Apparently, Matt Kemp doesn't hold a grudge against Ryan Braun. Or all that time in Hollywood has made him a pretty good actor.
Sure, Braun beat Kemp out for the National League MVP last season despite having fewer home runs, fewer RBIs and only a slight batting average advantage. And sure, Braun was later accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, only to be exonerated by MLB because the tester waited too long to mail his sample.
But Kemp didn't skip a beat when he was asked who, besides himself, he would vote into the All-Star Game: “Ryan Braun.”
Speaking at the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan on Tuesday for an All-Star Game event, Kemp also said he'd pick his Dodgers teammate Andre Ethier. Then things got a little fuzzy.
“And um...who else is good in the outfield?” Kemp said. “I'm trying to think. Aww man.”
Finally someone shouted out Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran's name.
“I forgot Beltran! He has like 16 home runs. He's having an amazing season.”
Beltran actually has 15 home runs, but Kemp gets a pass on that one. Maybe he was just tired from the long drive to New York. Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury for the second time this season, is still traveling with the Dodgers, who are playing in Philadelphia tonight. Still, Kemp made the trek North for the event.
And he arrived on time.
Robinson Cano did not, showing up several minutes after everything started. He took some ribbing after he explained he was coming from New Jersey and got caught in traffic while crossing the George Washington Bridge. As MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian, the event's emcee, pointed out, Kemp had a much further distance to go.
In terms of Kemp's hamstring injury, it seems there's some distance to go there too.
“Right now I'm just rehabbing and trying to get it better,” he said. “There's really no timetable. Just trying to get back on the field as soon as possible.
“[I'm] traveling with the team, being the biggest cheerleader in the world. It's not fun being a cheerleader. I'd rather be playing.”
For his part, Curtis Granderson had no trouble coming up with three names when asked who he would pick for the American League outfield (himself excluded): Texas' Josh Hamilton, Baltimore's Adam Jones and Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce. Of course, Joyce was also sitting immediately to Granderson's left.
Joyce: “I paid him before the show.”