Ryan Braun 2011 NL MVP: 10 Reasons Matt Kemp Got Screwed and Screwed Himself

Luke JohnsonContributor IIINovember 22, 2011

Ryan Braun 2011 NL MVP: 10 Reasons Matt Kemp Got Screwed and Screwed Himself

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    The most current Dodger team mantra: Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to Jerry Springer we go!

    Yet amidst turmoil at an epic level, Matt Kemp found it possible to (1) put up beastly numbers and (2) date Rihanna?

    What is he? The Afro-American Brad Pitt?

    I could imagine going to work for the McCourts would be a little depressing.

    Not only is Frank in utter denial of the team's imperilment, but his high-stinging Bostonian accent is paralyzing.

    When Kemp signed with Los Angeles, he booked a one-way ticket to no man's land.

    With his historic eight-year, $160 million contract extension on Nov. 18 with a team holding a going-out-of-business sale, Kemp screwed himself over.

    Here are the reasons why.

Rihanna's Weeping Blues

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    Oh na na! What's my name? Oh na na! What's my name...what's my name...what's my name...

    On again, off again superstar girlfriend Rihanna and her rump are worthy of a man's attention.

    So I'm gonna be blunt: If you can't answer the Bermuda native's naughty question above, you either have an impish issue down under or paralysis from the waist down.

    That's the confusing nature of Matt Kemp's performance abilities.

    As recently as Oct. 14 in London the two were smitten again.

    But with so much poor communication through casual text messaging and emailing, I'm beginning to wonder whether Kemp has commitment issues.

    This paradoxical inconsistency with one of the finest girls in the business nixes the genuineness of his eight-year "commitment" to Los Angeles.

    Either that or he's in need of Viagra.  

    He did this to himself. I'd vote Ryan Braun MVP too.

Pulling a Plaxico

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    A team as disastrous as the Dodgers holds no clout when it comes to epic free-agent/trade news.

    Yet somehow, after a .325, 39 home run, 40 stolen base season, the Yoyers locked up Kemp to an eight-year contract.

    Get out! The man just pulled a contractual Plaxico Burress!

    Either Kemp was drugged and his hand led over the contract or the man is contriving other plans in the bright lights of Los Angeles.

    With a smile like a movie star and the name to back it, Matt Kemp is working his footing into Hollywood. He's the baseball version of Baron Davis, and it is grossly uninspiring.

    If not, then he's far from a Most Valuable Visionary Award.

Let Us Compare

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    Ryan Braun: .332, 33 home runs, 111 RBI, 33 stolen bases

    Matt Kemp: .324, 39 home runs, 126 RBI, 40 stolen bases

    I get it—something is not adding up here. Clearly Matt Kemp boasts the greater résumé of statistical value. But aside from that, what point can be made?

    I gather the committee values team identity second and postseason or near postseason standing third—both of which Braun dominated Kemp in all season long.

    Imagining Kemp off the Dodgers doesn't matter. They were garbage all season long and held no valid weight when it came to postseason and title-contending conversations.

    But for Braun and the Brewers it was different. A team founded around two hitters in him and Prince Fielder was utterly reliant upon the star's everyday play.

    No Braun means no postseason. No Kemp means further dwelling in the doghouse.

    Score it: Ryan Braun 2, Matt Kemp .5 (I delete a half point; again, he can't please Rihanna, and that is disturbing).

"Beast Mode" Is a Term for the Godfather

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    Let's leave the "beast mode" conversation for the Godfather, Marshawn Lynch. See his definition here.

    For Kemp let's encourage a clearer form of communication.

    In a recent interview regarding his MVP chances Kemp stated, "If it doesn't happen, I'll just set the goal to be even better—that's 'Beast Mode.'"

    No Matt, beast mode is a phrase used when plowing through an entire Saints defense. But a man that hits a baseball? I don't think so.

    It'd be more like "chess mode," or "brain mode," or "swing a club mode," but beast mode? No, not beast mode.

    Reality check one: I'm almost certain the type of season the man just had will be one of his best. This means "beast mode" has already been accomplished and it's all downhill from this point on.

Stop Sprinting, Matt, and Pace Yourself

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    Must I remind fans that it was just one year ago when the star child made enormous claims regarding his 2010 campaign and the result was a .249 average with 170 strikeouts?

    Must I then remind counter fans that what Braun has been doing, including this year, has been a consistently quiet numbers speak for themselves concoction of All-Star appearances?

    Make no mistake about it: MVP committees are smitten more so with athletes who prove their worth year in, year out.

    Over Braun's five-year career he has averages of .312, 32.2 home runs, 106.2 RBI, 179.6 hits and 19.2 stolen bases.

Haunted by Your Demons

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    Do you believe in ghosts?

    For a confident player like Kemp it is best to appease the ancient ghosts whose names received few heralds at small, unknown organizations.

    What Kemp has going against him are the Dodgers' historical accolades.

    But for Ryan Braun, a proud list of fandom, beer and Robin Yount is pushing him into success.

    For Matt Kemp, the expectation is you win and win now. No ghosts. No underdog approach to bolster one's name.

    He should've locked up an eight-year deal with the Kansas City Royals.

Is Matt the Younger Brother of Shawn?

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    I cannot tell you how many times Matt Kemp has lost name recognition on the basis that he's former NBA forward Shawn Kemp's brother.

    If you remember the way Shawn went out, it wasn't pretty.

    In 1999, after the first NBA lockout, he came back with a paunch-belly full of 40 extra pounds. The six-time All-Star was never the same, tainting future Kemps for the rest of eternity.

    Last month my cousin—who's from Los Angeles—asked me, "Is Matt Kemp related to fat boy Shawn Kemp?"

    "No, Patrick," I returned, shaking my head.

Random Inequalities

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    Sometimes we just can't figure out why history turns the way it does. Why the great Ted Williams was snubbed in 1941 seems stupid, really, but it happened.

    These types of things will continue to occur.

    Reality would say both are deserving of the award. I guess it was a matter of who is more likable and deserving of the award in the immediate NOW.

Personality Indifference

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    Last season's Personality Indifference Award winner was Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals.

    After one really good year with the Phillies, Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals—a contract that drowns them in financial turmoil, as they are now unable to sign or pick up other big names to truly become competitive.

    Now it's Kemp's turn.

    The man may be playing for a larger organization with more money than the Nationals, but in the Dodgers' type of organizational turmoil, Kemp's monstrous contract could swallow their shot at landing other big names.

    Expect to see fellow building block superstar Andre Ethier seek a new home next Summer. It's all or partly because of Kemp's need for mega-millions.

    I suspect a team-playing personality is important to the MVP committee.


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    I suspect the few Dodger fans left are outraged over this suspicious snubbing.

    But really? How surprising or unfortunate is it to lose to a player like Ryan Braun?

    Ryan Braun IS the player Matt Kemp is, if not more so, with a quiet ability to lead a team and not run his mouth.

    I am not judging Kemp because of his flashiness. But this isn't a fashion or popularity show. This is Major League Baseball, a league developed to reward men.

    If anything, I uphold Kemp as a supreme talent. But far too often I have seen players like him respond poorly to the kind of money the Dodgers just handed him.

    I encourage Kemp to get rid of this "beast mode" garbage and focus his sights on solidifying a playoff team in Los Angeles. Then we just might begin to see him in a Most Valuable Player sort of way.


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