Why Trade Matt Kemp? East Coast Yankees Bias
Some people wonder if the Los Angeles Dodgers should trade Matt Kemp to the Yankees or the Red Sox, but most of this is pushed by the East Coast media bias. The media is driving the “trade rumors” because they think the Red Sox and Yankees can get whomever they want, at any time. This is the frustration of Dodgers fans, make it every non-Yankee or Red Sox fan, throughout the country.
Although the Dodgers outfielder’s agent said he is not being shopped at this year’s winter meetings, the rumors were at a fever pitch leading up to it. Why? Because the Yankees and Red Sox are known to be big spenders to get top talent, even if that talent is aging rapidly.
We can see why rumors were flying around Kemp. Click this link for his stats HERE:
A quick summary? He’s averaged a career batting average of 0.293, 0.493 slugging percentage along with 2 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers and 2 All-Star Game appearances. He had his best home run hitting year in 2011 with 39 homers, 126 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases. Oh, he also scored 115 runs while playing 161 games.
But, his last year was riddled with injuries and only played in 73 games out of 162 and hit a career-worst 0.270. He stole his second-lowest total of bases at 9 and had his lowest slugging percentage at 0.395.
Although last year was a bad year by his standards, I think many teams would trade for his talent and decent production. If not, you have to be an Astros front office official.
As an East Coaster, I enjoy the focus on East Coast sports, with the exception of the New York Jets and the Tim Tebow saga pushed by ESPN and the Redskins drama between Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III. But, Dodgers fans and non-East Coasters have a point: the media has a East Coast and Yankees bias.
So why the Yankee bias?
The Yankees last won a World Series title in 2009 under Joe Girardi’s management, and nearly made the playoffs with a depleted and rapidly-aging roster. Ichiro Suzuki, a favorite of mine, is no longer the spry, precise outfielder and hitter he once was. Hideki Matsui, or “Godzilla”, has been retired for a few years since his World Series heroics. Jorge Posada no longer plays catcher and only Derek Jeter remains as a Yankee icon. The club has won a record 27 World Series titles and whose stadium, albeit a new one, is affectionately known as Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees are not going to look as bad as last year, maybe. They kept speedy outfielder Brett Gardner, Mark Texeira (whose body is breaking down at a fast pace), troubled 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez, but let go of the overpriced Robinson Cano, once-promising pitcher Phil Hughes and their terrible catching core. Their price tag coming into this year? An astonishing $203.4 million payroll (via ESPN.com).
They were able to barely miss the playoffs because of the miraculous managerial job of Girardi. That should be the story that the New York media should be talking about, but they’re too busy with the A-Rod controversy and helping drive possible trade scenarios it seems. But, I could be mistaken and this is no condemnation of the New York media because they do their job according to their consumer’s tastes. It just gets old, that’s all.
But, because the Yankees are the big fish in the Big Apple, have lots of cash to throw around and the prestige and history to back it up, the media will always clamor for stars and big-time players to make their way and play in New York City (but not for the Mets).