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When wanting Matt Kemp to step it up is not the same as wishing him the black plague

Is it even possible for anyone to say or write anything remotely critical of Matt Kemp without his hoard of oversensitive defenders screaming: "They’re making him a scapegoat! It’s unfair! He’s being singled out! They only yell at Matty!"

Wah-wah-wah.

What’s up with this?

Now I know this isn’t the majority, but still, it’s amazing how anything resembling a barb -- or even perceived to be -- gets the Kemp stat wonks' undies in a knot.

OK, so Kemp was benched again Wednesday. And try to get this, he deserved to be. He’s an absolute mess at the plate and has been almost all month.

He is currently in a 1-for-18 skid with seven strikeouts. In his last 15 games, he’s batting .156 with 15 strikeouts in 45 at-bats.

Are other Dodgers are struggling too? Sure, but not this badly, and certainly not looking this badly. Watching Kemp flail around at the plate, a batter without a clue, is an amazing thing.

It’s like he has some hitter’s learning disability. He keeps taking good pitches, swinging at low and outside sliders like he simply can’t help himself.

So Joe Torre sat him Wednesday against the Rockies. It’s not an indictment against Kemp, just a reality check on the player at this moment.

This does not make him a scapegoat for the Dodgers' ongoing woes. Please recognize that he has played more games and had more at-bats than any other Dodger.

Asked why Kemp was sitting Wednesday against Rockies right-hander Jason Hammel, Torre said:

"Because [Jay] Gibbons is. I wanted to give him a game. He hadn’t played in a bit. He’s got a left-handed bat that can hopefully benefit us."

Asked it he could foresee this becoming a platoon, Torre said:

"I think I’d rather do it more by feel, if there’s something in the matchups that tell me something. I think Matt is still going to play most of the time."

That sounded like a wavering commitment, but Torre also recognizes what everyone else does -- Kemp is the most physically gifted player on the team.

Which also makes him the most frustrating. Not because of his diminished results this season, but the erratic effort that’s gone into their achievement.

The Times’ T.J. Simers loves Kemp’s talent, abhors his lack of consistent hustle but remains convinced that one day he will be a truly great player. Me, I’m starting to wonder.

Paul Oberjuergue, who covered Los Angeles sports for over 30 years, has grown weary of Kemp’s bonehead plays on the field and on the bases, and at his blog questions whether his head is truly into the game.

Kemp did go into Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning, got two at-bats and struck out twice on a total of nine pitches.

When word hit the Rockies clubhouse Wednesday that Kemp was nominated as the Dodgers finalist for the Heart and Hustle award, there was open amazement.

So it wasn’t so surprising in the eighth inning when Dexter Fowler hit a routine single to center, and noticing that Kemp was circling the ball at something less than his finest hustle, tried to stretch the hit into a double.

Nor was it surprising when Kemp then recovered and threw him out. He has that kind of talent. Too often, he gets by on that talent.

And can we leave behind the "poor little Matt gets picked-on" bit?

Let’s see, General Manager Ned Colletti did call him in April when he was playing defense and running the bases like he had a bag over his head. And once coach Larry Bowa both praised and lightly criticized him, which Kemp agreed with.

And that’s been it for those mean ol’ coaches who are paid to get the most out of their players. Considering everything, he’s had it easy.

The Dodgers have no interest in giving up on Kemp, trading him or messing with his head.

They just want him to go to the plate with a plan. To play fundamental defense. To hustle on the bases and on the field.

These are reasonable, understandable expectations. And noticing it when it doesn’t happen is not doing some hatchet job on Kemp.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (46)

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I agree. Bottom line is if you don't perform, don't always hustle to the best of your abilities and make mental mistakes on the basepaths you are going to get some criticism and see some time on the pine. Doesn't matter if other players are getting singled out less or more, that is besides the point.

On just about every sports team I played on, the better players were always singled out more often for not domiating the inferior competition. That's just the way it works.

