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Matt Kemp responds to GM Ned Colletti's criticism


In defense of Matt Kemp, we offer Matt Kemp. Sort of, anyway.

The frustration over the Dodgers’ disappointing start filtered up after they were swept in Tuesday’s doubleheader by the Mets, with General Manager Ned Colletti calling out his players, Kemp in particular.

Kemp is off to a terrific start at the plate but has misplayed numerous balls in the outfield, and Tuesday reverted back to his earlier baserunning problems -- running from second to third on a ball hit to short with no one on first and less than two outs.

Said Colletti to KABC radio’s Peter Tilden: "Some guys, I guess, think that they're better than they are. They think the opposition's just going to roll over and get beat by them. That obviously doesn't happen.

"The baserunning's below average. The defense is below average. Why is it? Because he got a new deal? I can't tell you."

Wednesday, before the Dodgers’ afternoon game against the Mets, Kemp was irritated and would not respond to criticism of his defense and baserunning, but denied his two-year, $10.95-million contract was impacting his effort.

"The new deal, that has nothing to do with anything," Kemp said. "Of course it's good to make money, but that's not why I started playing this game. I started playing this game because I love the game, and I'm going to continue to love this game.’’

Kemp said his work ethic remains strong and Manager Joe Torre said Kemp often beats him to the ballpark.

"People don't know what goes on," Kemp said. "People don't know what time I show up to the stadium. I'm here, I'm here working, I'm here trying to get ready for the game.

"We work hard. This team works hard. There's nobody on this team who doesn't get to the field early to get their work in, watch videos. Everybody's doing what it takes to win. We're just not putting it all together right now."

-- Steve Dilbeck, with Dylan Hernandez in New York

Photo: Matt Kemp can't make the catch on a double by Adam LaRoche of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Dodgers' home opener on April 13. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (29)

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Then what is the reason for your stupid base running?

Its Not the work ethic Coletti, lets be real here. If you had Rhianna in the stands you would be missing balls in the outfield and doing base running blunders becuase you would be looking in the stands to see if she is flirting with another ball player! Go Blue!

I think that Ned is the last person to call out a player for not doing his job. If Ned had done his job our pitching staff and bench wouldn't look like we were shopping at Walmart. That being said, Matt has not played to expectations. The base running and much of his fielding issues are a lack of focus.

i commend kemp for his professional response to colletti's criticism. earlier in his career he probably would have mouthed off. but c'mon, is mat or our offense really the problem? why doesn't he call out bills, or sherrill, or heager, or our entire bullpen. torre also made some clueless managerial moves during this stretch, so why not call him out as well?

but if colletti's gonna point fingers he should point it at himself. he failed to get this team an ace and wouldn't you know it, the team's problem is the pitching. i suspect that the offense it putting a lot of pressure on itself to score runs, causing a domino effect of misplays.

Im not saying Kemp's defense and baserunning have been great but since we are gonna start pointing fingers, why not have Coletti look himself in the mirror for bringing the likes of Ortiz and not bringing in quality pitching into the rotation? Then we can talk.

Prolly, Rhianna been keeping him busy!!


Coletti did not do his job this offseason. I have never seen a Dodger offense so potent, and a Dodger pitching staff struggle so bad. Pitching is the reason the Dodgers are losing games, not bad base running or missing balls in the outfield. Coletti needs to shut his mouth and stick to being a GM, let him players play, and get the Dodgers back to having a quality pitching staff...

Ned needs to blaim himself for the Dodgers problem. If he wasn't so cheap to upgrade the team we wouldn't be havin this conversation. And why is he only calling out Matt? He is not the only one not playing well. Andre Ethier has also made some mistakes in the outfield. James Loney isn't helping either with his batting. And lets not even talk about this sorry pitching. It is not all Matt's fault for the Dodgers not playin well.

Management 101: Praise in public, critisize in private.

Bad move Ned!

I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of the end of the season, but one has to wonder if fingers are being pointed after 20 games, what will it be like when the Dog Days of Summer roll around and the team is still five games back and looking for a string of victories?

