describing here.

But of course everyone involved has to say that, because selling such facilities as the engine of pie-in-the-sky development is a key part of making the large expenditure of public funds seem more palatable. And yes, there will be a big expenditure of public funds here: the Braves will be getting $56 million in taxpayer subsidies for the new place, some from the state, some from the county. The amount from the county, by the way, is calculated to fall just below the threshold required for a public vote on the expenditure. The Braves have always been blessed with the ability to avoid public votes for their corporate welfare, of course.

One wonders how many other wealthy private businesses owned by multinational corporations get tens of millions in tax dollars to build employee training centers. Not many, I’m sure. The Braves always seem to luck out in this regard, however.