The news in L.A. is Dodgers GM Ned Colletti blasting Matt Kemp for his poor play in center field and on the base paths. It doesn’t take a genius to know that Colletti’s comments were made out of frustration at the Dodgers’ slow 2010 start, but they are still stupid, stupid comments for a general manager to be making in the press. Specifically, Colletti suggested that the two year $10.95 million contract Kemp signed before the season may have made Kemp complacent, and Colletti also made a statement about players who think they’re better than they are.
Here’s an article from the L.A. Times which states that Matt Kemp “has reverted back to his previous base-running problems.” In other words, Kemp has never been a player who makes particularly good decisions on the base paths. As for misplaying balls in center field, Kemp hasn’t been exclusively a centerfielder in his professional or major league careers. Also, misplaying balls in the outfield usually isn’t a lack of effort so much as a lack of skill or ability.
Meanwhile, Joe Torre says that Kemp often beats him to the ballpark, so it’s not like Kemp isn’t working hard to improve his game. Also meanwhile, Kemp has seven April homeruns and .942 OPS. How many centerfielders hit like that?
As a Giants’ fan, I always love it when the Dodgers shoot themselves in the foot and underperform despite all their financial resources. As a baseball fan, however, I’m always irritated when some pompous, jack-ass manager or GM pops off to the media when they ought to know better.
If Colletti really thinks Kemp isn’t putting in enough mental effort, he has every right to call Kemp up to his office and beat his backside. However, making statements to the press that Kemp has gotten lazy because he just got his first big contract and that you-know-who thinks he’s better than he is, is just bush, bush stuff. It’s even worse when you’re accusing a young black player of jaking it, when there’s clear evidence he isn’t.
The Giants just signed Angel Berroa to a minor league contract. Yeesh!
Berroa has a .677 career OPS despite playing most of his major league career in Kansas City, one of the best places to hit in MLB, and that’s after putting up his best seasons before age 27. Also, fangraphs doesn’t like his defense at short, so there isn’t much to commend him as a major league player.
Berroa’s 30 this year, and he hasn’t played badly at the AAA in limited playing time the last two seasons. However, I’ll be surprised if he ever really helps a major league team again.
I saw a note on mlbtraderumors.com that John Smoltz is no longer throwing but still doesn’t consider himself retired. Smoltz is fifteen months older than I am, and if he’s not throwing, he’s going to feel all of 43 years old the moment he starts throwing again. At that age, if you have any real intent of returning to the game, you keep throwing to someone somewhere.
What is going on with Jake Peavy? After today’s game, he has allowed 20 walks in only 28.2 innings pitched. This represents 6.3 walks per nine innings pitched. He hasn’t had a rate even half that high since 2003, his first full season as a major league starter at age 22. He has 22 strikeouts so far this year, but one has to think something is not right with Peavy’s arm if he’s suddenly lost the ability to throw strikes.