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.

Chapman has trouble remembering convo with Cubs management about off-field behavior

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CHICAGO — Star closer Aroldis Chapman joined the Cubs on Tuesday, arriving to a mixed reaction in Chicago and saying he couldn’t remember what management told him about off-field expectations and behavior.

After Chapman’s awkward introductory news conference, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein insisted Chapman understands what the Cubs expect of him after an offseason domestic violence incident.

When the Cubs announced the trade with the New York Yankees on Monday, the team released a statement from Chairman Tom Ricketts saying they were aware of his 29-game suspension to begin the season under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

Ricketts said he and Epstein talked by phone with Chapman before the deal was completed and “shared with him the high expectations we set for our players,” adding that Chapman was “comfortable” with them.

But when asked repeatedly about that phone conversation before Tuesday’s game against the crosstown White Sox, Chapman said through an interpreter that he couldn’t recall details because he was taking a nap at the time the call came in.

The question was asked several more times. A Cubs spokesman once asked the question himself to the interpreter, coach Henry Blanco.

“It’s been a long day,” Chapman said. “Trying to remember.”

Asked again several minutes later during the group interview if he could now remember what Ricketts said, Chapman shook his head.

“I still don’t remember,” he said in Spanish.

Epstein called it a misunderstanding and that Chapman was “pretty nervous” as he faced seven cameras and more than two dozen reporters.

“I was on the call, Tom was on the call, Aroldis was on the call and Barry Praver, his agent, was on the call. It happened and it was real,” Epstein said before the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to the White Sox.

Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots in the garage of a Florida home in October. The woman later changed her story and no charges were filed.

“You learn from the mistakes that you make,” Chapman said.

The case caused the Los Angeles Dodgers to back out of an offseason trade for Chapman. Cincinnati eventually traded him to the Yankees, and after his suspension, the 28-year-old Cuban converted 20 of 21 save chances for New York.

The Cubs have long boasted of stocking their roster with high-character players, helping earn the “lovable losers” label they’ve carried for decades since their last World Series title in 1908.

But the Cubs (59-40) have retooled their roster under Epstein and have the best record in the major leagues despite Tuesday’s loss in which Chapman didn’t pitch. Chapman, who threw a 105 mph fastball last week, fills perhaps the team’s largest hole as he replaces Hector Rondon as closer.

The Cubs sent four players to the Yankees, including shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, to get one of the game’s top relievers. Epstein said they wouldn’t have made the deal if not for the phone call he and Ricketts had with Chapman.

“Tom laid out the exact same standards that he lays out to everyone in spring training,” Epstein said. “He said, extremely clearly, `Look, Aroldis, I tell all the players this in spring training and it’s important you hear it and I need to hear from you on this. We expect our players to behave. We hold our players to a very high standard for their behavior off the field. And we need to know you can meet that standard.’

“Aroldis said `I understand. Absolutely, I can.'”

The Cubs activated Chapman before Tuesday’s game and designated left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.

Reaction to Chapman’s acquisition in Chicago has been tepid. While there were supportive fans on talk radio, the Chicago Tribune carried a front-page column Tuesday criticizing the move. The back of the Chicago Sun-Times tabloid read “Spin City” over a picture of Epstein.

Chapman said he expected a “good reaction” from Cubs fans. He was also asked during the 20-minute meeting with reporters in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field if we would consider working with organizations looking to prevent domestic violence. Chapman said no.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon defended Chapman.

“He did do a suspension, he has talked about it, he’s shown remorse,” Maddon said. “Everybody else has the right to judge him as a good or bad person. That’s your right.

I want to get to know Aroldis. I think he could be a very significant member and he’s got the potential, yes, to throw the last out of the World Series. And if he does, I promise you I will embrace him.”

Report: Padres working on trading Andrew Cashner

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Starter Derek Norris #3 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Padres are working to trade starter Andrew Cashner. He notes that a deal may be consummated before he takes the hill for Tuesday’s start in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Marlins, Orioles, and Rangers have had reported interest in Cashner.

Cashner is 4-7 with a 4.79 ERA and a 61/27 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings. He missed over three weeks between June 11 and July 2 due to a strained neck.

The right-hander is earning $9.625 million this season and will be eligible for free agency after the season.