Matt Kemp says he could take Magic Johnson in basketball

If Matt Kemp is trying to get in good with the man who is likely to be his new boss, he’s going about it all wrong. The Dodgers outfielder was ecstatic to hear that Magic Johnson was fronting the ownership group that won the bidding for the franchise, saying “that’s tight.” While Magic will likely love hearing that response, he probably won’t be as thrilled to hear that Kemp believes he could take Magic on the court.

“Probably not back in the day,” Kemp said, laughing, according to the LA Times. “I’d definitely take him one-on-one now. I don’t think he’s shooting hoops no more. He’s wearing suits now. He’s writing my checks.”

Kemp’s not alone — shortstop Dee Gordon also thinks he could take Magic, though as Tony Gwynn Jr. says, Gordon believes he could beat anyone.

Magic’s 52 and obviously nowhere near playing shape, but he probably still has game. I’ll take the former three-time NBA MVP over the guy who should have won NL MVP last season, but don’t tell that to Matt, who was a standout basketball player in high school.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Kemp says he is afraid of the Angels’ Rally Monkey

For the sake of the Dodgers, it’s a good thing the Angels are an American League team. If the two Los Angeles teams had to play each other frequently, the Dodgers may have to deal with an ineffective Matt Kemp every time they visited the Halos. Why? Because Kemp fears the Rally Monkey.

“I don’t like the Rally Monkey,” Kemp said Tuesday according to a tweet by Dylan Hernandez. “I’m scared of the Rally Monkey. You’re out there in the outfield and the monkey just pops up on the screen. That’s kind of scary.”

Angels fans love the Rally Monkey. The Angels have even given away Rally Monkey Chia Pets to their fans, so you know it is a huge part of their culture. Personally, I never saw the thing as frightening and I’d like to assume Kemp is joking. If this is the guy who is claiming his MVP snub created a monster that is going to tear it up in 2012, he can’t be afraid of things like a monkey while he’s posted up in the outfield.

Matt Kemp says he wouldn’t want MVP even if Ryan Braun is stripped

With Ryan Braun awaiting his fate for the 2012 MLB season, we are left to wonder what will become of the 2011 National League MVP award if Braun is found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. Braun won the award with a monster season and insists his failed drug test is a misunderstanding. If his appeal is denied and the league strips his MVP award, would it automatically go to runner-up Matt Kemp? Kemp says he has no interest in winning an award that way.

“I would want to win by them voting me,” Kemp said according to the L.A. Times. “I wouldn’t want them to just, ‘Oh, this person did that so how about we just give the award to this person?’ I don’t think it should work that way. If it is that way, then it should be a vacant award for 2011, no one should win the MVP award in the National League.”

It’s easy to understand where Kemp is coming from. We know he believed he should have won the award to begin with, as evidenced by his tweet that said the voters had created a monster after the MVP was announced. Nobody wants to win an award by default, so you could see how Kemp’s pride would get in the way if the league tried to strip Braun of the MVP and give it to the Dodgers outfielder. For what it’s worth, Kemp says he is hoping Braun is clean.

“I know Braun,” he said. “We’ve always been cool. We’ve been friends. He’s been one of my favorite players in the big leagues. I hope it’s not true. It’s even harder because it’s someone that you know and someone that you respect as a person.”

Time will tell if vindication is in the cards for the reigning MVP. If it isn’t, the league might as well not even insult Kemp by trying to hand him the trophy.

Matt Kemp Says NL MVP Snub ‘Just Created a Monster’

Matt Kemp finished second in the 2011 NL MVP voting, losing the award to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. Kemp received 10 first-place votes, 16 second-place votes, and six people had him third on their ballots.

Kemp had more runs (115 to 109), RBIs (126 to 111), home runs (39 to 33), and stolen bases (40 to 33) than Braun. Braun’s OPS was slightly higher (.994 to .986), and his .332 average was slightly higher than Kemp’s .324. We felt both players were deserving of the award, but that Kemp probably should have won because he played in 161 games compared to Braun’s 150.

Most sports writers likely figured that Braun deserved it because he played for a division winner while Kemp’s Dodgers struggled to finish above .500. Dodgers fans who are upset over Kemp losing the award should look at things differently. It appears that Kemp will use the snub as motivation. Shortly after losing the award he tweeted:

“They don’t know who they messin with!!!!! They just created a monster!!Lol. #BEASTMODE don’t care!!”

When Kemp signed his $160 million extension with the Dodgers, I said that signing for so much guaranteed money might result in less motivation. If what Kemp is tweeting is true, that won’t be the case.

Like I said, maybe losing the award is the best thing for Kemp and the Dodgers. Oh yeah, it also enhances my legacy as well: LB is now officially the only blogger on the internet to hold the reigning MVP hitless in high school (yes, 0-for-4 in a Grant vs. Granada Hills 2001 game).

MLB Hot Stove Analysis: Matt Kemp’s Eight-Year $160 Million Extension

The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to terms with MVP candidate Matt Kemp on a eight-year $160 million extension. For a franchise that has been high on drama and low on good news lately, this deal will keep the team’s best position player in a Dodger uniform through his prime, without getting too deep into his late-30s.

While it is easy to get caught up in the years and dollars attached to the contract, I would first remind fans that this was an extension of a player under team control for one more season, not a free agent. As such, Kemp likely would have earned at least $15 million in arbitration this season, making the hypothetical free agent contract a more manageable seven years and $145 million. When one considers what Carl Crawford (7/$142 million), Jayson Werth (7/$126 million) and Matt Holliday (7/$120 million) received as older, free agent outfielders who play corner positions, this deal looks that much better.

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Matt Kemp Should Catch a Ton of Crap for His Flaunt Magazine Shoot

Every once in a while, a player will agree to do a photo shoot that is certain to result in endless criticism from fans and their teammates.  Some of the most extreme instances include the Kobe Bryant white hot photo shoot and Andre Ethier’s spread, both of which were done for LA Times Magazine.  More recently, we had Mark Sanchez channel his inner Tom Brady and go all out for GQ.  This may come as a surprise, but Matt Kemp has outdone them all.

Kemp recently let it all — too much of it, in fact — hang out for a photo shoot with Flaunt Magazine.  This is the first I’m hearing of Flaunt Magazine, but after hearing the name and seeing the Kemp photos that Vin Scully is My Homeboy passed along I’m pretty confident I don’t need to become an avid reader.  Here are the Matt Kemp Flaunt Magazine pictures, and all of you Seinfeld fans out there can only keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t move.

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Dodgers Could Complete Rare Hat Trick: MVP and Cy Young on Last-Place Team

The Dodgers have been a pathetic team this season. A good amount of their problems are due to the ownership situation that has turned fans against Frank McCourt. But as bad as the Dodgers are (55-67 as of Thursday), they still have some truly talented players.

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw have been so good they have a legitimate shot at becoming the 18th pair of teammates to win the MVP and Cy Young Award. If they were to take home the hardware, it would mark the first time a losing team had players win both awards. What’s even more embarrassing is that the Dodgers are battling the Padres for last place in the NL West.

Center fielder Matt Kemp has played like an MVP-candidate since the season began. He’s fourth in the NL in OPS (.966), tied for third with 28 home runs, tied for second with 89 RBIs, and third with 32 stolen bases. The only factors that could keep him from winning MVP are his sometimes shaky defense, and the lack of support from voters because he plays for a losing team.

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