I agree. Bottom line is if you don't perform, don't always hustle to the best of your abilities and make mental mistakes on the basepaths you are going to get some criticism and see some time on the pine. Doesn't matter if other players are getting singled out less or more, that is besides the point.

On just about every sports team I played on, the better players were always singled out more often for not domiating the inferior competition. That's just the way it works.

so let me get this straight...steve you say other dodgers are struggling but not this badly...you lose all credibilty...just because casey blake gets a hit once in 20 at bats he is not doing worse than kemp, loney has done nothing since the all star break and he is not struggling...

when he leaves and it is not if it is when...it will be just another player the dodgers trashed...lets go down the line, Paul Konerko, Pedro Martinez, Jason Werth, Mike Piazza, should i continue ...

he has struggled absolutely...but when he is another uniform doing what we all know he will I would love to hear what you have to say...and this is coming from a dodger fan living in ny...baseball fans here in ny are watching and it won't be long before he is a center fielder in pin stripes...

"Are other Dodgers are struggling too? Sure, but not this badly"

They're actually doing worse, Steve.

Kemp post All Star break: .243 avg. , .661 ops, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 29 k
Blake post All Star break: .219 avg. , 608 ops, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 33 k
Loney post All Star break: .220 avg, 620 ops, 2 HR, 9 RBI 21 k

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get this knot out of my undies.

Steve, I think the issue is not that Matt Kemp is above criticism. It's that he is criticized at a level that others are not subjected to. He is punished for having ability, as suggested by your sentence, "Too often, he gets by on that talent." You used a good play he made as a criticism. What other Dodger gets that kind of treatment?

No one's disputing that Kemp should play at his hardest. What's problematic is when people throw out the big picture with Kemp. It's great that Podsednik and Gibbons are diving for every ball hit near them (albeit not catching many of them), but even so, they are still not the player that Kemp is. Hustle is important, but it's not the only thing. It may not be morally correct, but a good player who plays at 80% is better than a mediocre player who plays at 100%.

"Are other Dodgers are struggling too? Sure, but not this badly, and certainly not looking this badly." This is incorrect. As this chart shows (http://bit.ly/9oFKk7), Loney and Blake are examples of players doing worse than Kemp, yet barely get a mention in the press. Theriot is considered a hero for doing the same as Kemp. And it's not like they haven't made bonehead plays.

So I think it's fair for people to suggest that at least some of the attention devoted to Kemp be directed somewhere else - that enough is enough. Yes, he's been a disappointment. Yes, we want him to make the most of his potential. But given all that's gone wrong with the Dodgers this year, the attention to Kemp's negatives has been nothing short of excessive.

"And that’s been it for those mean ol’ coaches who are paid to get the most out of their players. Considering everything, he’s had it easy."

But then they haven't done their job then, have they? Just like Kemp hasn't done his.

Part of coaching is identifying personalities and adjusting, not expecting everybody to adjust to you. As a coach, you're a highly replaceable asset. Players are not.

Figure they would have learned that after all their years in the game. Guess not.

I thought that you had to be a member of the Diamondbacks to strike out so much

Posted by: Xeifrank | 08/19/2010 at 10:34 AM

Who else ever gets criticized? Honestly.

This isn't a "oh look Matt Kemp gets 3 articles per week about how much he sucks at James Loney gets too, boo hoo it's so unfair". It's a "Matt Kemp gets 50 articles this year about how he's a lazy piece of crap and nobody else on the team gets 1" thing.

Jon W. I disagree with you in an almost violent manner. Kemp was projected as the stud of the team. We've been told that numerous times over the years not only by you and your other blog but by Dodgers players, coaches, management, national publications and so on. An 11 million dollar contract over 2 years raises expectations too.

Is this fair to Kemp? No, it is not. However, when you make the same mistakes over and over and over and over (down and away slider anyone?), when your attitude projects an air of indifference, when you exhibit the signs of a person with a marijuana habit, when you take a day from the team (with the managers blessing) and go to New York with your superstar girlfriend, questions are asked. Dedication is queried. Commitment is expected.

