We Should Probably Leave Matt Kemp Alone

October 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in Matt Kemp | 33 Comments

A quick note on Matt Kemp, as we wait for this trainwreck season to finally come to an merciful close. Kemp’s current four-game streak of games with a homer is not only the second-longest in the bigs this season, but it’s also the second time he’s done it this year, after doing so April 13-16.

There’s no argument here that Kemp’s 2010 has been a huge disappointment on pretty much every level, but there’s reason to be hopeful for next season, especially as he ends this year on a tear. He’ll still be just 26, he actually hit for more power this year (career-high in HR and ISO) than before, and he’s taking responsibility for his subpar season:

“I have to pay the fans back, man,” Kemp said. “They deserve it.”

Laughing, he added, “They’ve been mad at me all season. I have to do something for them, something special. We all do. Give them a little taste right now.”

No one doubts the talent is there, and Ned Colletti claims he has no plans to move him. His clashes with the current coaching staff have been well-documented – though he seems to have a good relationship with Don Mattingly – and if there’s anyone who looks to benefit from the post-Torre era, it might just be Kemp, my early choice for the “No, Chad Billingsley’s wasn’t dead after one bad year either, now was it?” award next year.

Update: Five!



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  1. The only change for Matt next year should be a move to right field. We need to be adding talent not letting it go and any trade of Kemp wouldn’t bring back equal value. What are the chances that Robinson could be in center field by the allstar break?

    • I’d be okay with moving Kemp to RF (and Ethier to LF), but I don’t see it as a priority above getting the best OF they can afford. I’ve also read elsewhere that Kemp’s defensive issues wouldn’t necessarily be solved by a move to RF, because clearly his speed and arm strength (which is what keeps most OF from manning CF) aren’t the problem here.

  2. I like what he said. And seeing as he and Mattingly get along swimmingly I see big things for him next year. Personalities come into play more often than we think. We all have people we like to please and not disappoint. I see that with Kemp and Mattingly. Looking forward to next year with a clean slate!!

  3. No one has hopes for Martin.

    • Do you?

      • No I don’t.

  4. Doesn’t this just piss you off though? I mean, really Matt? So the fans didn’t “deserve it” 3 months ago? If you could turn it on whenever the heck you felt like it WHY DIDN’T YOU TURN IT ON BACK IN APRIL!?

    • You don’t happen to be the same poster from ESPN.com, when i called him out on this i got banned and my comments were deleted hahaha

      • Nope, I have an account at ESPN but under a different handle. I don’t post on their forums.

  5. talk is cheap. He needs to prove it on the field, and until next season i feel the fans have a right to question him. This season was nothing short of a disaster for him.

    • And yet he’s still better than most guys on the team…and Juan Pierre.

  6. Agree that this season was a disappointment for Matt Kemp, but I take issue with the “huge” part. Yes his batting average is down by about 50 pts, and the defensive issues and base stealing can’t be glossed over. IMO Kemp is 25 HR guy, 35 dbls and 280-290. I think if he tries to hit 40 HRS, his BA will be 20 pts lower than it is this year.

  7. More Kemp crap. He is a terribly immature player. We deserved his best all year, not a taste of repaying us. Professionals play hard every day, all year. Kemp will never be good until he matures and acquires some discipline in his life.

    He is a wreck and because he is he is our Mr. K this year. I hope he finds some peace and focus after his “mail it in ’10 campaign”…If he repeats we should cut him, we won’t get much anyway and he appears to be more of a cancer than cure.

  8. Thoughts on Kemp from Simers column today?

  9. I never really got the impression that Kemp wasn’t trying, only that he was too immature to fix his problems the right way. It seems like he’s finally stepping towards the plate more, which addresses a problem pointed out by a different blog that this one linked to. I think you all are crazy if you really thought that he just didn’t feel like fans deserved a good performance from him this year and that it’s taken him this long to realize that. Obviously he couldn’t turn this on whenever he wanted, no player can just decide to hit a home run in every game. Also no player who isn’t Albert Pujols is Albert Pujols, so no one is immune to having a bad season. A bad season is probably a necessary part of most players’ early development in order to teach them discipline and adaptation.

  10. No way Kemp should be traded. Hopefully this was just one tough season for him(everyone). I am concerned however that he has clashed with really good baseball players/coaches who have tried to get him to play the game the right way. He’s had issues with Torre, Bowa and J.Kent to name a few. Any thoughts on the chances of getting the good Upton to play LF next year? That would be a nice trio.

