After an MSTI-record 85 comments on the post about Ned Colletti’s comments on Matt Kemp, Kemp went out and misplayed a ball in the very first inning last night, directly leading to the only runs the Pirates would need. It’s hard to understate the poetry of that kind of timing, isn’t it?
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. I do think part of it is that after years of his defense being underrated, coming into this year he was now overrated, since he never really deserved last year’s Gold Glove in the first place. The Gold Glove voting is such a fantastically flawed process (it often just goes to the best hitter at a position) that it’s barely even worth recognizing, yet most fans still take it to mean something.
Still, that doesn’t absolve Kemp. His play on defense has been lousy, and it needs to change. But being right doesn’t absolve Colletti either; the whole point of yesterday’s post was not that Kemp’s play isn’t a problem, but just that the general manager of a team – one who’s made more than his share of mistakes – shouldn’t be publicly calling out the best player on his team without mentioning the horrible pitching that Colletti himself assembled, or the dozens of other far more pressing issues.
As for last night… what can you say? We all liked to think that getting back to Los Angeles would help, but when you manage just 4 hits off a 29-year-old with a 6.81 career ERA, what do you expect is going to happen? You can complain all you want that Clayton Kershaw had first-inning issues, but I’m not going to get all up in arms over allowing just 3 hits and striking out 7 while working into the 7th, and having his only runs scored in large part due to Kemp’s defense. This team has just stopped hitting, and it can’t only be because of Manny’s absence.
Speaking of Manny’s absence… Garret Anderson needs to be cut. Now. Not when Manny comes back. Today. After another 0-4 last night, in which he didn’t even get a ball out of the infield, he’s hitting an almost unbelievable .122. This experiment was a terrible idea from the beginning, and it’s a terrible idea now. The pinch-homer he hit on April 22 is the only hit he’s had in nearly three weeks. How much more do we need to see here? He’s had a nice career, but he’s cooked, and it’s time to acknowledge that. And for the love of GOD, Torre, if you must play him, can you please stop batting him second? The thought process here is almost unfathomable. Then again, this is the same guy who brought in Ramon Troncoso again last night.
I’m off to South Carolina for the weekend, so you’ll have to have your fun here without me. It’s too bad – I’d have liked to have seen Carlos Monasterios get a start on Saturday – but the way things are going, I think I’ll be happier not watching this team right now.