Kemp has not shown any of these qualities. We hear how Manny Ramirez has a phenomenal work ethic, how Martin plays hurt, how Furcal has given his back to the game, Eithier his pinkie... and crickets about Kemp work habits.

Is Kemp shouldering the blame for a season that is now all but officially over? Yes. He has to. Part of being a leader is leading and admitting when you are wrong. I've heard nothing of substance from him to indicate he is even remotely aware of his place on this team and that is just wrong.

Is he a drug user? I highly doubt it but his attitude is such that it is infuriating to watch. He's been in the league for what? almost 4 years now? No longer a baby, he is starting to reach that veteran age and he needs to start producing. 6 weeks left in the season and there is still time to pull this out. It's just going to take an absolutely amazing turn around, starting with the Bison.

We must not b watching the same Dodgers. How could u say the rest of them don't suck that bad? So u mean 2 tell me that the Dodgers only need one player(Matt Kemp) 2 play his best every single game while the other are allowed 2 not suck that bad. That WHOLE team isn't playin well. Yes i get upset when fans & others just blame Matt 4 the Dodgers bad season. Don't even get me started on Casey Blake, the pitchers, well most of the TEAM. I am one of the people who feel that Matt is the only one being called out. It's stupid 2 me if u win as a team u should lose as a team. Not we win as a team, but when we lose it's Matt Kemp's fault.

Funny how chronic losing even has fans/bloggers/commenters at each other's throat!

My opinion: Steve makes some good points, though I do think Kemp has taken on more than his fair share of a beating. Part of it's understandable, since many of us hope(d) he'd be the face of the franchise, in a good way. At the same time, he's getting TOO much of the spotlight right now, and NOT in a good way. For example- I like Ethier, just like most everyone else. But find it curious that few, if any, seemed to call him out during a 5 for 56- FIVE FOR FIFTY SIX!- stretch, or when the camera pans to him in the dugout and it looks like he's beating someone to death with a bat. Most everyone on this team right now either needs a head check, is past their prime, or never had a prime to begin with. Kemp seems like a sympton and symbol, more than a root cause.

I hope those that are worthy of being on the team next season can get it together, and as far as I'm concerned, Kemp is #1 on that list- both as someone who needs to get it together, and as someone should be on this team (ok, maybe #2 after Kershaw, but still right at the top).

"Is this fair to Kemp? No, it is not."
That's pretty much my entire point.

And if you haven't heard Kemp take responsibility for his actions, you haven't been listening. The latest example is in Simers' column this week:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0818-simers-20100818,0,4283897,full.column

"However, when you make the same mistakes over and over and over and over (down and away slider anyone?), when your attitude projects an air of indifference, when you exhibit the signs of a person with a marijuana habit, when you take a day from the team (with the managers blessing) and go to New York with your superstar girlfriend, questions are asked."

See, this is what Jon means though.

You are inferring that the inability to hit a pitch is a personality trait. That he projects (you assume) he is indifferent (like idiots assumed Shawn Green was indifferent), you infer he's smoking weed all day, and that Rhianna is screwing the power out of him or something.

It's just stupid.

It's not hard to say ,"Hey guess what, Matt Kemp is having a bad year, here's why!"

No, people have to take it to the next level instead of concentrating on intelligent discourse and analysis of his struggles. Because hey, that takes research and effort, doesn't it? Yelling about personality and whatever other stuff just takes banging the keyboard.

"Crickets about Kemp work habits."

Even in the article criticizing Kemp by Simers, they admit that Kemp still gets there early to lift and hit.

Even the people who critique him don't say he doesn't work. They say his problem is on the field.

My god, you are reaching so bad right now, it's pathetic. I feel sorry for you.

