Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig had a verbal altercation in the dugout on Sept. 15 during a 11-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies. It was reported by ESPN’s Mark Saxson that Kemp was frustrated with Puig for not advancing from first to third base after Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field before Kemp’s at bat.
Kemp’s frustration is understandable considering Puig is one of the faster baserunners on the team.
The situation started to get out of hand, so manager Don Mattingly stepped in to avoid further escalation of the situation. This is interesting because before this point, Kemp has been relatively quiet other than expressing his desire to start earlier this season.
So why now?
Kemp has played well as of late. He’s not looked anywhere close to the MVP-caliber player he once was.
The first half of the 2014 season was forgettable for Kemp as he hit .269 with eight home runs, a far cry from his 2011 numbers. Since the All-Star break, he has been hitting .300 with 14 home runs and looking more like an All-Star.
This could be because he is finally healthy and his confidence is back. But because of his recent success, Kemp might be trying to reinstall himself as one of the leaders on this star-studded Dodgers team.
As the Dodgers enter the playoffs, he has to understand the repercussions of his actions. Puig might not react well to his aggressive approach. That might have damaged their relationship, or lack thereof.
As long as the Dodgers continue their success, this should not be interpreted as a big deal, but it’s certainly something to watch moving forward.
Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY Sports
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