I too blame upper management - and it starts with the LAD Divorce! No money to spend now, no ace, no pitching! The pitching STAFF has ALWAYS been a Dodger staple - now it is the team's Achilles Heel!

kemp says "[e]verybody's doing what it takes to win. We're just not putting it all together right now." Putting it all together IS what it takes to win. I make 1/10 of what you make per year, and if I'm not always putting it together, I get fired. At a minimum, you shouldn't be making so many errors and base-running blunders. And fans don't care that much how much extra time you put in if the result is the same as if you didn't. That said, Kemp's not alone - far from it. The whole team is sucking. Moreover, I agree with others here, Coletti and the McCourts suck the most. But so long as fans keep filling up the seats there's little incentive to go after pitching and players who can "put it all together."

i cannot believe the gall of ned calling out his best player for a few mishaps on the field and bases. perhaps he doesn't appreciate the league leading 7 home runs, 20 rbis and 20 runs scored (maybe not leading the league now, but he was)? how about ned's failure to get us decent pitching on his budget, not offering arb to wolf and hudson, and his utter failure at getting a decent bench? if he's going to call out a player, he ought to man up and take some of the blame himself. russ and ramon ortiz, come on! haeger? jeez! i bet ned wishes he had stults about now too. ned's comments are misguided and beyond stupid. if we lose kemp in two years because of ned, i will not forget it, ever.

Well, this is about it, don't you think? The excrement has hit the air-conditioning unit. The downward spiral will continue into May/early June and then the fire sale will begin.

The Dodgers could come home and have a great 7-3 homestand... and STILL be a game under .500.

maybe genius NED should worry about a decent pitching rotation they DO NOT HAVE instead of alienating the stars???? Frank, Jamie, Ned.....maybe the Dodger brass should look at the idiots running the organization which is where the problem is!
Dear O Malley family, please buy the team back and i will run the organization like it was run me

Kemp has had his misadventures in the outfield and that was a mental mistake getting thrown out at third on that ground out to shortstop, but it cost us one base...not even an out, because it's two out and a runner on first instead of second. So, why blow that into a huge issue, Colletti?
If Kemp's play were our biggest shortcoming of this young season, we would be in first place. There are plenty of other places to point your crooked finger, Ned, and maybe it should make a U-turn starting out. (We know you can't point at McDivorceCourt, where the problem really stems and exacerbates your inability to build a 25 man roster.)

Yo, Ned:

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? You took the easy path of criticizing your own players instead of accepting accountability for what looks like a dreadful and disappointing season for the Dodgers and their loyal fans. You have a history of making poor player personnel decisions and spending lots of money on guys that turned out to be stiffs. But we're talking about the past. The real question is what are you going to do to try to make this team, especially the starting pitching staff, competitive now and into the future. You had your chance during the off-season and did nothing. Your work is cut out for you.

My question is: when are people in this city going to decide to stop filling Dodger Stadium so that McCourt finally gets that people are not going to accept what his approach to things? No matter how bad things get, as long as people flock to the stadium, McCourt is not going to feel like there is any incentive to cut into his bottom-line profit to improve this team's chances of winning. I, for one, refuse to spend another dollar at that ballpark until McCourt sells the team or starts spending money on adding key pieces - there is NO excuse for how this previous offseason went, but when are fans going to hold him accountable by refusing to fill the stadium - every year McCourt does what is best for him, and every year 4 million fans show up at the stadium.

This was a very, very bad move by Colletti. Let us grant that he was frustrated. Let us grant that he probably regretted saying what he said publicly. The problem is that he did it and now this cat is out of the bag and will roam hungrily for, oh, about five months, give or take. Had he just taken a moment to consider the effect of what he was about to do, he would have known that he needed to say what he said *privately.*

As a people, we've done a terrible job with criticism in general. We don't generally know how to give it, even with the best intentions, and we certainly don't know how to take it - especially across racial lines (see Kemp's reported
unwillingness to accept Blake's rough teasing as one small example).
It takes strong, well-centered, well-raised folks to take criticism and use it for its best purposes. And we don't have a lot of those, of any race or ethnicity. The larger culture (and most of its racial, economic, geographic and ethnic offshoots) more often breeds perpetual adolescents, schooled mostly in self-indulgence and self-delusion, who, instead of seeing criticism as a useful tool for growth, see it as part of a complex scheme to diminish them, so spring to defense and counters, rather than sober reflection about hard truths, and genuine responsibility for same.e

This year's Matt Kemp, for reasons best known to him, seems to have given away much of the impressive progress he made on the bases and in the field last year. He's been playing the game at the same level in those areas as the reporter who "reverts back.":-)

I argee with Ned's sentiments but I dont think he should of made them public and just should of addressed Kemp in private. Kemp has been playing poorly in the field and has made a few base running mistakes. Is it a mental thing? Maybe. Now the real problem is the lack of commitment by upper management starting with McFraud. This payroll should be at least $30 million dollars more considering the market we are in. Can you imagine what $30 million spent on 2 or 3 top line pitchers would of done for this team? Sell the team you fraud or an owner!!!!!!!

