Quantcast

Matt Kemp a trade possibility for Red Sox?

Matt-Kemp-Does-Not-Want-MVPThe Los Angeles Dodgers have a surplus of outfield talent at the moment. They have four perfectly capable full-time players in Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Heading into the 2014 season, LA could benefit from dangling one of its attractive outfield talents as trade bait. Could Kemp be the odd man out?

On Friday, Kemp’s agent Dave Stewart said he has a “strong feeling something could happen” regarding a trade at next week’s winter meetings in Orlando.

“This is the first time we’ve experienced this,” Stewart said, via ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes. “This is the first time we’ve heard it this much, and the first time we really believe something could happen.”

As for a potential suitor, Stewart was open in discussing the possibility of Kemp landing with the Boston Red Sox.

“Boston is a good place,” he said. “It’s a good city to play in, especially when they’re winning championships. I’m 56 years old, and people are still buying me dinner there, and I played for the other team. I told Matt about the city. The key to playing in the city is to perform. Compete, play good-quality baseball, don’t dog it. If you don’t perform, nobody’s going to like it.”

Kemp has had some issues with health since his MVP-caliber season in 2011. He played in 106 games in 2012 and just 73 last season while battling injuries to his non-throwing shoulder and ankle. Kemp has six years and $128 million remaining on his contract, which isn’t all that bad for a 29-year old player when you consider the seven-year, $153 million deal Jacoby Ellsbury just got from the New York Yankees.

When healthy, Kemp is a stud. Now that Ellsbury is gone, the Red Sox lack outfield depth. One option would be to call up Jackie Bradley Jr. to play center field and keep Shane Victorino in right with a platoon of Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes in left. The issue with that is that Bradley Jr. was not MLB-ready last season, and Victorino has a balky back.

If the Dodgers are willing to eat a few million per season on Kemp’s deal, the Red Sox might be inclined to pull the trigger. The blockbuster trade that sent Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to LA two years ago worked out for both sides, so the teams have a history of success in dealing with one another. Right now it’s all just speculation. Don’t be surprised if it becomes more at the winter meetings.

Sick Dodgers fan who connected with Matt Kemp has died

One of the more uplifting stories of the year came in May, when Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp took the shirt and cleats he was wearing and gave them to a cancer-stricken fan after the team was swept by the Giants in San Francisco.

What made the video go viral was how authentic Kemp was in showing his concern for the ill teen. Kemp was unaware that the best friend of 19-year-old Joshua Jones was recording the moment on video when the outfielder came over to meet the youngster. Kemp immediately autographed a baseball for the boy, and he quickly realized how much of a difference he could make by going the extra mile. So he handed over his cap, and then his jersey, and then his cleats.

Jones was unable to speak at the time, but he was ecstatic over the gifts from Kemp. He posted a photo of the gifts from Kemp to his Instagram account:

[Read more...]

Matt Kemp on Ryan Braun: ‘I’m disappointed, I don’t like to get lied to’

Matt-Kemp-Does-Not-Want-MVPAmong the many people that Ryan Braun has cheated by using performance-enhancing drugs, you could argue that Matt Kemp is one of the most significant. The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger had an incredible season in 2011, but Braun was named the NL MVP despite Kemp having more homers, RBI, runs and stolen bases than the scorned Milwaukee Brewers outfielder.

Braun was probably given the honor over Kemp because he led the Brewers to the playoffs, whereas LA was under .500 most of the season before rallying to finish 82-79. On Tuesday, Kemp was asked for his feelings about Braun’s suspension and admission.

“I’m disappointed,” Kemp said via the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t like to get lied to. I don’t think anybody likes to get lied to. I think a lot of other people feel the same way. I’m not the only one in that boat. I’m just another one of those guys on the list that are disappointed in what has come about in the last couple days.”

Kemp supported Braun after the Brewers outfielder failed the initial drug test. He said he considered Braun a friend and believed the Milwaukee star was clean. That’s why he now says he’s disappointed and was “lied to” by Braun.

Though Kemp said at the time that he did not want the MVP if Braun were found guilty of cheating, he was clearly disappointed with the outcome of the vote, as evidenced by his tweet about the voters creating a monster. But Kemp maintains that he still does not want the MVP award even though the man who won it is an admitted cheater.

[Related: Logan Morrison uses Ryan Braun situation to take shot at Marlins]

“I was in a race to win the MVP, I got second. It is what it is,” Kemp said Tuesday. “The voters had an opinion about who they wanted to pick as the MVP. That’s who they picked, that’s who they felt was the MVP. You have to respect them for that.”

Kemp is probably right that you cannot go back and give the award to him, but maybe a note should go down in history to say Braun used performance-enhancing drugs during the MVP season. And as fans and media, we cannot forget that Kemp truly deserved the MVP award that season.

Matt Kemp hurts ankle sliding into home in first game off DL

Matt Kemp really just cannot catch a break. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder returned from a shoulder injury on Sunday, and he appeared to hurt himself in his first game back from the disabled list.

