Kent has always been a bit sensitive about his defense, and he’s already decidedly chippy about the way Dodgers writers are harping about how much the situation has deteriorated from last year. When one L.A. writer persisted in dredging up the Tuesday misplays, Kent boiled over a bit.
“You guys are killing a dead dog,” he said. “You wore it out in spring training, nd now you’re going to wear it out some more. My comments have always been that defense doesn’t win the World Series. If the defense was so good here last year as you guys think it was, then why the (bleep) did they not win? That’s where my frustration comes from … open your eyes.
“That was a great question for yesterday, not today,” Kent continued. “Today I’m focused on trying to win the game today. Things happen, and they happened. We only had four or five hits going into the ninth inning, and that’s not good enough, either.”
Naturally, I had approached Kent to ask him about playing with Omar Vizquel when both were with Cleveland in 1996 and what he thought the impact of Vizquel paired with former teammate J.T. Snow might be. He was generally complimentary, but when I mentioned the leaping double play Vizquel turned in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s opener, Kent had a strange assessment.
“I’ve seen him make it before, and I don’t doubt that he could make it again,” he said. “I don’t think it was that great. I think it’s what he does. There’s dozens of guys who can make that play. Some guys can make plays look harder than they really are.”
(We defer to the L.A. Times for the appropriate comeback here.)