Blog Entry

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

Posted on: September 23, 2011 10:19 am
Matt Kemp

By C. Trent Rosecrans

They were wearing KEMVP shirts in Los Angeles on Thursday night -- and it's hard to argue with them.

In a season where there was little to cheer for at Chavez Ravine, Kemp's amazing 2011 season was something that never seemed to disappoint. And in the last home game of the season on Thursday, Kemp did nothing to disappoint -- with his mother in the stands, Kemp went 4 for 5 with three doubles and his 36th home run of the season.

And don't look now, but Kemp still has a shot at the triple crown -- he leads the league with 118 RBI, five ahead of Ryan Howard, he's just one homer behind Albert Pujols and he's third in batting average at .326, trailing Ryan Braun (.330) and Jose Reyes (.329).

He's also fourth in on-base percentage (.403), second in slugging (.582) and first in OPS (.985).  He also leads in total bases (335), runs (109), second in stolen bases (40) and second in hits (188).

If you like more advanced stats, according to, he leads in WAR (9.6) and OPS+ (171).

You may say his team stunk and he doesn't deserve the MVP -- but doesn't that make what he did more valuable? As bad as the Dodgers' season has been, they're still above .500 at 78-77 after last night's victory over the Giants. Andre Ethier had a nice run earlier in the season, but he's hardly been in the MVP discussion along with Kemp, while Braun has had Prince Fielder and Pujols has Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday. Jose Reyes' team has a worse record and Justin Upton can't match his stats. Kemp's not only the best player in the National League, he's also the most valuable.

Historic collapse: No, I'm not talking about the Red Sox or Braves -- it's the Pirates. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, with a little help from the folks at Elias Sports Bureau, writes that in the modern age of Major League Baseball (otherwise known as "since 1900"), no team  has fared worse after being in first place at the 100-game marker. The Pirates have gone 16-40 since holding first place at 53-47 on July 25. The Pirates' .286 is by far the worst, with the 1977 Cubs coming second. That team was 60-40 through 100 games and then went 21-41 the rest of the way. You never want to be better than the Cubs at being bad.

Like his stature, Timmy likes his deals short: San Francisco's Tim Lincecum tells the San Francisco Chronicle  that he doesn't want to sign a long-term deal that would buy out his future free-agent years. Lincecum is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

Master storyteller: One of the great joys of this job is to meet some of the great personalities in this game. With broadcasters, most of their best stories come off the air -- and nobody has more and better stories than Vin Scully. Check out this story about Scully and Don Zimmer. [Los Angeles Times]

See you in San Jose?: Could the A's be the biggest beneficiary of the change in Giants ownership? They could be, and Mark Purdy, who broke the initial story, explains. [San Jose Mercury News]

Ichiro not ichi?: Ichiro Suzuki will likely have his streak of 10 years with at least 200 hits broken this week, and next year he may not be leading off. Mariners manager Eric Wedge is not committing to Ichiro batting in his customary leadoff spot next season. [Seattle Times]

Runs in the family: Raul Lopez, the father of the guy who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, got a souvenir of his own on Wednesday. [New York Times]

Ax mustache spray: Brewers closer John Axford made this fake commercial. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

How about the American League MVP?: Forget Curtis Granderson on Adrian Gonzalez or Justin Verlander, Robinson Cano says that if he had a vote, he'd vote himself. He doesn't. [ESPN New York]

MVP improves: Last year's NL MVP, Joey Votto, says he did "more with less" this season than he did in 2010 when he won the league's MVP. Looking at his numbers -- and the absence of Scott Rolen in the lineup -- it's tough to disagree. If I had any quibble is it'd be that he did about the same with less. Either way, Votto was impressive and has established himself as one of the game's best. []

Oswalt not done: Although the 33-year-old Roy Oswalt had hinted at his retirement, his agent now says he's not considering hanging them up after this season. It may have something to do with Oswalt looking around at the weak free agent pitching market and seeing he'll get paid. [

Porter interviewing again: If the Marlins were dating, they'd just about have to put out for Bo Porter by now. The Nationals' first-base coach is scheduled to interview for the Marlins' manager job soon, the Washington Post reports. Porter interviewed midseason last season when the team fired Fredi Gonzalez and then again after the season. Porter is among the candidates to take over in Washington, too, reports

NL dreaming: White Sox starter Mark Buehrle says he's intrigued by the thought of pitching in a new league. Buehrle lives near St. Louis and has mentioned that he'd like to pitch for the Cardinals. Add him to Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia and you'd have a pretty good rotation. Of course, the Cardinals do have other financial concerns this offseason. How about Cincinnati? It's a little longer drive to his home, but the Reds rotation could certainly use the veteran. []

Celebrate good times: The Astros announced their plans to celebrate their 50th anniversary season in 2012 with six different throwback uniforms they'll use next season -- including the famous rainbow jersey, one of the best in the history of the game. []

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:48 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 6:27 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:41 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

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Since: Jun 11, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:15 am

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

Braun wins!!!

Since: Jun 11, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:01 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

You, ka-ka-ka Krazy! The guy who gets the most credit towards this award in major league sports is the guy who shows he can not only put up the numbers, but carry a team to the post-season. That's just how it is!!! Could Kemp win it? Sure he could. Do I think he will win it, NO! Sorry, I guess I'm a moron. Still think he wins a silver slugger, comeback player of the year, and quite possibly a gold glove. No, I won't place any of your monopoly money on an end-of-the-year award; sounds like you might have a problem anyway.

Since: Jul 13, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 2:51 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

i have always disagreed with the idea that the most valuable player needs to be on a winning team. the value of a player has nothing to do with if the rest of his team is good enough to win. baseball especially is a team game and no one can singlehandedly take his team to the playoffs without good teammates. if anything great stats on a bad team should be better because it is harder to to hit in a crappy lineup because you have no protection for you in the lineup so pitchers will come right after you. the most valuable player in the major leagues is matt kemp because he has been the best player this year.

Since: Apr 9, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:35 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

I dont see Kemp winning MVP due to the Dodgers not making the playoffs. I think if they had a better year He would be a for sure lock for MVP. Braun from the Brewers will win it!

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:40 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

I love this 'rule' that discourages voting for a player not on a winning/playoff team.  Since when does a player's value hinge upon his team making the playoffs? I would argue just the opposite in Kemp's case. He's been able to put up monster statistics throughout one of the most bizarre & disfunctional seasons any pro sports tema has ever seen. If it WASN'T for Kemp, that team would be abyssmal & there would be no fans in the stands - much less ones wearing the KEMVP shirts.  Many past winners came from teams that didn't make the playoffs: Larry Walker, George Foster, Rod Carew to name a few off the top of my head. Their accomplisments cannot be diminished due to the fact that teammates didn't perform as well as they could/should have. Voters cannot hold Kemp to different standards. He deserves it - especially if he sneaks off with the Triple Crown - playoffs or not.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:11 pm

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

Matt Kemp should win the MVP but problem is Clayton Kershaw. You can give away both awards to a team at or below .500. Matt has been the glue of the team where Andre Either is finding any way out of LA, Kemp has been the glue of this team since day one. But one on here LA hasn't seen him because of the ownership problem. Hey deserve's the MVP.

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: September 24, 2011 1:03 am

Pepper: Kemp is NL's most valuable

LionsNTigers, you are a moron if you think where his team should have ANY relevance on this award.  Tell you what, I ain't hard to find....put your money where your mouth is.  I have $1,000 that says Kemp wins MVP.  Come on, chicken shit, take the bet.

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