The Dodgers were leading the Washington Nationals 9-2 with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth when Carl Crawford hit into a fielder’s choice. Kemp was on third and loafed it to the plate, but he started to hustle when the throw came home. As he slid into home, his left ankle bent awkwardly as it met catcher Kurt Suzuki’s leg. Kemp left the game and was replaced in center field for the bottom of the ninth. You can really see how much Kemp’s ankle folded on the play:

Matt Kemp ankle

Kemp was having a great game in his return from the DL. He was 3-for-4 with a double, home run and walk. Kemp missed most of June with a hamstring injury, and he missed two weeks in July after aggravating his shoulder. The Dodgers, who tied the Diamondbacks for first in the NL West after winning on Sunday, would hate to lose Kemp for the third time this season.

GIF via The Score
Thanks to A. Liu

Matt Kemp pulled on Saturday, benched on Sunday

Matt Kemp DodgersIt wasn’t that long ago when benching Matt Kemp would have seemed like a crazy idea. Two seasons ago he should have been NL MVP, and last season he posted a .905 OPS in 106 games. He’s one of the most dangerous hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup, so not having him in there seems crazy. But that has not been the case this season.

Kemp has hit .260/.312/.343 in 48 games and only has two home runs. His 14 walks to 54 strikeouts is his worst ratio since his first two seasons in the bigs. He’s hit poorly enough this season where he was actually pulled on Saturday and benched on Sunday.

Kemp struck out with two men on to end the sixth inning with the Dodgers up 4-3 on the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. He was lifted as part of a double-switch that saw pitcher Kenley Jansen enter the game in his spot and Skip Schumaker replace him in center and bat in the pitcher’s spot. Manager Don Mattingly wanted Jansen to pitch more than one inning (which might result in his spot in the batting order coming up), and Kemp had made the last out, so he subbed him as part of a double-switch.

Kemp was ticked off when he entered the dugout, and he could be seen saying, “The f— is that bulls— about man?” toward Mattingly.

According to ESPN LA, Mattingly said that he saw Kemp’s reaction on replay and was not offended.

Mattingly also benched Kemp on Sunday to give the outfielder a day off against a tough pitcher. Mattingly noted that right-handed hitters are only batting .177 against Shelby Miller and decided that was a good time to give Kemp a break. Kemp did get a pinch-hit at-bat in the game and went 0-for-1.

Benching Kemp and Andre Ethier could make Mattingly less popular among some players, but he says he’s not concerned about that.

I’m not really questioning Mattingly at this point. The Dodgers are 20-28 and he’s trying to shake things up to get results. It’s just surprising that Kemp and Ethier, who have been the Dodgers’ most reliable hitters the past handful of seasons, are now getting benched.

Matt Kemp donating $1,000 for every home run to Oklahoma tornado relief

Oklahoma-tornado

Those of you who have been following the disaster that took place in Moore, Oklahoma on Monday have likely seen some of the heartbreaking images of the damage that was left behind by a massive tornado. The twister pulverized roughly 40 square miles and left a hospital, two elementary schools, and hundreds of homes and business in pieces. Dozens were killed and hundreds were injured.

Matt Kemp is planning to do what he can to help.

Kemp, who grew up in Oklahoma and attended high school there, likely felt the sting from the disaster on a more personal level. We saw the Dodgers star’s generosity on full display earlier this month after a game in San Francisco, so his pledge isn’t a surprise. That doesn’t make it any less admirable.

Kemp has only two home runs this season, but history tells us he’s bound to heat up. The state of Oklahoma will need all the help it can get to get back on its feet.

Matt Kemp gives his hat, jersey, cleats and autographed ball to cancer-stricken fan (Video)

Matt-Kemp-gives-jersey-to-fanThe Los Angeles Dodgers visited AT&T Park for a series against the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, and Matt Kemp made the most of his cross-state trip. The All-Star outfielder went 4-for-14 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored, but what we’re talking about has nothing to do with baseball.

As you can see from the video that Vin Scully is My Homeboy passed along (via Hardball Talk), Kemp approached disabled fan Joshua Jones after the game was over and showered him with gifts. He autographed a baseball and gave it to the young man before taking off his hat, jersey and cleats and handing them all to the fan. The YouTube video was posted by one Jones’ best friend, who described Kemp as a “great person.”

Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach deserves credit as well. Wallach talked with the boy’s father before the game and alerted Kemp about him. Kemp kept the boy in mind when the game ended.

Jones, who was wearing a Dodgers hooded sweatshirt, has cancer and is not expected to live much longer. He also is unable to speak.

What makes a moment like this so special is that Kemp was not doing it because ESPN cameras were rolling and he wanted publicity. He did it to make a fan’s day. Kemp also said he wanted to do what he could to help the fan because of a bad experience he had when he was younger; he says he was snubbed for an autograph by his favorite player.

We’re sure he made the young man’s day. Class act.