MATT KEMP CARES. A LOT.
It just took a long time and some hard lessons for him to figure that out
This story appears in the June 25, 2012 Debate Issue of ESPN The Magazine.
HE IS OFF with the crack of the bat.
Andre Ethier smokes a line drive toward the wall in left-center, and though Matt Kemp has a small lead off first base, he thinks one thing: score. With his head down and legs pumping, Kemp is a blur in home whites as he rounds second. It’s May 30, and he is only two days removed from a 15-day stint on the DL with a bum hammy — but the duct-taped Dodgers improbably own the best record in baseball. Kemp is their leader, having mashed 12 homers in April and posting a video-game-like line that has people talking about the 27-year-old centerfielder as the player of a generation. And tonight, in the first inning of his second game back, he has drawn a walk. Now he has designs on home.
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