Most people here seem to think the world of Mr. Kendall. While I could make an argument for Mrs. Kendall, I just don't see the attraction of Jason Kendall. Most people see him as the guy who went headfirst into spikes to save a game, yet I see him as the guy opposing outfielders come in for and base runners run wild against.
Kendall came to the A's via a trade of Mark Redman and Author Rhodes. I got that it made financial sense at the time, but now it just seems ridiculous to still have him on the payroll. He can't hit, throw and the A's don't run. I know, you don't believe me, do you?
Among qualifying AL backstops, only Chicago's Prick Pierzynski and Cleveland's Victor Martinez threw out a lower percentage of base runners last year (and if you recall, Kendall actually IMPROVED his throwing last year). As for the total of stolen bases allowed last year? Seventy-fricking-one! Face it, the guy can't throw.
Oh, but wait, the "pitcher's love him," right? Well, in order for that to mean something wouldn't the pitchers NOT have to have liked his predecessors? I dare anyone to find any negative quotes about Ramon Hernandez or even Damian Miller, because you can't and won't. All you'll find is Barry Zito saying this about Miller, after he was acquired in 2004: "He's never caught me in a game, but it was great. Now I know why everyone raves about him," Zito said. "I had to shake him off a little just because he doesn't know my stuff that great yet, but that'll come. The thing I noticed is what great hands he has."
Well, um, okay. The pitcher's numbers must support him then, right? Not really.
Oakland's CERA (catcher's ERA) with
Hernandez in 2003 was 3.48 (in '02 A's posted 3.57 and in '04 San Diego was 4.03)
Miller in 2004 was 4.24 ('03 Cubs were at 3.88 and '05 Brewers were 4.02)
Kendall in 2005 was 3.78 ('04 Pirates were 4.45 and '06 A's had an ERA of 4.09)
But he can hit, at least, right? Hmm...if you mean he makes contact, then sure, he can hit. Just don't expect him to win one with a long ball or get him up there with a guy on first, cause those are mid range fly balls and double plays waiting to happen!
Seriously, Kendall used to be able to hit. Before coming to the A's he was a career .309 hitter with an OBP of .399. The last two years with the A's he's hit .271 and .295 with an OBP of .321 and .342.
As for his comparisons among other AL catchers? He's LAST in OPS, 2Bs, HRs, RBIs and that .295 average only ranked ahead of THREE other qualified catchers. Worse yet, however, is that as a lead off hitter, Kendall was BEHIND another THREE catchers in OBP and two more in Runs scored. He's our lead off hitter for God's sake!
So what exactly is it about Kendall that I'm missing? Please, someone explain to me the value of Jason Kendall because, while his wife might be a Barbie, he's certain no Ken Doll. Oh hell, that probably just ruined my whole point, huh?