Well, at least a little bit.
In an interview with the LA Times, Kent called for the Major Leagues to begin blood testing and to initiate testing during the playoffs. Kent told TJ Simers:
“I’d like to see every player take a blood test and have the samples frozen,” Kent says, then waiting for the day when there’s a foolproof HGH test to identify the cheaters.
“Not everyone in the game is using HGH, but I would bet it still is being abused,” he says. “Why not have blood tests? If ultimately you want a clean game, then it needs to happen.
“They ought to be testing for drugs in the playoffs too. They never do that.”
Kent also called out some of his fellow players for their lame confessions:
“The Mitchell Report is probably just 1% of those who have cheated in the game. It gives a very small sampling of what was going on.
“Now we’re hearing about some guys who cheat and the phony excuses like I got hurt, so I just used HGH one time. Whether they are telling the truth or not, people are finally having to answer to some things.”
Kent has generally been a clubhouse cancer and an ass wherever he has gone (even though his assholishness seemed like a mere drop in the ocean when he played alongside Barry Bonds) , so these are pretty much the first words that have come out of his mouth that I agree with.
I’m not sure if this is just Jeff Kent looking ahead to his own Hall of Fame eligibility and thinking strategically. I mean, if he says things like this, he MUST have been clean, right? Yet it is easy for Kent to say these kinds of things at the very end of his career, a career in which he had a late-blooming, mid-30s power surge of his own.
But for now I’m going to give Kent the benefit of the doubt. Because these are words that need to be said, and I’m glad somebody is saying them. The vast collusion by the players to not talk about performance enhancing drugs and not rat out other players completely hamstrung the Mitchell report outside of the Randomski ring evidence, and is a massive roadblock to the game coming clean and moving forward.
Jeff Kent’s mild and vague criticism of his fellow players and his calls for testing when he is virtually past the point where it would affect him is only a start. But we need to do whatever we can to encourage more players to throw their support behind cleaning up the game, and even if that means I have to throw some love at no less than Jeff Kent, I’ll suck it up and give him some props. For the good of the game.