Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Dodger fans are misinformed

If you've never been to Dodger Stadium, you may note how unknowledgeable many of the fans are. More than anything, they are obsessed with batting beach balls around -- too bad if delays the game -- and getting their jollies by appearing on the message board. I believe part of the reason why the fans are so clueless is that the local paper does a lousy job of covering the team.

Still, the team's made it to the postseason for the last two seasons, partly because they have Matt Kemp, an excellent centerfielder with power who's only 25 -- about three times as good a player as Aaron Rowand. And he's got a big upside. But the Los Angeles Times, particularly dingbat columnists Bill Plaschke and TJ Simers, has also decided that he's Evil because....well, the writing is so bad that I can't explain. Maybe it's because Dave Stewart is his agent or he dates Rihanna? From what I can see, he's a gifted player who would start for all 29 MLB teams and the Dodgers. Bob Timmerman at the very good LA Observed blog has concluded that the Times has gone off the rails in bashing Kemp, who currently has 22 HRs and 71 RBIs, but he can't even explain why this has happened --
What I am trying to figure out is: why does Kemp receive what seems to be an inordinate amount of scorn from the Times staff. Granted, Kemp has had a disappointing season, both on offense and defense. On the other hand, so has pretty much everybody else on the Dodgers with the exception of Hong-Chih Kuo....

What's not known is just why it is Kemp that is singled out for so much criticism? Any Kemp mistake is portrayed as the result of mental lapses and lack of dedication. When newly acquired second baseman Ryan Theriot was thrown out going from first to third on a single in a game at Atlanta when the Dodgers behind 8-0, the play received only a brief mention. (Theriot said he always plays aggressively. Cubs fans have warned me to expect to see Theriot getting thrown out on the bases a lot.)

Readers of this blog know that I'm always glad to see the Dodgers and their fans suffer but all this scapegoating of a solid player feels very much like the hatchet job performed on Barry Bonds by the San Francisco Chronicle -- only with significantly less cause. If there were any way to trade Rowand and prospects for Kemp, I'd do it in an instant.


Blogger Scott said...

Kemp has special talent and it seems that the Dodgers are pushing him away. I would snap him up in a trade really fast maybe the Dodgers are dumb enough to do somehting like that.

11:59 AM  

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