Kent's HOF Quest May Be Like That of Jim Rice

Farewell Jeff Kent. You were a great hitter for a second baseman, better than many other second basemen already in the Hall of Fame. The same can't be said of Kent's charm both in the clubhouse and with the media.

To find a parallel to the gruff, taciturn and hardball Kent, one has only to look at the newest Hall of Famer, Jim Rice. Rice had to wait almost until the very end of his chances for the memories of his personality to fade and for more rational thinking take over the voters. Kent is kind of like ex-president George Bush, sent back to Texas after eight grueling years.

Both did their jobs, both had the thickest of skins, both had a lousy media. As the Bible asks for, both not only persevered, both overcame.

That being said, Kent's appropriate decision to retire at age 40 (going on 41) is a plus for the current Dodgers hopes. Even if Blake Dewitt doesn't make Kent's offense, his defense will make up for a huge part of the difference. The aging Kent defensively as like Mike Piazza at any age. The field was a place to look to hide them so their bats could contribute.

Even if the Dodgers do sign Manny Ramirez, their defense has already improved, if they don't take Ramirez back, their defense will really have improved, particularly on those when Juan Pierre is on the bench. A  team can get buy hiding one bad glove, two is too many and three is a sure path to a second division finish.

From an old Vero Beach guy, all the Arizona spring training hoopla is a little much. It can never ever match the homeyness and family atmosphere  of Vero, but Vero wasn't Vero anymore beginning with the departure of the family O'Malley and the succession of new ownerships.

Here's a suggestion. Put BOTH Ramon Troncoso AND James McDonald into the starting rotation mix.

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