Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Why I’m excited at the prospect of Matt Kemp’s return

Because he’s Matt Freakin’ Kemp.

Because even struggling through an injury-plagued season, even at his absolute worst, his 2013 OPS (.700) is almost as high as the Dodgers’ healthy outfielders in left (.755) and center (.762).

Because in the 11 games he managed to play after his first stint on the disabled list in 2013, Kemp had a .390 on-base percentage and .622 slugging, with three home runs in his most recent 14 at-bats.

Because even if he is never going to hit 39 homers in a season again, he’s still 13 months shy of his 30th birthday with the potential to hit as well as virtually any Dodger.

Because he’s a guy who can do harm in the playoffs. Because he wants to prove himself. Because he wants to win.

Because he’s the Bison.

He’s Matt Freakin’ Kemp.


Cubs at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CLXXVII: Kershawd on Entebbe


August 26 game chat


Edwin Jackson, 10 years later


  1. ASW1

    My sentiments exactly – It seemed to me right before he got hurt this last time he was finally putting it all back together and was about to bust out in a big way.
    Adding him into the mix could be lethal for the rest of MLB (I hope).

  2. Hell yes!

    I wish the Dodgers had one more AL road series just so we could have a lineup with Kemp, Puig, Ethier and Crawford all in it at the same time. Just have to make the World Series to experience that, I guess.

    First of all, stay healthy this time Matt!

    And I imagine there won’t be a ton of grousing about the occasional day off for each outfielder; that rest could help each a lot.

  3. dalegribel

    His return is better than any late season acquisition could be.
    Are the Dodgers aiming for Sunday after rosters expand or sooner? If sooner, what’s the expected move?

    • KT

      well the MiLB season ends this weekend so I would say Sunday as my guess

      • SaMoDodger

        Waiting until Sept. 1 will save having to make a roster move. Then Dodgers can use a 17-man bullpen if they like. Fife, Guerra, Dominguez. even Magill can come up and get a taste of this success.

  4. RBI

    Just thinking this last night. Cannot wait to have the Bison back!

  5. KT

    Just one of him rounding 2nd base:

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers42m
    Beastmode on the basepath:

  6. SaMoDodger

    If you have to ask why, you don’t know baseball. Kemp will provide the boost that will keep the good times going, and the rest to insure that nobody runs out of gas. I look for him to take away most at-bats from Ethier, but Puig can definitely use a day off here and there.

    • KT

      and CC…I think (hope ) Donnie will use him well with all 4 players getting plenty of rest on a regular basis

  7. Artieboy

    My excitement was for Hanley’s return. Still glad to see Kemp healthy.

  8. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers26m
    “That’s the most fun I’ve had in a while!” -@TheRealMattKemp

  9. KT

    J.P. Hoornstra ‏@jphoornstra6m
    Matt Kemp talks about running bases today at Dodger Stadium. #Dodgers

  10. Joanna Casey

    Because he’s Matt frigging Kemp! Great post!!

  11. Fiery stuff Jon! I pictured you delivering it like this kid at Georgia Tech:

  12. KT

    yasielpuig ‏@YasielPuig5m

  13. scooplew

    If Kemp is not activated until the rosters expand on Sept. 1, would there be any question of his being allowed to be on any 25-man post-season roster? What would have to be done?

    • KT

      since he’s on the roster but on the DL my take is there is no question of his eligibility

    • btimmer

      Pretty much anybody in the organization prior to September 1 can play in the postseason. The eligibility rules can be massaged very well.

      With Billingsley and Elbert on the 60-day DL, all the Dodgers have to do is “activate” them for the playoffs, then say they are disabled and replace them with somebody else.

      The rules used to state that you had to replace disabled players with someone at the same position, but I think MLB has even given up that charade.

    • KT

      Here is the answer I got at MSTI:

      DBrim moderator just now

      Correct, he is eligible. Still in Dodgers organization.

  14. KT

    Uribe showing off the leather:

  15. KT

    From MSTI

    “To be honest, this is something I don’t view as a problem in the least. Maybe for 2014, but not for this year. Andre Ethier‘s actually been very good over the last two months – .293/.381/.442 — and Yasiel Puig obviously plays if he’s healthy. But neither Ethier or Carl Crawford can hit lefties, and Puig has been slumping, and Kemp can’t be counted on until he can be… it’s not a problem. You can work in needed rest for them all, and in the playoffs you’ll either have the best pinch-option around or a wonderful designated hitter in the World Series. Total non-issue, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Exactly how I feel about our outfield situation

  16. ASW1

    Ha! that didn’t work.

