Dodgers players say MLB takeover of team not a distraction
Several players on the Dodgers said Wednesday that they didn't see Major League Baseball's takeover of the team's operations as a distraction, and Matt Kemp even came to owner Frank McCourt's defense.
"As a player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, for all of us as a team, our responsibility is to just to play baseball and win as many games as we can," said Kemp, the hot-hitting center fielder for the 8-10 Dodgers, before the team played the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium.
"We can’t really worry about off-the-field issues," Kemp said.
Citing "deep concerns" about the Dodgers' financial health, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stepped in and said he would soon appoint a trustee to oversee the club's operations.
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti held a brief, private meeting with the players about the announcement before batting practice.
Like many Dodgers, infielder Jamey Carroll said that while he didn't have details about Selig's intentions, "obviously Bud is doing something to make sure there's stability" with the storied franchise.
In the meantime, "there’s nothing that I think that’s really been a distraction to us," Carroll said.
Catcher Rod Barajas echoed Carroll's comments, saying "what we do on the field has nothing to do with what goes on off the field."
Kemp agreed that "I’m sure Major League Baseball will do what they have to do to make this team run good," and that "all I’m worried about is driving in runs, stealing bases and all that other good stuff and helping the team win."
Asked how often he speaks with McCourt, Kemp said, "I’ve had plenty of conversations with him." The center fielder added: "Frank is a good guy. That’s all I can really say about him. He’s a great guy and I have nothing bad to say about him."
Photo: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on March 12 at a spring training game in Arizona. Credit: Chris Morrison / US Presswire