Strike…three? From Kemp’s letter to Atlanta: "After taking some time to reflect on my career, and the ups and downs I’ve experienced since my MVP-caliber season in 2011, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I had begun to lose some of my love for the game.” Which actually goes a long way toward explaining bizarrely — some would say intentionally — unproductive at-bats such as this one.
“For a long time,” says Padres executionary chairman Rod Fouler, “the word around Major League Baseball was that the San Diego Padres couldn’t pay to get someone to take Matt Kemp off their hands. Giant contract, questionable hips, middling defense, poor on-base percentage … the occasional home run just wasn’t enough to offset all those negatives. Well, I guess we showed them what’s what — because that’s exactly what we did. So, yes, we’ll be paying Atlanta around $11 million over the coming years to help offset Kemp’s gargantuan salary — close to $22 million a season. But believe it or not, the deal actually saves us money. Plus, there’s the incalculable feeling of freedom and release that comes from simply not having Matt Kemp in your dugout every night, serving as some kind of nightmare reminder of your stupid attempt to buy a division title.”