  17. ASW1


    1. LF: Carl Crawford
    2. RF: Yasiel Puig
    3. 1B: Adrian Gonzalez
    4. SS: Hanley Ramirez
    5. 2B: Mark Ellis
    6. CF: Andre Ethier
    7. 3B: Juan Uribe
    8. C: A.J. Ellis
    9. SP: Clayton Kershaw

    CUBS :

    1. SS: Starlin Castro
    2. 2B: Darwin Barney
    3. C: Dioner Navarro
    4. 3B: Donnie Murphy
    5. CF: Junior Lake
    6. 1B: Cody Ransom
    7. LF: Darnell McDonald
    8. RF: Cole Gillespie
    9. SP: Travis Wood

    Get a load of that Cubbies lineup.

  18. JHT

    Because 2/3 of the team’s current starting OFs can’t hit a lick against lefties . . .

  19. Jack Dawkins

    Kershaw back to his old first inning form? Couple games in a row like this now.

  20. KT

    No harm…Now let’s score

  21. KCAL night only again. Grrrr.

  22. KT

    Bucs lose 7-6

  23. Bob_Hendley


  24. Strike 4, nice Clayton.

  25. KT

    5 K’s for Kershaw tonight…7 more for his 4 straight 200 season

  26. KT

    Good hustle Puig!

  27. Please not another Kershaw start without run support.

  28. KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers45s
    Deja Blue! Yasiel Puig has ANOTHER multi-hit game and we’re in the 3rd inning — his 32nd of the season

  29. WinnipegDave

    Jon’s lead story is exciting. It is interesting to read of the trade the Pirates made. It seems to make them a stronger team as well.

  30. WinnipegDave

    Time for a 20 pitch inning for Wood.

  31. KT

    Hanley Hustle!

  32. KT

    Good eye Dre!

  33. ASW1

    Kershaw gonna have to help himself here.

  34. scooplew

    I just checked in. And did some checking on my own. The Dodgers have scored a total of 10 runs in Kershaw’s seven losses this year.

    • As I posted below, they have only been shut out twice during this amazing run of 60 games since June 22nd. But the pitcher in those two games? Clayton Kershaw.

  35. KT

    Make them pay Kersh

  36. Spence

    755 and 762 are quite a bit higher than 700

  37. Spence

    C’mon boys its Travis Wood

  38. Spence

    Dbax must have really hated Jason Kubel to DFA him a mere 5 days before rosters expand.

  39. Jack Dawkins

    Uncle charlie still works.

  40. KT

    5 more K’s Clayton

  41. Spence

    Cubs are grinding tonight. Kershaw almost 90 pitches in the 5th inning

  42. DS1981

    Law of averages at work here again. 8 straight wins for the Dodgers against the cubs. Cubs are simply due. Nothing to worry about.

  43. scooplew

    Run support for Kershaw, Part 2: In his nine losses last year, the Dodgers scored a total of 12 runs. So, in his 16 losses since the start of 2012, the Dodgers have scored a total of 22 runs, or 1.375 runs per game.

    • DS1981

      Why so much consternation about Kershaw’s run support? Every year on every team there’s a pitcher who gets less run support than others. For this team this year it’s Kershaw. In the grand scheme of thing this means nothing going forward.

      If you’re the kind who cares about individual accomplishments (i’m not) Kershaw will still win the cy young and he was never gonna win MVP anyway. Team wise, if the recent mlb playoffs have shown anything, it’s that what happens in the regular season is no predictor of what will happen in the playoffs. Are some fans here just Kershaw fans? Is that it?

      • Um, because it’s been pretty bad? The concern about his run support has nothing to do with the Cy Young or MVP awards, it’s about the Dodgers winning.

        • DS1981

          Wait, what? Is this a serious post? They haven’t been winning enough for you? If they are hitting well when everybody else is on the mound does it matter that there’s ONE guy (kershaw) who they’re not hitting well for? If it was say Ricky Nolasco who was the one not getting the run support, would you be bothered as much?

          • I should ask the same of your post. You’re going after Scoop or whoever else that is annoyed by the lack of run support. It doesn’t matter who it is, in past years it was Derek Lowe. At the end of the year when a few wins could determine seeding in the playoffs it will be disappointing that they couldn’t get their best pitcher a few more runs. He gives up so few, but they give him nothing.

          • DS1981

            Another thing recent playoffs have shown is that it is absolutely irrelevant whether you have home field or not.

          • Whatever your take on this, there’s no reason to get upset over the discussion.

  44. ASW1

    Top ‘O the order for the Dodgers coming up and they need to start grinding as well.

  45. Spence

    That looked painful. Shake it off

  46. Spence

    Kershaw is too much of a competitor to come out of this game, but tonight’s a game that I might pull him early given the pitch account and that comebacker he took.

  47. Spence

    Take him out

  48. Spence

    Good move Donnie. Save those bullets for October

  49. Kershaw’s shortest outing since April 23 and third-shortest of the season. ERA drops (for now) from 1.72437 to 1.72059.