This is absolutely ridiculous, Steve. Really, Kemp has been the target of everyone since Ned called him out this year, but really, it all started a few years ago the last year of Grady's tenure. Plaschke was calling for Kemp to be traded because of his "attitude" and how he rubbed Kent the wrong way over a trash can. Now it would seem that the blame could be justified if it were actually true, but as many have astutely noted, it is not. Loney and Blake have been horrible. The bullpen, for pete's sake, has blown so many games, it's hard to even count. If we had won 75% of the games that the bullpen blew, where would we be? Even Torre's moves have perplexed many. How about Ned? Keeping Anderson for almost 2/3rds of a season with absolutely no production whatsoever was grossly negligent. And have we all noticed how well McDonald is doing for the abysmal Pirates? And how Bills has not taken the big step forward to be our ace, or how Broxton, Troncoso, Sherril and Weaver have imploded? Maybe we don't need a new bullpen, maybe we just need a new pitching coach. And how about Manny? Where do we start with Manny? How about just quitting on the team from the start. We hear rumblings now and then, but nothing in the way that everyone has been dogging Kemp. At least Kemp is playing. Manny won't even play. Do we hear any of this? No, we hear how Kemp swings at low and away sliders. Well, how about Blake swinging right through fastballs right over the plate. Martin's continual decline over the last few years? Okay, so Torre wore him to the ground, but neither Torre nor Martin seem to get any heat over Martin's performance. No, Steve, I think you need to man up and admit your post was off-base and just plain wrong.


The whole team may be struggling, but when we think about this team and future salaries, we think of Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw, Bills, Broxton, and Loney. We don't think about Blake. Blake may be struggling, but he's out there making plays and giving as much as he can. But he isn't the future of the team, and neither is Manny, Carroll, Theriot, or Padilla. So when the team is looking to the future and making decisions RIGHT NOW about future salaries and those possible big contracts, they have to hold Kemp and the younger guys to a different, higher standard. They have to be especially critical of the younger players, to decide if we trade or keep them. While the team long ago gave up on the likes of Pedro Martinez and Konerko (Werth and Piazza? Please, what have the really done since leaving?), they also spent too much time waiting for Mike Marshall and Greg Brock to develop. There were reasons why Jeff Kent (he was a professional, regardless of what you think) didn't like Kemp. Well, now we're starting to see what were those reasons. Get rid of Kemp for some young pitchers, and package Loney for A. Gonzalez.

Matt Kemp is having a down year. It happens. Something isn't working, and he'll take the time in the offseason (hopefully) to get right, and I expect him to be back on top next year.

All the over analyzing his personality, girlfriend, etc. is tiresome. Young players are less consistent, except for Pujols and A-Rod.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.” -Erma Bombeck

What Jon said. Only by the most twisted logic could one take an outstanding defensive play and use it as a criticism.

The double standard that has been applied to Kemp throughout his career is really incredible. One small example: When Kemp got picked off base in the ninth inning to help lose a game against the Angels in June, the media lynch mob was ready to string him up. When Scott Podsednik got picked off base in the ninth to lose a game earlier this week, there wasn't a peep -- because Podsednik is a white guy who projects an image of hustling.

Clearly there is something wrong with Matt Kemp, not unlike there was something wrong with Chris Young last season after his multi-zillion dollar contract with the D'Backs. You all know what I am talking about. There were times when I felt absolutely saddened watching Young strike out every time he was up, looking utterly lost at the plate. What a difference a year makes. However, at no time did I feel or get the impression that he was a malingerer or malcontent, as I do with Matt Kemp whether real or imagined. Let me be very clear: IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY COMMENTS MADE BY THE DODGER BRASS NOR ANY ARTICLE WRITTEN TAKEN KEMP TO TASK. PERIOD. I am able to make my own decisions and have faith in my ability to process what I am seeing, whether that perception is accurate or not, which I must always leave room for. Steve's analysis is simply common sense. We are watching a young player have a bad year and purvey what appears to be an attitude of belligerence and laizzes faire. Ken Levine made a good comment last night on Dodger Talk when he said that the only appropriate demeanor from Kemp that would be acceptable is somberness due to the backlash from Andruw Jones and his contemptible smirking when he failed. I do not envy Kemp's position. Has he gotten unfair criticism in disproportion to the others who are failing as bad or worse? Perhaps. What I am more distressed about with Matt, who I am a big fan of and still believe he will turn a corner, is the unmeasurable aspect of character that is being revealed, an immaturity that has begun to wear thin on Dodger fans.

