There were a lot of mixed feelings when the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Matt Kemp from the Atlanta Braves in December. The memories, good and bad, all came back to fans.
One thing that many fans remembered came from when Kemp wasn’t even a member of the Dodgers. After being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Braves, the outfielder said, “I’ve never really played in a baseball town before.” That comment rubbed many Dodgers fans the wrong way and now with Kemp back in town, you only expected the comments to resurface.
Bill Plunkett of the OC Register provides Kemp’s response to the remark:
“A lot of LA fans got mad at me,” he said with a smile. “I’m glad you asked me that question because I wanted to clear that up.
“Somebody had asked me how it was to be in Atlanta and I said Atlanta’s always been known for the Braves. The Atlanta Braves, it’s a baseball town – not the Atlanta Hawks, not the Falcons but the Braves. But in LA, when I first got here (in 2006), it was all about Kobe and Shaq (and the Lakers). As the years went on and we started winning more games, the city came alive. We had the best fans. It became more of a baseball town.
“I never said LA wasn’t a baseball town. I would never say that. I love LA. I love the fans. I would never disrespect the fans that helped me get to where I was and who I am.
“So – bam. And that’s the truth.”
Kemp was probably not expecting to ever be back in Los Angeles and his new comments could be seen as a backpedal of sorts, but he’s here now and he’s attempting to make amends so he gets the credit. How long he remains with the Dodgers remains to be seen though.