Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

What's With The Matt Kemp Hysteria?


Ever since Matt Kemp tore his labrum, hurt his hamstring in separate seasons, and hurt his ankle, Kemp hasn’t necessarily been on good terms with parts of the fan base. When a player signs a huge deal a lot of weight is put on the player, he is responsible with living up to a deal, and when a player gets hurt, he can’t do anything to justify that deal. This is frustrating in many cases because injuries are impossible to predict in most cases. Ever since Kemp said yesterday he “isn’t a 4th OF”, many articles have been written about his statements.

I linked those articles because it’s important to pay attention to some of the comments written, there are so many fans down on him, and for the most part, they are very vocal. I’ve encountered a lot of Kemp “haters” and they simply don’t like him as a player, it’s incredible to me. And while I won’t dive too deep into that ~I can just link the always great Chad Moriyama here~, it’s sad to see how many people seemingly are down on him.

Kemp stated

“I’m not a fourth outfielder. We can cut that off right there,” Kemp said. “I won’t accept that role. I can’t accept that role.”

Which, great. That’s something I want to hear from my franchise player, personally. Yes Matthew Ryan Kemp is a franchise caliber player, I think Ned Colletti said it best

Yep, he’s capable of being the best player in the National League. Certainly a guy who will hit for average, power, speed, makes some really flashy plays in CF, plays most other CF’s can’t make, plus he has a great arm. Oh, and in case you didn’t remember, the Kemp came back from his Hamstring injury in late June, he mashed. From June 30th to September 27th he hit .345/.406/.621 with 4 home runs, small sample size? Sure, but it wasn’t overly driven by BABIP, .364 meaning while he was probably getting a bit lucky on balls in play, it wasn’t too far from his .352 career mark, he was walking at a respectable rate, 9.375%, and only struck out at a 15.625% clip. These numbers, while probably a bit high, show me that he is still an elite  offensive talent, you can’t really make a huge statement off of 64 PA’s, but take everything else into account this was after he began lifting weights mid-season, he got his mind past his early-season struggles, and then immediately began to mash. I think these numbers are legitimate.

I’m super high on Matt Kemp, I think he’ll be the best Dodger position player next season, even over Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. My feelings on Kemp are out there, he’s my favorite Dodger, and sticking up for your favorite player is better than trashing him for things out of his control. Hanley Ramirez has shown that a player with diminished speed and the labrum shoulder can in fact come back and be a 5 win player, I don’t think there’s any reason we should think Matt Kemp wont do something similar given his incredible work ethic and love for this team/city.

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Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp

  • AaronKnuckleCurve

    great article! my personal belief is that his injuries are far worse than Hanley’s were. Kemp also seems to not heal very fast for whatever reason. He also has an egocentric and not team centric attitude. Yes! He’s awesome. But it’s raw talent. And he’s too old to have not learned some basic truths
    1. Team first
    2. Pay attention when running bases
    3. Too old to hot dog plays.
    4. Rihanna is just bad news.

    • Adrian Garcia

      Hanley had the same shoulder surgery, had hamstring woes, and has chronic back issues.
      It breaks my heart that Kemp hot dogged that play at home, I can’t really defend him there, it’s really unfortunate that happened
      and I’m not sure whether we can say he has a “not team centric attitude”, maybe he comes off as that way to certain people.

      But regardless, my issue isn’t whether you have questions with whether or not he can stay healthy, my problem is the fans booing him even when he clearly couldn’t perform in May, or constantly bashing him on things like “lack of heart” or “isn’t tough” when clearly down the stretch in 2012 he played through a labrum literally ripped off of his shoulder, trying to help the team.

  • AaronKnuckleCurve

    i have to argue with you here :) but all in good fun. Kemp is out for Kemp. This is not just my opinion. Saying he isn’t a fourth outfielder is brash and cocky, just like he is. He also fights and argues calls like no other. “Comes off that way to certain people?” Oh no, he comes off that way…period. He sulks and complains when we doesn’t get his way. The opposite of this would be Kenley or Juan. THEY are adults. They know that actions speak louder than words. Kemp is a kid, acts like one. Now, I will grant you, he is one of the most natural players I’ve ever seen when he’s hot, but poor attitude is a crusher. Just ask Andy Van Slyke–when we asked one of the best fielders and hitters of all time to cheat in more and got rebuffed. Hot dog ankle crush…getting picked off as much as he does…hot dogging one handed catches in center. It irks me to no end. If he was 22 ok. But not at 30.

    • Adrian Garcia

      yeah no worries! I see your point
      I think he was stuck in respect to the “4th OF” question, if he says what he does, he’s not a team player, if he doesn’t then he’s a “scared player who isn’t a team leader and is making 20 million”

      And just for reference, it’s not like Ethier has had a very great reputation in terms of being an adult, but most fans absolutely adore him

      • simply_not_nuts

        I’ve never seen Kemp sulk. Don’t give up you’re well-made points in your article. We want each of the 4 to believe whole-heartedly that they are everyday players.

        • Adrian Garcia

          Ethier definitely has more of a history of sulking as opposed to Kemp or anyone on the roster, really
          thanks for the read!

  • chuck hoag

    I get it that Kemp believes in himself. I believe in him too. The bottom line is that all the talk in the world means nothing. Just show up and do it. Actions speak much louder than words.

    • simply_not_nuts

      Quit asking him questions then. It’s not fair to think he’s sounding off when he’s being poked and prodded for soundbites in this anxious preseason. No doubt he will nonverbally answer all doubters in a few short weeks.

  • Quasimodo

    What’s mature about baseball?….Oh yeah, the F/O. It’d be easy to get all four outfielders playtime inside every game. I want all of them giving their best when their moments are up. Let them sweat a little to make a good impression. I’m a walking (with cane) antique and as a fan I’m not very adult-like. As they’re saying Kemp won’t be ready when the season starts, he’s got to appreciate being the 4th outfielder at that moment. And I’m sure he’ll be cheering from the dugout till he can hit the field. Besides all this, who’s saying we’re getting the strait dope? Its my thinking that what ANY of our four outfielders say has been discussed before hand and the energy is good and nobody’s disgruntled. Cheers!

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