Dodger Tony.

I'm glad you just know. Congratulations.

Steve,

I disagree. But maybe you have a writing disability similar to the claimed batter's disability you say Kemp appears to have. Your most profound line in this article is "wah-wah-wah". Keep up the good work. You're right up there with the McCourts in quality.

Dodger Tony.

I'm glad you just know. Congratulations.

Steve,

I disagree. But maybe you have a writing disability similar to the claimed batter's disability you say Kemp appears to have. Your most profound line in this article is "wah-wah-wah". Keep up the good work. You're right up there with the McCourts in quality.

That was rude I apologize! But still disagree!

So people think just because Matt doesn't throw a tantrum everytime he strikeout(Ethier) he doesn't care. He would rather smile instead so he doesn't care. U people r not & Matt Kemp's head 2 determine what he is thinking. How did the Dodgers lose last night? Some of u may think it was because of Kemp's two strikeouts rather than the pitcher 3 wild pitches in one inning or Bowa's dumb move 2 send a runner from 1st to home on a single. I am just about done with the Dodgers. Hopefully they trade Kemp 2 the Yankees(i like them too) 2 see who is really the problem. Kemp or the Dodgers. Yankees have the money. N the can certainly use a better CF even though they can still win with the one they have.

Anybody want my Kemp bobblehead?

kemp is a chump.

I can deal with Kemp's lack of hitting. I'm frustrated, sure, but it's his dropped fly balls, bad routes to fly balls and his regression on the base paths that I have a problem with. No excuse for that.
Just like Martin: he can't hit water by falling out of a boat. But hitting isn't what you look for in a catcher, it's a bonus. It's Martin's regression in defense: not throwing out base runners and too many passed balls that kills me. Even if he weren't injured and still in the lineup, I doubt that the Dodgers record would be significantly better.
But there's nobody around with whom we can replace them. They're both signed for another year. Nothing will be accomplished by getting rid of either player.

Good one, Steve. I love the Kempster, and he deserves another year. But he has no discipline on the tailing slider or curve. it's like Lucy with a football for Charlie Brown up there!
I think, like last year, he feeds off of others stepping into the leader's role -- the big bat threat, like a healthy Manny and 'Dre, even a Furcal. When the pressure's on him, he's just too wound up to deliver. If you buy this notion that he's a more contributor than cleanup hitter -- a Bernie Williams, Dusty Baker player -- then it's clear the Dodgers need to go and get another big bat.
Sigh. Go Blue, somewhere into that dark evening.

@wendingo: "There were reasons why Jeff Kent (he was a professional, regardless of what you think) didn't like Kemp."

I think you meant that the reason Jeff Kent didn't like Matt is because back then, Matt was young, cocky, and black. Don't forget that Kent hated Loney as well. Remember when Matt returned to his locker and saw that someone had placed a trash can in front of it, so he moved it out of the way, which set off a tirade by Kent about how young players today don't respect the game? Which then set off a chain reaction that culminated in Plaschke writing an article about how the Dodger youngsters are uncoachable and the team should trade Kemp for some pitching? I do.

