As you might have read here a while back, former big leaguer Jeff Kent hit the wilderness of the Philippines as one of the contestants on the latest season of “Survivor”.
Good friend of this site, Gordon Holmes, had a chance to sit down with each of the castaways for this, the 25th season of the hit CBS reality show and got the 2000 National League MVP’s thoughts on trying to stay incognito while in the Philippines, what makes a good “Survivor” player and, well, that mustache of his.
HOLMES: Are you going to let people know about your career in Major League Baseball?
KENT: I don’t plan on it. If people catch who I am I’m going to have to come clean. Hopefully they won’t know as much about me as you do and have me on their fantasy team.
HOLMES: You made a few seasons and another time you broke my heart.
KENT: (Laughs) I’ll downplay it as best I can, if they know. But now I’m a motorcycle dealer, I have a family with four kids. I have a working ranch. That’s kind of how I’m playing this thing. Hopefully that will be enough.
HOLMES: Something that I think may work in your favor is; baseball players always have a hat or a helmet on. I’d definitely recognize the name Jeff Kent, but as a baseball fan, I only really recognize players from my own team.
KENT: Well, there weren’t many white guys with mustaches walking around. I was known as one of the only guys in baseball to still have the porn-stache of the ‘80s who was still playing in the ‘90s. There is one kid here who’s wearing a whole lot of New York Yankees get-up, so hopefully he won’t catch on.
HOLMES: Ever thought of losing the porn-stache?
KENT: I’ve only shaved it off one time, and that was in the World Series in 2002 and we ended up losing. I was so bitter I went home and shaved my mustache. The next day I looked in the mirror and
thought, “What an ugly bastard you are.” So, I let it grow back. I haven’t shaved it since.
HOLMES: Let me get your opinion on this, my friends at The Hall of Very Good asked me; which St. Louis Cardinal would you like to see on “Survivor”? I picked catcher Yadier Molina because I thought a catcher is perfectly suited for the game. Because he’s a catcher, he’s got to be tough, he’s used to being uncomfortable. He knows how to manage the egos of a pitching staff.
KENT: I would say a catcher would fare well because he’s in control of the game. He’s got to control his pitcher, but he’s got to control the defense and the hitter too. Yadier’s changed over the years. He’s a pretty good kid, he was soft spoken, but now he’s more of a leader and more of a strength for that pitching staff. He’s a guy that would fare well here, but he could snap. More than me, even. I think he’s still a little immature. That’s where I’ve got him. I’ve got skills with manipulating my teammates. Because there have been plenty of teammates that you play with that you don’t like. But you’ve still got to go out there and play the game.
HOLMES: But you have something in common with a locker room of Major League Baseball players. You’re all professional athletes who’ve made it to the pinnacle of the sport. There’s no telling who’s going to be on your tribe.
KENT: I’m going to have to deal with different personalities, different age groups. At the end of my career, I was one of the older players. You’ve got 20-year-old players and I’ve got to communicate and deal with these guys. That’s going to be a big asset of mine to communicate with all these people with different personalities, make-ups, and egos. And with my reputation, I don’t step down, I might put my foot in my mouth.
Feel free to check out Holmes’ entire interview with Kent over at Xfinity.com. If you’re a “Survivor” fan, baseball fan or both…it’s pretty awesome. Oh, and you can find out which former teammate once called Kent racist!
“Survivor: Philippines” starts Wednesday, September 26. Below is Kent’s interview with CBS.com.