A little too close for comfort in my opinion. Yes, that’s James Loney in the front and Matt Kemp in the back during the celebration after Loney’s game-winning walk off home run to beat the Mets in the 13th on Saturday. Kemp had just wrestled Loney to the ground and got caught in that position before hammering him with a few kidney shots. The whole on-ground scene only lasted a few seconds, but it was long enough to give us our best suggestive male athlete on male athlete pose since Rex Grossman. Nice going guys!
It feels like we just went through the issue of center fielders being too lazy and not hustling. Last time it was Evan Longoria calling out his teammate for loafing it. With the Dodgers, it looks like one of their coaches said something to center fielder Matt Kemp about his lack of hustle. Kemp was benched on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, causing a local stir. No reason was given for the benching but Ken Gurnick said on Tuesday night it was the result of a disagreement Kemp had with a coach. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times confirmed Gurnick’s report and added a few details:
In the first inning of the 9-4 victory over the New York Yankees [Saturday], Derek Jeter drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. Because Kemp wasn’t backing up the bag, Jeter was able to advance to third base when catcher Russell Martin made an errant throw.
When Schaefer later reminded Kemp of what he should have done on the play, Kemp responded by saying that he was playing too deep to get there in time. Schaefer told him said that regardless, his duty was to charge in as soon as Martin let go of the ball. That prompted Kemp to tell Schaefer to leave him alone.
Kemp’s too good to let a little thing like that be an issue. As a batter, you can smash a line drive but you can’t help if it gets caught. At least when it comes to backing people up and hustling, that is the one thing you can control. There’s no excuse for Kemp not doing his part regarding those duties.
Back in January, I told you about the Padres and Dodgers venturing to China for an exhibition series. Well, they’ve long since returned to the States, playing two regular season games apiece. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp may not have worked his way onto Joe Torre’s list of favorites just yet, but seems like he was a big hit in China as he told Fox Sports Radio’s Andrew Siciliano:
We didn’t really venture off too much. We didn’t have a lot of time on our hands to do a lot of things but, we walked around a little bit. They were looking at me kind of crazy, as this big old black dude walking around China. They were looking at me crazy.
Come on Matt, they watch Yao and the Rockets in China all the time. You really think they haven’t seen 6’2″ 230lb black guys before? Well, maybe not too many of them in person. But seriously, I have a Filipino friend who traveled to the homeland and dude told me he was like a rock star walking around the shopping mall. He’s only like 5’6″. Kemp’s 6’2″. No wonder.