No denial from Matt Kemp

Those who have been waiting for Matt Kemp to man up, as it were, might find some satisfaction in T.J. Simers’ column in the Times today, in which he talked to Kemp and Dodger coach Larry Bowa. (I say “might,” because the flip side is that those same people will probably be wondering what took so long.)

“There’s more there,” Kemp said. “I agree. It’s something I need to sit here and think about and then change.” …

Why doesn’t Kemp go all out? Why doesn’t he break from the batter’s box with all he has?

“That’s a good question,” Kemp said.

Ordinarily Kemp is quick to brush aside any talk about potential not realized. But this time he sat there, listened to everything Bowa had to say, and there was no argument.

“I need to help this team out and I’m not doing it,” he said. “I’ve wasted a lot of at-bats this year. Pitchers have gotten me 70% of the time, but it’s not them getting me out, it’s me.”

So why doesn’t he lay off that outside pitch as he did in April, when he might have been the best hitter in the game — seven home runs to start the season?

“I feel it, trust me,” he said. “Everything being said, I’ve said to myself. I have no excuses. I’ve never hit below .290 in my life.” …

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