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.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.