    • Bowa has issues with every talented player who glides, rather than grits. That’s why shit players like Theriot, Pierre, and Podsednik with weak bats, vastly overrated gloves, but determined expressions will always be “Bowa-type” players, and talented players like Kemp, Scott Rolen, Colby Rasmus, and Carlos Beltran will always be in Bowa’s doghouse.

      Kent had problems with every talented black teammate throughout his entire career. That racist bastard was Plaschke’s anonymous source for all of the “young arrogant Dodgers show no respect for the game” stories that he wrote while Kent was on the team. Kent was also Jamie McCourt’s clubhouse mole. It’s no wonder that his teammates despised him, and why the Dodgers played so much better in 2008 during those weeks he stayed away from the team while rehabbing.

      Torre handled Kemp’s slumps this season very poorly. An effective manager like Scioscia would have called Kemp into the office after games where he screwed up, told him what he needed to do to improve, and let him know if he was being benched the next day, or if he was playing. And that would be the end of it. Torre let circumstances overwhelm his slumping stars in his final years in NY and LA. Don’t confuse him with a great manager.

      • Bahahahahahahaha you must be nerdy as fuck….

  11. Some interpret Kemp’s comments and twist them any way they want. My interpretation is that he feels badly that he let the fans down and that this late season spurt is a small down payment for what is yet to come. Besides, how many players are ever quoted as worrying about what the fans think. I, for one, am gratified to hear Kemp say he cares about us and that he knows that we pay his salary. Not many players seem to realize that if there were no fans, they’d just be playing pick-up games after their real jobs! Kudos to Matt for giving us some thought.

    • I, as a lifelong fan, appreciate that he feels badly but even his quote sounds like a back handed slap.

      “I have to pay the fans back, man,” Kemp said. “They deserve it.”

      Laughing, he added, “They’ve been mad at me all season. I have to do something for them, something special. We all do. Give them a little taste right now.”

      Give them a little taste right now? So, basically you’re teasing us. “Hey guys, look how good I am! Good luck trying to get me to play like this for 162 games. PS Thanks for still buying tickets aka paying my salary even when I, or 80% of my team for that matter, do not play up to our potential.”

      At this point the only rep he’ll have is that as Mr. Rhianna.

      • Yup yup, a guy can hit a Home Run whenever they feel like it……..also you are probably misinterpreting his laugh and the way he speaks into whatever it is you want to hear. Why aren’t you mad that Podsednik, Theriot, Pierre, Loney, Martin, Blake, Sherrill, Broxton stole your hard earned money from you?? They can turn it on whenever they want, they just decided not to because they don’t like you.

        • If you don’t think I’m not mad at Broxton, you didn’t hear me at the game against the Giants a few weeks ago when he gave up the 2 run home run to give up the lead.

  12. […] see this train wreck finally get wrapped up. The exception to that may be Matt Kemp, who just hours after I posted about him homered yet again, ending the season with a five-game dinger […]

  13. That link to baseball-reference for the longest streaks of consecutive games with home runs doesn’t show the names for the first five on the list. Granted, a lot of players had 4-game HR streaks, but can I ask who equaled Matt’s 5-gamer and who had the 6-game streak with HR’s?

    • I meant, doesn’t show the first five if you don’t have a subscription.

      • No one equaled his five-gamer. When I wrote this, he was still at four. Carlos Pena had 6, back in June.

  14. […] homers in five games to end the season, and it was about that time I started thinking that everyone should just let him be: No one doubts the talent is there, and Ned Colletti claims he has no plans to move him. His […]

  15. […] any and all excuses are now gone. Think that his troubles last year were due to work ethic issues? He’s taken responsibility. Think that he spent too much time with Rhianna? I don’t agree, but they’re split up […]

  16. […] Jones circa 2008, either. Remember, this is what I said about him on the final day of the season, October 3: His clashes with the current coaching staff have been well-documented – though he seems to have […]

  17. And I thought I was the ssebnile one. Thanks for setting me straight.

  18. […] Should Probably Leave Matt Kemp Alone”, October 3, 2010: No one doubts the talent is there, and Ned Colletti claims he has no plans to move him. His […]

  19. […] historic production isn’t exactly a crushing problem. If this all sounds familiar, it should. I wrote the same thing nearly four years ago. We just never learn, do […]

  20. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be the last article on this topic that you’ll write.

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