|"Survivor Smacked Me In The Chops" - Jeff Kent during the premiere episode of "Survivor: Philippines" on Sept. 10. Kent was voted off the show in the episode that aired on Wednesday night. (Robert Voets/CBS© 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)|
Former Major League Baseball player Jeff Kent made it through eight episodes on CBS TV's prime-time hit, "Survivor: Philippines," but his run came to an end during the episode that aired Wednesday night. On Thursday, I caught up with Kent to discuss his feelings on the departure, some insight on how the voting was being decided and to get a quick thought on Pablo Sandoval's three-homer game in the World Series.
Here's the interview, and note that it's mostly about "Survivor." Don't say you weren't warned, non-Survivor fans.
Eye on Baseball: Other than being bummed out after having to re-watch the vote last night, how are you?
Jeff Kent: Yeah, I'm a little bitter and pissed off as usual, but I'll get over it.
EOB: The exit speech you made was awesome, because it was like the true competitive spirit coming out and also I think it was really indicative how this season seems like it's on its way to being one of the best ever in terms of how there's no power alliance and people are switching sides. What was it like to be a part of a tribal council like [on Wednesday night's episode]?
JK: Crazy. I tell you, if you took a look at my eyeballs, they were about ready to pop out of my head. I was confused, I was very ... I kinda was pissed off because nobody was playing strategically. They weren't mapping out plans. Where did my name come up? Why were they voting me out? It was just like, 'Ah, let's just throw a vote that way and let's just get Jeff outta here.' There was no rhyme or reason that I understood of why to vote me off. And, you know, I'm not really bitter about it. It's kind of ... I get it, someday I might be on the chopping block, but I never knew it would be at that time. We were all scrambling 15 minutes before we left and even during tribal council and there were still lies being thrown out there during tribal council. It was crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy ...
EOB: At the time, if someone would have told you the one vote for Abi-Maria was placed by Penner, would you have had any idea why he would have done that?
JK: The two explanations I can come up with ... [one is] Penner possibly believed that I had enough votes to stay, so Pete would go home because Skupin would vote on our side, so Penner could throw a vote. If that's the case, maybe Penner threw a barb at Ana-Maria, and if that's not the case, I believe that Penner may have been worried that Pete may use the [immunity] idol that Abi-Maria had because they were a team. We didn't know if he would use it or if she would use it. So I gotta believe that if Pete used the idol, which then sent me home, that Penner could now go back to camp and say, 'Look, guys. I didn't vote for Jeff,' or, 'I didn't vote for Pete and I didn't vote with Jeff, so I'm not such a bad guy.' Those are the only two scenarios I can come up with.
EOB: Going back to the week before, you had a chance to grab RC and Skupin to go with you, Carter, Denise and Penner and get rid of Pete, but you decided to go against that. Knowing what you know now, do you feel like you made the wrong move?
JK: Everybody thought that we could stay Kalabaw Tribe strong, get RC and Skupin and get the rest of the Tandang Tribe off, but the biggest problem of all is this: Denise would not vote with the Kalabaw Tribe. I went to her, and I said, 'This is the scenario. We can stay strong, RC and Skupin can come our way -- what do you wanna do?' And she said, 'No, I'm gonna go with Malcolm.' And Malcolm was voting with the Tandang Tribe.
EOB: Oh, OK, that makes sense then.
JK: Yeah, I'm getting ripped now because Carter and I voted for RC. I had to go cut another deal then, and that was with Pete and it was to get RC off. All up until the 11th hour, the last minute, I kept trying to say, 'Denise, Denise, Denise, let's go,' but she wouldn't do it, so we had to vote RC off.
EOB: How's the knee?
JK: The knee is kinda sore still, but I'll get over it. It's gonna take some time because it was such a big tear. I'll be 100 percent soon.
EOB: In watching the footage unfold from home, are there any players you misjudged -- either underestimated or overestimated -- when you watch it back, as in your perception changed about them once you were able to watch everything from home?
JK: We all thought that when we merged together that the Tandang Tribe were just a bunch of people that didn't know how to play the game, strategically. Lisa didn't know how to do it although she's doing it better right now. Pete was all over the map. They had a plan; it just wasn't working. Abi-Maria was pissing everybody off and kind of following everybody, and Skupin -- he got the nickname 'Stupin' for a reason. I just wish that I would've been able to build a better relationship with Lisa and I was hoping that she would play the game better. When we got there, she had no idea how to play the game. Maybe I should have taken the initiative to get to know Malcolm a little more. He seems pretty smart. Knowing Malcolm and knowing how smart he was from a few small conversations, I wish I would have probably built a better relationship with Malcolm. And Lisa.
EOB: Shifting gears, I'm sure you watched the World Series. What were your thoughts on watching Pablo Sandoval join Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols and Reggie Jackson with a three-homer game?
JK: It's great, man. As hard as [Justin] Verlander throws, you just gotta put the bat on the ball. Panda didn't have such a great World Series last time they won it, and he did a phenomenal job this year. He did all year long, and I thought he was awesome. He's a good kid. I talked to him in spring training, worked with him a little bit and I'm glad to see that he had a lot of success.
EOB: In searching through Giants players with multi-home run games in the postseason, I noticed only one name on the list twice. Any idea who that was?
JK: That would be the sole Survivor loser.
Correct he was. It was Jeff Kent himself.
Anyway, Kent's run on Survivor has concluded for the viewing audience, but the season continues Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.