Much has been made of the hoo-hah between Ned Colletti and Matt Kemp (VSIMH has all the gory details, while MoKM and MSTI done tore Ned a new one, yessirree). And last night's first-inning misplay by Kemp, which allowed the Pirates' only two runs to score, won't help settle things — Kemp even heard some boos at Dodger Stadium, maybe for the first time in his career.
But the most troublesome issue fans are worrying about is whether Colletti's comments will be the beginning of the end of Kemp's tenure with the Dodgers. A quote from Dave Stewart, Kemp's agent, is causing the stir:
"When it comes time for Matt to arbitrate two years from now, we're going to look at that situation and do what's best for Matt," he said on The Mason and Ireland Show on 710 ESPN Los Angeles. "When it comes time for Matt to be a free agent three years from now, we're going to look at that situation in the same way as I would with Chad Billingsley, my other client on that ballclub.
Look carefully at that quote. It's something Stewart would still say if the Dodgers were 22-0 instead of 8-14 right now. An agent is always going to "do what's best" for his clients. If Kemp ends up leaving the Dodgers, it won't be because of sore feelings. It'll be because another team will have offered him more money.
Kemp is just about my favorite Dodger right now, and hopefully he'll transcend this nonsense. But if he bails on us, blame Frank McCourt for not having enough money to keep him. Matt Kemp is a big boy — Ned Colletti's words will never hurt him.
photo by Allen J. Schaben/LA Times