“I had to get rid of some of the voices,” Kendrick says. “Everybody had an opinion, an idea of what you are doing wrong.”
Now, at 29, he is in the second year of a four-year contract that is worth $33.5 million. Not Pujols-Hamilton money, but it will pay the bills.
“I like that when I hear it,” Kendrick says. “I think they are great players, and I respect what they do and how hard they work to do it.”
Wednesday night was a pause in the progress for both Kendrick and the Angels. The winning streak ended ugly, as the Angels continued their trend of playing nursery rhyme baseball. When they are good, they are very, very good. When they are bad, they are horrid.
It was still daylight when starter Jerome Williams was yanked amid a deluge of red-hot Cardinals bats. Those sent in from the Angels bullpen to douse the flames brought, instead, more kerosene.
Kendrick? His night wasn't much better than his team's. He finished 0-4, striking out twice.
The game was as long as it was ugly, so Manager Mike Scioscia tossed in the white flag late in the game, substituting for Trout, Hamilton and Erick Aybar. That brought, among other things, the oddity of three left-handed-throwing outfielders in J.B. Shuck, Collin Cowgill and Brad Hawpe. Also, the oddity of a Cowgill, batting cleanup with a batting average of .000.
Kendrick stayed in, at second base, where he will be Thursday night, Friday night and on and on. The crowd was 35,025. Some of them may have even noticed.