The reason we defend Kemp and Broxton is because they get singled out when the whole team struggles. Theriot is by far a worse baserunner than Kemp, but he hardly gets any criticism because he's a white veteran who fools observers into mistaking his activity for achievement. Podsednik is by far a worse fielder than Kemp (in fact, Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Carlos Lee, and Brad Hawpe are the only worse outfielders in MLB I've seen in the past couple years than Pods), and also makes a lot of baserunning gaffes like Theriot, but again, he's a scrappy white veteran so very little is written about his mistakes. I can't think of more than two or three third basemen who are hitting worse than Casey Blake, and have there ever been (in MLB history) two starting catchers for the same team who hit as poorly as Ausmus and Ellis?

there is no competition on the team to improve or to properly use his skills....everyone seems to have regressed...like a beaten team.....and bandaids and cheap players coming in and providing some spark and making the regulars look bad.....we definately need an attitude change with players....they are pros and need to step forward and play like they are.......and this goes to management.....what are they doing?.......we are not losing games.....we are giving them away

Steve u belong at LA times with Bill P.!!!! This is a horrible blog! LA times is anti Dodgers! You sould listen to ddly and try not running a good player outta town! So when Andre is reaching for the low and away pitch SPINNING in circles is good form? I love Andre I'm not gonna bash him like u and everybody else bashes kemp. I haven't read this blog since Jon left and I'm glad I followed him. Your sappose to support your team through the thick and thin not hit them while they are down!

David says ,"Your sappose(sp) to support your team through the thick and thin not hit them while they are down! "

more Kool Aid Dave?

Another article about Kemp?Enough already.....How about letting us know how STUPID Bowa was to send the runner home and get caught by an easy 10 feet to end the game.Most little league coaches would know better and that's not the first time Bowa has done this.....Let's put some blame on Dotel for being a major league pitcher and having control issues that you might find in a 8 year old little leaguer....Let's put the blame on Ellis's fat butt,that couldn't move his feet 1 inch to try to block any of those wild pitches....Let's also put the blame on his weak hitting.Maybe the Dodgers can turn him into a pitcher,or maybe not,cause fat butt has a weak arm.How hard is it to find a young Dominican to replace fat butt?Oh yeah,the Dodgers had one but traded him for weak hitting Blake.

All players have slumps. Andrew Jones is doing quite well right now. Jim Thome has 17 home runs and if you look around Kemp is not the only player having trouble. He'll work through this and will be back on the hot seat when he goes into his next slump. It's just baseball. It's a game of streaks and slumps. It's up to the manager to put hot hitters together so they can string hits together and score runs.

I remember playing baseball myself. I was doing pretty well for a while and then I couldn't stop grounding out to the shortstop. I got a lot of advice but no matter what I did the ball went in that direction. Change my batting stance, the position of my feet, you name it. It was a hopeless situation.
I never worried about striking out because the opposing pitchers made sure I didn't. Every ball I took was a strike, with no movement on. After a while I gave up. Maybe I shouldn't have.
Don't give up Matt.

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU REPORTERS HAVE NO NEWS TO REPORT WE DONT CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK OF mATT kEMP EVEN HIS TORRE HAVE POINTED THIS OUT THAT THEY DONT INTEND TO TRADE HIM SO WHAT S YOUR PROBLEM DO YOU YOURSELF PLAY BASEBALL HAVE YOU TRIED TO PUT YOUR SELF INTO THIS KID SHOES PATHETIC YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO GET YOUR ARTICLE NOTICE SHAME ON ONTO THE NEXT ONE

To respond to a few comments left:

-- I must not have been clear to some people on the example used for Matt’s play Wednesday night. The reason the runner tried to take the extra base was because Kemp was dogging it to field the ball in the first place. Then used, successfully this time, his athleticism to bail himself out. This is hardly a double standard.

-- The better to have a good player at 80 percent than a mediocre player at 100 percent argument: Not for me. I want my players giving me everything they have, and if they’re not, they’re not part of the team I’m trying to build. I find this reasoning truly puzzling. It’s team game that requires a focused effort. If somebody is going the casual bit, welcome to the bench. Anyway, I don’t think Kemp’s at 80 percent.

