A quick & dirty rebuttal of idiotic Matt Kemp arguments

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Matt Kemp is out for the 2013 postseason due to an ankle injury, which was a bit of a body blow for the Dodgers, who were hoping to get Kemp back for the playoffs after he posted an .870 OPS since coming off the DL.

“The MRI scan indicated swelling in one of the major weight-bearing bones of the ankle. Since that is an area that can be vulnerable with impact and injury, we have to protect Matt,” said team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache. “That indicates a weakness of the bone and we’ll have to protect his weight bearing.”

Kemp will be on crutches for about a month in an effort to keep weight off the ankle. Dr. ElAttrache said major surgery was unlikely on Kemp’s ankle unless there was a fracture, though a minor arthroscopic procedure might be needed for some cleanup.

“We basically wanted to make sure that we were going to let him play with pain,” Dr. ElAttrache said. “There were a few things that we looked for that we absolutely wouldn’t let him play with, and this was one of those things.”

That busy offseason also includes a cleanup procedure on his left shoulder, but not in the same spot he had surgery last year. This year’s shoulder surgery will deal with progressive arthritis in the AC joint, the same area that Kemp hurt on July 5 in San Francisco, and the cause of the second of his three stints on the disabled list this season.

The surgery hasn’t yet been scheduled, but will require six weeks of recovery before Kemp can resume baseball activities. Stop me if you have heard this before, but Kemp after these procedures and rest is expected to be ready for spring training.

So that’s a bummer, but this does seem like a less worrisome situation than what ended his 2012, as labrum surgery is well-known to be an offensive production killer (Hanley Ramirez & Adrian Gonzalez know).

Following the news announcement, and not unexpectedly, the people who hate Kemp were out in force, so I thought I would take a bit of time to call them idiots.

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Before I start though, I think I should mention a couple things.

Has Kemp’s contract been worth it for the Dodgers thus far? Absolutely not. Should you have concerns about his durability for the next six years after these past two injury-riddled seasons? Absolutely you should.

There are totally reasonable criticisms to be made as far as his contract and overall value are concerned (not that money means all that much anymore, but I digress).

What follows, however, are not those reasonable criticisms, but rather widely-repeated arguments I always see being made or that I always get personally.

1) Matt Kemp is a ‘soft’, ‘pussy’, ‘bitch’.

Most of my idea for this post comes from this Tony Jackson article where he briefly mentions that Kemp is out for the postseason. This has nothing to do with Jackson and everything to do with the commenters, who helped me sum up almost every argument I see on Twitter.

The most prominent one, as you can imagine, is that Kemp is a wussy for sitting out the postseason.

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I forgot to mention that this is a lazy post because I already replied to them on the site … I have no willpower.

Anyway, of course, Kemp is so soft that in back-to-back seasons he has played through a torn labrum in his shoulder and an ankle that was hurt enough that he was at risk of breaking it (also shoulder arthritis). He is soft because the doctor said no to letting him play and that the doctor admitted that he was already playing through pain.

This makes sense to A LOT of people somehow.

2) Matt Kemp is a one-year wonder.
3) Matt Kemp is a lazy scumbag.

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To put all that another way, wins are now worth ~$5 million per and that’s now conservative considering the ever-growing amount of extensions (Hunter Pence will make $2 million less per). So Kemp needs to be worth around 3.5-4 WAR per year for it to be an average/acceptable deal.

Per 600 PA for his career, Kemp has been worth ~3.5 WAR per year, and that includes this injury-riddled 2013, his horrid 2010, and getting jerked around by Grady Little and Joe Torre when he first came up. That’s about a ~3.9+ WAR player given his average full season of plate appearances prior to all the injuries.

Take out his 2010 and that jumps to a ~4.2 WAR average and ~4.6+, which is close to the 5+ WAR that’s considered All-Star level. Either way, this is not a one-year wonder in terms of value. Even removing his 2011′s MVP campaign, Kemp’s a 3-5 WAR player with an 8-9 WAR upside, and in the end, it’s actually the -1 to 0 WAR 2010 that stands out as a fluke.

I honestly didn’t know this was such a controversial position among the Dodger fandom, but apparently it is. Not quite sure what to make of that.

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