Monday, February 21, 2011

Quick Thoughts: The absurdity of Jason Kendall

Leadership, leadership, leadership. We've had it beaten into our brains from the time Matt Stairs was taking ABs away from Justin Huber to now Jason Kendall just being a general jerk to media members.

Now, not all leaders were "nice guys". I'm sure General Patton was a world class jerk, but Patton was, you know, really good at his job.

Jason Kendall is not.

I know he's played 2,000 games at the big league level and he was at one time a premier catcher in the major leagues. But that time has passed and Kendall is now lucky to even have a job, a job given to him by an organization that was desperately looking for "leadership".

I'm sure most of my readers have heard the exchange between 610 Sports' Nick Wright and Kendall during Wright's interview with Mike Moustakas. Basically, Nick asked Moustakas if he was fine with starting the season out in AAA Omaha until June so he and the Royals can avoid "Super Two" status after the 2012 season. At this time, Kendall (obviously upset because nobody wants to talk to him or whatever) interrupts Wright's interview to M-F bomb Wright and put Moustakas in an incredibly awkward situation.

Crash Davis would never do that.

Here's my question, what kind of "leader" does this? This isn't rookie hazing or anything like that. Hell, it isn't even protective. It just sounds like Kendall was having a bad day (he's prone to these) and decided to take his anger out on an unsuspecting wait, one of the more popular, if not the most popular sports journalist in Kansas City. Great move, fearless leader.

In my mind, Kendall has been perhaps the biggest disaster in Dayton Moore's tenure, outside of Jose Guillen. To me, this guy isn't a leader, but rather a crotchety, old veteran trying to collect one last big paycheck. Bravo, sir. You've done it! You have tricked GM's into throwing millions in guaranteed money at you by being labeled as a leader.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority wrote a great article about how Kendall should take Gil Meche's lead and just walk away now. Of course, the situations are different. Kendall seems like the classic "gamer" who won't retire until there aren't any I-League teams willing to sign him. But the health problems are very similar. Kendall isn't going to help this team. Especially as a "leader". His behavior today was the act of a man who knows that he is at the end of his rope, trying to possibly gain favor with a young, up-and-comer.

To me, it was pathetic.


  1. Wow, I hadn't heard of it. And here I thought that Kendall was a stand up guy. Has he had any other outbursts like this one?

  2. As a long-suffering Pirates fan, I can tell you that Jason Kendall was a jerk with the Pirates (during the prime of his career). You didn't hear much about it until towards the end of his time in Pittsburgh because he was in the prime of his career, I guess. Not a great leader. Kendall and Brian Giles (the two best players on the Pirates) acted like jerks in the clubhouse and would terrorize young players and make their lives a living hell. Why? The constant losing has always been given as the reason for this behavior, but Kendall acted like a jerk even during the promising early years of his career. Just a regular total douche from day-one. The only redeeming thing he did in his entire career was beating up fellow douche, Gary Sheffield.