Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops

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!

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.