Many of us, including myself, have been watching from the sidelines this season for various reasons. For me, after several years of blogging about the Dodgers, I’ve been more hands off this season. A move to Seattle and a new job have left me with less time to blog, but I’ve been watching and listening. It’s good to be back.
With just five games to go in the 2011 season, there’s a huge reason for all Dodger fans on the sidelines, to jump back in. No matter what your reasons for staying away, consider coming back. The reason? Matt Kemp.
As Dodger fans know, “Beast Mode” is in full effect with the quest for a 40/40 season remaining alive and an even rarer shot at a Triple Crown also within reach. Check out Kemp’s current numbers:
37 HR. Three away from 40, and currently tied as the league leader with one Albert Pujols.
119 RBI. Six more than Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder.
.326 AVG. That’s .003 behind Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun.
Dodger fans, it’s time. At this moment I’m not concerned about your reasons for staying away. Turn on your your radio or television, fire up that iPad, or better yet, get to San Diego or Arizona and root Matt Kemp on. Not only is he playing great baseball, he’s having fun again. Always with a smile on his face, Matt’s even been using Twitter to stay connected with the fans at a level he never has before.
Do you realize how rare a Triple Crown is? The last major leaguer to accomplish such a rare feat was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. To find the last National Leaguer to win the award, you have to go back another thirty years to Joe Medwick in 1937.
What’s even more incredible is that most players never even get within striking distance of the Triple Crown. From Jason Stark:
So how often has any player had this realistic a shot at a Triple Crown this late in any of those 44 seasons since the Yaz Triple Crown? We asked the Elias Sports Bureau to take a look. You know what they concluded?
Never. That’s what.
According to Elias, not ONCE in all these seasons since 1967 has any player been:
• Leading the league in batting average or been within five
• Leading the league in homers or been within one.
• Leading the league in RBIs or been within one.
And that’s not just in the final week of the season. That’s in the final 15 days of any of those seasons.
So in nearly half a century of waiting around for another Triple Crown winner, we’ve never had a bid like this to follow in the final days of any season. Again, that’s never. Ever. So if you weren’t taking this
drama seriously before, here’s our advice:
It’s time to start. Right … now.
Dodger blogger Jonathan Garza from Dodgers Nation brings up another great point when looking at Kemp’s charge at the Triple Crown. If Kemp were to accomplish the feat, he would do is in a 161 game season, due to a rainout in Washington, DC against the Nationals on September 7.
The question Garza asks is, if the game mattered to the Triple Crown race or Kemp’s quest for 40 HRs, would Major League Baseball schedule a make-up game for the two clubs? The potential positive PR for MLB would be tremendous and could be a shot in the arm for a Dodger franchise desperately in need of a little good news heading into another long offseason.
In the meantime, it’s time to get off your seats, Dodger fans and root The Real Matt Kemp on. At the core, we all bleed Dodger Blue, and we may never see such an impressive individual all-around season for such a good guy ever again. It’s time to celebrate a fantastic season and show Matt Kemp the love.
Photo Credit: Chris Volk, dodgerfan.net