-- That Kemp gets a disproportionate about of criticism: Maybe, though you won’t be surprised that I disagree. Others get criticized -- George Sherrill, Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez -- but Kemp’s continues to be because he still makes the same kind of bonehead plays. Continues to play with the same kind laissez-faire approach.

-- Coaches need to adjust approach per different personality types: This assumes they haven’t tried a multitude of approaches with Kemp, which would be incorrect. They’ve tried repeated instruction, coddling him, challenging him, whatever. At some point, it’s on the player.

-- Kemp has taken responsibility for his actions. Well, he’s said some of the right things, that’s true. But they don’t translate. He doesn’t carry what he says onto the field. And that’s what is needed.

Look, I want Kemp to succeed the same as all his ardent defenders. This is his fourth season in the bigs. He should be getting it by now. I think we can all agree he’s immensely talented. That he does have superstar potential.

But right now, he is not a player hungry to succeed. His effort is constantly lacking, which curiously, he admits. He needs to turn it around before too many sour on him in L.A.

If Matt Kemp doesn't swing at ball 3 and ball 4 last night, we tie the game with the bloop single to center. It's amazing how undisaplined he is at the plate. He takes the first pitch right down the middle. Maybe the first two. Then he swings at a pitch low and away in the dirt. If Mattingly would just tell him to never swing at a pitch, his on base percentage would be incredible. He has amazing talent, but no baseball common sense. Oh, I'm sorry, was I blaming Matt Kemp again?

Yeah, you're right, they didn't get on Scott Podsednik when he was caught stealing the other night with the game on the line in the ninth inning. And he was hustling. They didn't give him a free pass cause he was white, they gave him a free pass cause he was hustling. Playing the race card again is really getting old. When Kemp plays to his potential, he is amazing. When he plays to his attitude, he sucks.

Stop bringing race into this discussion. Kemp is justifiably being criticized because he's having a lousy year on defense and running the bases and is no great shakes offensively either. This isn't anything anyone hasn't heard before. Kemp is a target simply because of the potential that we saw last year. We know what he's capable of and many people are disappointed because we don't see it from him consistently. There's nothing wrong with that.
You could fairly criticize any player on this team except Furcal for either their offensive or defensive shortcomings. But at some point, the general manager and the field manager have to get some criticism for the team's appalling fundamentals. This is a poor defensive club by most advanced metrics, especially in the outfield. The team doesn't run the bases particularly well or aggressively. They consistently fail to move runners over and fail make the right kind of an out in run scoring situations. Their talent level isn't great, but this team has gotten the absolute minimum out of the ability they have. Kemp is symptomatic of a much larger problem.

Watching Matt Kemp play baseball is like watching Frank McCourt own a baseball team. Oh, wait, we can't see McCourt own a baseball team because we can never find him anywhere. Stange how that came full circle.

Belive me when i say this....Its his high profile GF that has him playing like he is. I mean she has killed Chris Browns career, now shes working Matt's. You talk about black plaugue, i got one name for you "Rihanna"

@Charley Bottles

Chris Brown killed his own career. You know that happens when a man beats a woman. Rihanna has nothin 2 do with the way Matt is playing, which he stated himself. N you are very ignorant for that comment.

Jim jones make a point! Kool aid... I don't get it. Try making sense! My spelling it be bad buy that's all u can say.. Who cares about spelling .. My point got across and proved a bandwagoner like u wrong.

Sorry people for saying this but something very powerful has taken over Matt. It goes back to when he met his GF. And for that person saying it like the black plaugue well it is and more.

Just think about it Matt was hitting very well until?? Someone stated that when he's at bat it's like he in some kind of trance. It will be a matter of time when he will be all over the media and not for playing ball either.

***
It's a "Matt Kemp gets 50 articles this year about how he's a lazy piece of crap and nobody else on the team gets 1" thing.
***

What? 50 articles? I mean are you really counting? I would've thought the number was much less than that Chad. If it is 50 then I agree with you that it is a big excessive.


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