  50. RBI

    Let’s capitalize.

  51. Spence

    18-4 in Greinke starts.
    7-2 in Nolasco starts
    16-12 in Kershaw starts if this one holds
    17-8 in Ryu starts

    Thats really crazy considering how good Kershaw has been.

  52. scooplew

    Realistically, what’s the soonest Kemp will be activated?

  53. KT


  54. ASW1

    This game far from over, guys

  55. scooplew

    AJ is now 3-for-29 in his last 10 games, including tonight.

  56. RBI

    Come on, Belli!

  57. RBI

    Those with eyes, did he attempt the bunt?

  58. KT

    1-2-3 DP time

  59. btimmer

    Padres have crawled back to a 7-5 deficit in Phoenix.

  60. KT


  61. KT

    Now let’s score

  62. ASW1

    That looked like a Dodgers AB for the Cubs that inning – now let’s turn the tables on the Cubs and GRIND out some runs.

  63. KT

    Pods tie it

  64. KT

    going to bottom of 8 tied in Az

  65. DS1981

    I can see Kemp becoming a cancer. Even when Mccourt does something that initially looks like a positive (Kemp’s extension), eventually it ends up hurting this franchise.

    • ASW1

      Quite a stretch there, DS – just because Kemp views himself “as an everyday CFer”, all of a sudden he’ll become a cancer? And you’re already convinced Kemp’s extension will hurt the Dodgers? Keep your dauber up there, big guy – this is a GOOD season….

  66. KT

    way to get on MEllis

  67. ASW1

    Aaaah – the soft white underbelly of the Cubs – their bullpen.

  68. RBI

    Okay, Shoe. Let’s get another one in.

  69. RBI

    Not what we needed – and D-backs just scored 2.

  70. John_from_Aus

    Schu is a double play machine

    • scooplew

      Uribe leads the club with 12, Gonzalez has 11 and Schumaker is now third with 10, but he has far fewer at bats than Gonzalez and fewer than Uribe.

      • John_from_Aus

        It may be just a feeling, but he seems to do it in more important situations, rather than say man on first, 1 out

    • Spence

      He hits way too many ground balls. I think his ground ball split is one of the highest in the majors.

  71. KT

    denorfia just saved another run..pods need two to keep playing

  72. KT

    9-8 pods

  73. KT

    DP Time Paco

  74. WBBsAs

    With a short bench, Mattingly makes unnecessary switches.

  75. John_from_Aus

    now it’s time to make amends

  76. ASW1

    Pop ups and Lazy fly balls

  77. ASW1

    Not a big deal – win tomorrow, win another series, Ho-hum.

  78. KT

    Night all

  79. btimmer

    AZ with winning run on 3rd with 2 out in 9th. Adam Eaton up.

  80. btimmer

    And the game-winning run is out at the plate on a not quite wild pitch.

    In the inning, Gregorious reached first on an HBP that didn’t hit him. Campana was hit by a pitch, but was ruled to have a swung. Eaton claimed he was hit by a pitch, but didn’t get the call.

    • RBI

      Wow. Tempers must be flaring!

    • KT

      if you looked at the replay of Didi’s HBP the ball when through his legs/feet and you will notice the angle the ball takes as it hit his back left foot…kept hearing endburg and Grant say it didn’t hit him but noticed the angle

  81. btimmer

    The Padres have tied a major league record by using five different third basemen in the game.

  82. If this holds, #Dodgers will have scored a total of 12 runs in Clayton Kershaw's 8 losses this season.— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 28, 2013

  83. btimmer

    D-Backs go to 15-5 in extra inning games with a 10-9 win in 10 innings.

  84. rumped6

    This would be Matt “One Phenomenal Year the Rest Mostly Disappointing”
    The one whose latest DL stint was the result of his “baseball instincts?”

    You guys give new meaning to “wry…..”

    Many of your “ideal DH” candidates have tons to prove in Late September
    and October ball.

    Having said all that, the run was beyond imagining. Not only all-time by
    Dodger standards, but all of baseball’s.

    But I fear they might have peaked too soon. The Patriots of NFL fame and

    infamy, who lost twice to the Giants, come to mind.

    • Spence

      Just have to hope Hanley/Puig can carry their hot bats into post season. At the very least, you’d expect the Dodgers to play close games in the playoffs bc Greinke/Kershaw at the front end and Paco/Kenley at the back is really good. It will all come down to a few clutch hits. After 162 games, the season will come down to a few bounces probably.

  85. KT

    Jon SooHoo ‏@JonSooHoo1h
    8/27/13-Something Current-LAD-2,CHC-3 by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers

  86. foul tip

    Had never seen video of Unit unintentionally killing a bird with one of his blazing pitches during a game.
    Some DTers may not have either.

    Brings a whole new meaning to “and the feathers flew.”

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