No. 189 Jeff Kent (Number 18 Second Base)

In 2000 Jeff Kent won the league MVP when everybody I knew that his teammate Barry Bonds had a better season. I think the excuse was that Jeff Kent played 2nd base a more important defense position. However, WAR later gave further evidence that the Bonds people were probably right.

There were many reasons the writers could have voted for Bonds. The first is Bonds wasn’t the greatest guy around and the writers didn’t really like him. Also, Bonds was black, and Kent was white. I think sportswriters were generally not very racial oriented, but I can see this having a bearing on a close election. Also, Bonds already had 3 MVPs and Kent had one. Three was the record at the time and the writers didn’t want Barry to beat the record. Of course, that plan fell through when Barry had a year for the ages in 2001 and won the next 4 MVP awards.

Jeff Kent was on Survivor as a contestant under a different name. This was so no one would vote him off after recognizing him. However, there was a Giants fan or big baseball fan who recognized him early in the first episode. He recognized Kent. Kent denied it for about a minute then admitted he was Jeff Kent. He didn’t do badly considering everyone knew he was a famous athlete. They probably figured he could help him with the athletic events.  He came in 10th beating out 8 people. I only saw part of the first episode but I’m guessing he was as competitive as he was on the baseball field.

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