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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ned Colletti Publicly Tears Into Matt Kemp

One sign of a petty man is blaming others for the consequences of his own decisions. Vin Scully Is My Homeboy points us to this incredible LANG replay of a Ned Colletti radio interview in which he says the following:
"Some guys, I guess, think that they're better than they are," the Dodgers' general manager told host Peter Tilden on 790-KABC. "And they think that the opposition is just going to roll over and get beat by them. That obviously doesn't happen. We've lost two out of three to Cincinnati, two out of three to Washington, two out of three to Pittsburgh. All three of those teams - no offense to those three teams - we're better than they are. We should be winning those games. And when we don't do it, you know what, it's utterly frustrating."
I'm with Roberto Baly — just what the hell does Colletti hope to accomplish here? It reminds me of the idiotic Mike Port and the shabby treatment he handed certain players (whose names escape me now, and my Angels history is upstairs at the moment). But this is not the Dodger Way, nor is it the way of winning organizations.

Update: And today, during the radio broadcast, Mister Rick Monday shows why boot licking is never fashionable, mounting an untenable defense of Colletti's wholly asinine comments, saying "We could not agree with the words of Ned Colletti any more." Really? So Kemp, hitting .294/.354/.588 on the month, is the player you choose to call out, instead of, say

I could go on. But if Colletti is stupid, Monday is reprehensible.

Update 2: And then there's MSTI's comments following yesterday's game: the terrifying possibility that Ramon Troncoso is on pace for 115 game appearances this year, and the lack of range that is the funhouse mirror of a shortstop named Jamie Carroll. Oh, lots of blame to go around. But Matt Kemp?

Update 3: Kemp responds in the Times:

"People don't know what goes on," Kemp said. "People don't know what time I show up to the stadium. I'm here, I'm here working, I'm here trying to get ready for the game.

"We work hard. This team works hard. There's nobody on this team who doesn't get to the field early to get their work in, watch videos. Everybody's doing what it takes to win. We're just not putting it all together right now."

Update 4: Ned defends his comments:
"I don't see the same player I saw last year," Colletti said. "Maybe it's early, maybe that's what it is. It's not just Matt. I haven't seen it across the board, with rare exception. I don't want to make this [only about] Matt Kemp.
He could be right; after all, was Kemp leading the league in home runs (7, 4-way tie), runs scored (20), and RBIs (20, also a 4-way tie) last year? So maybe he meant that Kemp was even better than he was last year.

But that would be unlikely.

Update 5: Memories of Kevin Malone has an excellent flow chart regarding this. Thanks to MSTI for the link.

Also, Dodger Divorce's Joshua Fisher at Hardball Times.

Update 6: Fake Ned Colletti on Twitter. Whoever you really are, sir, you are a True Genius. Samples:

I know that ball was hit over Ethier's head, but Matt Kemp has to catch that ball. He has to catch EVERY ball. #Dodgers #Mets #MLB

Many of the hot dog wrappers blowing across CitiField originating near #Dodgers bullpen. Doubt they belong to Monasterios. #Mets

I do not find the #BlameKemp tag amusing. After the game, I will have a word with Matt Kemp about this behavior. #Dodgers #Mets

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Comments:
Great stuff Rob. I got to link this...
 
Rob,
One of the few times I would disagree with you, but, Kemp's play was lackluster at best. Since Colletti made those comments, Matt has been a house on fire! (which is nice!)
 
It is interesting. Some of the more SABR-inclined blogs (MSTI for one) subsequently said that

I think what got lost in Colletti’s comments is that he’s not exactly wrong. Kemp has looked horrendous in the outfield this season, and I can’t put my finger on exactly why that is. ... His play on defense has been lousy, and it needs to change.

I haven't watched too many Dodger games this year -- the Pirates game last Friday was my first in person. Because of my schedule, all the games are before I get home from work. So I don't feel like I have any standing to judge his fielding. But Colletti going after Kemp seems like the wrong thing to do when it's the pitching that's causing the Dodgers' repeated nightly pratfalls.
 

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