Jeff Kent tries to remove foot from his cheek

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Jeff Kent says his comments about Vin Scully were tongue-in-cheek, “What I care about is winning the World Series, and that’s what this is all about," he told Times columnist T.J. Simers. (Luis Sinco / LAT)

"Vin talks too much, too, but I don't have a problem with Vin. None whatsoever."

I'm not buying that because Kent has a problem with everyone who says he's doing better now that he's hitting ahead -- and that's ahead of Ramirez. He's hitting almost .500 now, three more hits Tuesday night, while hitting .256 before Manny breathed new life into his career.

"Yeah, I'm upset with people who say that," Kent said. "You never hit third, so you don't know. People [Scully] who talk about me hitting better third don't acknowledge the hard work and everything else that goes into grinding it out all year long. . . ."

Blah, blah, blah.

"I'm also ticked off at anyone who misreads the situation and thinks this has something to do with Manny," he said. "I don't care about birthdays, anniversaries or winning games; my wife just had her 40th birthday and I didn't buy her a card."

Wouldn't it be a hoot if Mrs. Kent had her own blog?

"What I care about is winning the World Series, and that's what this is all about. And we're all in this together right now; it's not about any one person."

"Manny, Manny, Manny." Sorry, just got carried away there for a second.

By the way, bumped into Scully before the game and asked him how he was holding up after Kent's (tongue-in-cheek) remarks.

"The Russians are pulling out of Georgia and you're asking me about Jeff Kent," Scully said (tongue in cheek). "Goodness."

I mentioned that to Kent, who said, "Write that."

One minute the guy says Scully talks too much, and the next he wants the guy quoted.

Baseball players (tongue in cheek)!

THE DODGERS continue to acquire players the ParkingLot Attendant does not have to pay, which means GM Ned Colletti can stay here as long as he wants.

The latest is Greg Maddux, Colletti initially misleading everyone by saying, "No," the Padres are not paying Maddux's salary. Further questioning revealed they are paying an undisclosed portion of Maddux's salary -- the Dodgers a little sensitive because it appears they're only willing to improve if it costs them nothing.

Wonder where anyone got that idea.

MANAGER JOE TORRE was asked whether he might give a day off to Ramirez, which probably would ruin Kent's chances of getting a hit.

"I'm probably going to have to do it," he said, "although I'm not thinking about it right now."

"Will you give fans 48 hours notice so they can skip going to the game?"

"He might pinch-hit," Torre said, the answer I would expect from Frank McCourt.

JUSTINE ROSENBERG sang the national anthem, her proud father, Lon, the Dodgers' head of stadium security watching and ready to have anyone ejected who didn't love her performance.

No problem, she was great.

T.J. Simers can be reached at

t.j.simers@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.
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