Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops

Jeff Kent on “Survivor” recap: “I’m a motorcycle dealer”

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I watched Jeff Kent on “Survivor” last night so you didn’t have to …

• Kent explains to the camera that last week he went back and forth on whether to direct his alliance to vote out Jonathan, ultimately deciding against it. Moments later Jonathan tells the camera: “I think Jeff and I have built a trust with each other.”

• The two remaining tribes merge, creating one 11-person tribe. Kent makes it clear that he wants to get rid of Jonathan and Michael, both of whom are returning contestants from previous “Survivor” seasons, saying: “I believe a veteran player should not win this game.”

• Upon meeting his new tribemates Kent is pleased that none of them seem to know his identity and when they all go around in a circle introducing themselves he leaves out the part about earning $90 million as a professional baseball player, instead lying: “I live in Texas. I have a ranch. I’m a motorcycle dealer. I’m a salesman.”

• Kent gets into a conversation with two new tribemates and tells them he doesn’t like Jonathan, doesn’t want Jonathan to win, and wants to “get him out of here.” They begin to scheme ways to get rid of Jonathan as Kent tells the camera: “I’ll join any gang as long as I can get Jonathan out before I get out.” This is about the time I begin sympathizing with Barry Bonds.

• This week’s immunity challenge involves every contestant trying to keep their grip on a rope that’s holding up a bucket containing 20 percent of their body weight in sand. Kent is one of the final three and seemingly taunts the other two guys. He says “attaboy Artis!” as Artis’ grip is slipping away. And then with Carter as his only competition Kent tells him “c’mon young buck!”

• Minutes later Kent appears to be struggling and tries to cut some sort of a deal with Carter, saying: “If I drop you owe me one, if you drop I owe you one, OK?” Carter doesn’t really respond and then says he wants to win, at which point Kent loses his grip and is eliminated in second place.

• Kent talks to Michael–who he previously talked about wanting to get rid of–about voting out Jonathan, saying: “I can’t let Jonathan beat me in this game.”

• Kent talks to Carter about what to do, but they’re interrupted when Jonathan strolls over and pleads his case to them by bringing up his “loyalty.” Kent and Carter can barely make eye contact with him.

• It becomes pretty obvious that Kent controls the whole situation and can essentially choose who he wants to vote out. He then makes what is now a weekly forced baseball reference: “If you treat baseball with disrespect you’re gonna get bit in the ass and I know if you treat this game with disrespect you’re gonna get bit in the ass too. With all humbleness, a decision on who goes home tonight is gonna go based on which way I go tonight.”

• Kent’s growing alliance group decides to vote for both Jonathan and R.C., figuring Jonathan will either have to use up his immunity idol in order to remain in the game or will get voted out if he opts not to use it. Jonathan is smart enough to play the immunity idol, saving himself from what would have been elimination, and R.C. is voted out instead.

• In the preview for next week’s episode Jonathan is basically shown going rogue now that he knows Kent and everyone else were screwing with him.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.