Until they find a general manager that can perform at an exceptional level at all times the Dodgers are going to be middle of the road good, Colletti has never impressed with either low end picks or spending big money picks, why is he still with us? We need pitching, needed it last year and passed on several opportunities. If we need to put a trade togeather then lets do it, we have been avoiding that for years now, because our young guys are winners and we protect them, it is time to get some pitching./

Ned Colletti is such an embarrassment. The man has done everything he possibly could to first stymie the development of, then waste the asset of, and now malign the incredibly talented centerfielder he does not deserve to have under his contractual control. What a colossal idiot the man is.

Anyone who signs a no-power singles hitter like Juan Pierre to a $9 million contract should have lost his job on the spot. Luckily for BobbleNed Colletti, Frank McCourt knows zilch about baseball.

Colletti's comments simply add another embarrassing chapter to once proud franchise that has now seen better days. While the game and business of modern day baseball, which is nothing more than an entertainment for the wealthy, cannot be compared to the national pastime of baseball of years past, there should be attention paid what was once a flagship organization now reduced to a Jerry Springer mentality. From the Vero Beach fiasco, to the lack of significant winter signings, this Dodger organization will find itself in a slow McCourt like divorce from its fan base.

Low class by Colletti. Shifting blame much?

Hi class by Kemp.

Matt Kemp is a terrible outfielder. Every fly ball to him makes me turn away, especially the easy routine type. Why does he insist on trying to show off with the ONE-HANDED snare/catch!! Dude, USE TWO HANDS AND YOU WILL NOT BE EVER AGAIN DISCUSSED about your defensive play. Also, lose the gum!! You look like a 5 year old out there.

Perhaps Matt Kemp finds it hard to run or field because, these days, he's playing under an "umberella"?

I have said on Dodger Blogs, Forums, & even here a month back that Dread Colletti is a moron! That said, he has every right to call out a player for poor defense, poor base running & mental mistakes in general, but he should not have brouight Kemp's contract into this.
But a player who gets all the headlines when things go right, are gonna have to face the music when it goes bad - sorry, nature of sports & the press!
Dread didn't volunteer his comments, rather, Tilden asked him point blank about Kemp & MK needed to be called out as he has played horribly in the OF & on the base paths. But Drerad should have also gone further.
But my problem with this entire situation is Dread the G(eneral ) M(oron) needs to grow a pair & admit ALL his wrong doings as well!
He spent 170 Mil on an already injured SP in JS, a fat, lazy out of shape OF in AJ, ManSham & hism 50 game suspension & his weak bat the rest of last season & MsnShjam & his agent even worked it so that they held the option on this season, whereas the Dodgers should have held it! ALso, he siogns a weak armed OF in Pierrer as Dread couldn't land a legitimate slugger that season(& I love JP & his style, attitude & game in general). Dread also loses our most consistent SP in Wolf & didn't even get the 2 draft picks he could, should have had, if only he offers RW a 1 year deal!
Again, while I think MK needed to be called out, the contract was a cheap shot comment & Dread himself has to man up & admit ALL his bonehead moves!

To all Dodger fans who may seem to care or otherwise be ambivalent about the outcome of the teams season. Mr. Colletti everything we do as people in any buisness has to be of substance. If we are entrusted to run a family business we must shoulder the responsibilty of the overall performance of the team; wether we loose or win championships our character has to be astronomically ethical. To say the least we need to have good crediability and be meticulous about every transaction we make not only with players however with those people that pay the green to see our players perform at the highest standard. We all need to be able to take criticism and weather any storm that comes our way bad or good. Our standard of excellance is ultimately measured by how passionate we are about what makes us proud and the work ethic we put into what we believe to be positive results. The branding and making of a badge and not wearing it with honor does not make us good Boy Scouts yet alone an Eagle Scout. Therefore we must foster the dilegence and patience that a good father uses to embrace his son or daughter and help them by picking them up to continue with the race until the finish line. Our end state in perpective to time is to bring a winning esprit de corps that has enough rythm reach the podium of being triumphant; returning it to the fan with a thank of support. My best wishes to you and Los Angeles Dodgers. From a US Marine stationed at MCAGCC 29 Palms CA.. Semper Fi


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