Jeff Kent on “Survivor” recap: “By the time Obama takes it”

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

• Jonathan narrowly avoided being voted out in last week’s episode and is very upset, telling everyone how betrayed he feels by Kent and others who lied to him about their plan. Meanwhile, Kent remains completely focused on voting out Jonathan, admitting to the camera that he “gave up a lot of power and authority” in last week’s unsuccessful effort to do so.

• There are two stages to the immunity challenge. The first involves ripping through rope knots and then going through a mini-obstacle course, which Kent does well enough to advance to the final round with Jonathan and Pete. The second stage is solving a puzzle and Jonathan rallies late to win the challenge, securing immunity and saving himself from almost surely being voted out. In losing Kent remarks: “What a joke.”

• Talking to the camera a frustrated Kent opines that Jonathan “just bought himself another three days of a dead man walking.” He then openly tells Mike that he’s the new person on the chopping block. However, once Kent leaves the area multiple other players immediately bring up his name as someone to vote out.

• Kent catches wind that he might be in danger, telling the camera: “We were all set to let Mike go, but now I found out they’re gunning for me. Hopefully the bullet’s gonna go in the right direction.” Kent seemingly talks enough people to swing the vote into getting rid of Pete, telling the camera: “Pete’s going home and we all got all six votes.”

• Earlier in the episode Kent remarked to the camera that “Lisa is so naive and so soft and so nice.” In direct contrast to that Lisa (also known as “Blair” from “The Facts of Life”) outed Malcolm as holding one of the hidden immunity idols and during tribal council that causes Malcolm to admit he has it to everyone. And then in a very odd turn of events Abi confesses that she also has an immunity idol.

• With that information out in the open Jonathan basically pleads his case for everyone to keep him around and instead vote someone else out. When he asks if everyone is ready to do that, Kent tersely replies: “We’ve discussed those options and many more, I think you know about that.”

• “Survivor” host Jeff Probst is dumbfounded by what’s taking place, saying that this is the most complicated and interesting tribal council he’s seen in 25 seasons. And then to make it even crazier, neither Malcolm nor Abi actually play their immunity idol after convincing everyone not to vote for them because the vote would be wasted anyway once they played it.

• Probst begins to pull out the votes and after each one listing Kent’s name Kent has an absolutely hilarious reaction. Kent looks totally shocked with each vote, glancing to his right and left like the world’s worst actor had just been told by a director to “act shocked.” Then on the fourth vote with his name on it Kent literally mutters to himself, saying “wow.”

• It’s a 4-4 tie between Kent and Pete with one vote to go … and Kent is voted out. He is completely stunned.

• In his exit interview Kent goes off on one helluva rant:

You know what pisses me off? I think I’ve made about 60 million dollars playing baseball and I want this frickin’ million dollars in this game. And it’s not even a million bucks, it’s 600 grand by the time Obama takes it. I’m a Game 7 World Series loser. You know, I played in the biggest games in the world and the worst games in the world, and this just sucks.

Note: Kent actually made $86 million playing baseball and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 7 of the World Series in 2002, as his Giants lost to the Angels.

• In the span of one episode in television time and approximately 48 hours in real time Kent goes from seemingly being in complete control of the game to the point that he can determine who gets voted out to losing all control while being voted out himself in ninth place. And, most importantly, this means I no longer have to recap “Survivor” episodes in this space every Thursday morning and no longer have any excuse whatsoever to spend an hour each week watching this show.

The tribe has spoken!

What in the heck is Derek Jeter doing with the Marlins?

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Last night we linked the Miami Herald story about the Marlins firing special assistants Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez and Jack McKeon. Let’s talk about that a little bit.

The firings themselves are eyebrow-raising inasmuch as “special assistants” like that are rarely key front office personnel. Former players, Hall of Famers and former managers like those guys are really ambassadors for the team and, particularly in the case of Jeff Conine, who is known as “Mr. Marlin,” why would new ownership want to kick its ambassadors to the curb? It’s not like you can just hire a bunch of new franchise legends for he role. Who ya gonna call? Dan Uggla?

Sure, I can see an argument for changing their responsibilities. If they actually had say in baseball operations, I can see new ownership wanting to relieve them of those duties. It’s also possible that Jeff Loria paid them too much money for guys who are only team ambassadors. So, sure, if the job is too cushy by the standards of the gig, I could see Jeter cutting their pay or their duties to make it conform to what other clubs do with their former stars. Maybe that makes them want to quit. If so, that’s OK I suppose.

Beyond that, however, it’s hard to see why you would NOT want guys like Conine, Dawson, Perez and McKeon to represent your club in the community and in the service of impressing prospective season ticket holders. The franchise’s first star player, a Hall of Famer who ended his career with the club, another Hall of Famer who is from Cuba (which is kind of a big deal in a place like Miami) and the manager who brought the club its last World Series championship are exactly who you want to represent your team. Especially when nearly everything else about your team has, for so very long, alienated the very public you want supporting it.

But let’s say, for the moment, that there was a good reason to fire those guys. Let’s say they’re all flaming jackwagons who have secretly poisoned the franchise from within. Let’s say that, despite his grandfatherly charm, Jack McKeon is a ruthless Machiavellian. Let’s say that Conine, Dawson and Perez beat up copy boys in the stairwells and microwave leftover fish in the break room every day. Even if that’s the case, how does this happen?

And here’s the twist: Jeter asked Marlins president David Samson to fire those four Marlins luminaries for him, because Jeter didn’t want to do it.

Even more strange, Jeter made the request after telling Samson what he already knew: that Samson would not be returning as team president.

It seems that Samson did carry out the firings. Unless some handsome severance package was being held hostage over it, I’m not sure how Samson doesn’t tell Jeter, “Hey Captain RE2PECT, know what? Up yours, you do it yourself.” Of course, one can only project one’s own sensibility on a guy like David Samson so much, so let’s cut him a bit of slack here. We don’t know how the conversation went. Maybe Samson was happy to tell those guys to hit the bricks.

But really, how doesn’t Jeter man-up and handle this himself? It’s not because he’s not yet officially the owner, because if he has the power to fire Samson, he has the power to fire Conine and his friends. Maybe there is more to this than the Herald story lets on, but as it stands now, it comes off as cowardice on Jeter’s part. It’s a really bad look.

I’ll be curious to see how this plays in the baseball establishment over the next couple of days. Everyone — particularly the press — loves Derek Jeter an credits him with a class, smoothness and media savvy matched by few others. This, though, was either (a) a failure of class and an act of disrespect to baseball luminaries; or (b) a complete bungling of public relations, serving to make what was, in reality, a reasonable move appear classless. It has to be one or the other.

Derek Jeter has been a teflon star for more than two decades, but two of the few things the media loves more than Derek Jeter are (a) old Baseball Men like McKeon, Dawson, Perez and Conine; and (b) “classiness.” It’ll be interesting to see if, for the first time in his professional life, the media gets its knives out for Derek Jeter for seeming content to dispense with both.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.