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.

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees pitches in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on May 9, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Yankees are believed to be close to trading closer Aroldis Chapman, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Saturday. Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported on Sunday that owner Hal Steinbrenner hasn’t given authorization to sell “top guys,” which would include Chapman. The Yankees told other clubs they’re holding onto reliever Andrew Miller.

The Nationals and Indians have been the most aggressive in pursuit of Chapman. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported on Sunday that the Indians “have the best names on the table” for Chapman. ESPN’s Keith Law reported that the Nationals were offering prospects Erick Fedde and Koda Glover along with another unnamed prospect.

The Giants and Cubs have also been reported to have interest in acquiring Chapman. CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic didn’t sense that the Giants are in the “final mix” for Chapman, and the Cubs are more interested in Miller than Chapman, Heyman reported.

Since returning to the Yankees, Chapman has recorded 20 saves in 21 chances with a 2.01 ERA and a 44/8 K/BB ratio in 31 1/3 innings. Chapman will become eligible for free agency after the season. In the event Chapman is traded, Miller will likely move into the closer’s role with Dellin Betances setting up the eighth inning.

[Content note: The following will contain descriptions of an incident during which Chapman allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.]

Chapman, 28, served a 30-game suspension beginning at the start of the regular season due to an offseason incident during which he allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired off eight gunshots in his garage. The police didn’t file official charges.

Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey, Jr. inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 24:  Mike Piazza (L) and Ken Griffey Jr. pose with thier plaques at Clark Sports Center after the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 24, 2016 in Cooperstown, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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As Craig previewed on Friday, catcher Mike Piazza and outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. The Hall’s official Twitter account tweeted photos of each player’s plaque.

Junior, of course, should’ve been depicted with a backwards baseball cap in his plaque. He did put his cap on backwards during his speech.

Craig covered the analysis angle on Friday, so I’ll share my personal perspective.

As someone who grew up watching Piazza and Griffey, it’s cool to see them inducted into the Hall of Fame. As I’m not yet in my 30’s, I only recently got used to seeing my childhood favorites getting inducted into Cooperstown. Looking at the list, Barry Larkin was probably the first player inducted whose career I completely remember following. Since then, this time every July has made me feel pretty old, even if that’s not actually the case. It’s like, “It’s been six years since he retired already?”

If you were a kid growing up in the 1990’s and you played baseball, you mimicked Griffey’s swing. I was terrible at hitting, so it didn’t help me any, but it was a cool feeling when you did Junior’s signature waggle at the plate and connected with a pitch. And if you grew up with video games in the ’90’s, you probably also played his self-titled Super Nintendo Game:

Piazza is a special case, as I’m from southeast Pennsylvania. He was from nearby Norristown and Phoenixville, and as such was the pride of the state even if he spent most of his time across the country and, later, with the rival Mets. It wasn’t uncommon to see people hate the Mets’ guts but still cheer when Piazza homered, as long as it wasn’t against the Phillies. There was one particular home run which had everyone cheering, no matter their affiliation:

Congratulations to Griffey and Piazza for being immortalized into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, a well-deserved honor.

The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot will bring back Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner, and Sammy Sosa. First-timers will include Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Javier Vazquez, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Jorge Posada, Magglio Ordonez, Derrek Lee, Tim Wakefield, Edgar Renteria, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guillen, Jason Varitek, Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell, Freddy Sanchez, Arthur Rhodes, Julio Lugo, and Danys Baez.