LOS ANGELES -- If the baseball writers that vote for National League MVP think Matt Kemp doesn't deserve the award because his Dodgers team isn't a contender, they'll get an argument from his bosses.
"Can he win the Triple Crown and not win the MVP?" asked manager Don Mattingly. "Look at the leaders. He's there for home runs, RBIs, hits, on-base percentage, walks, assists, stolen bases. Every category you see Matt Kemp's name. As an overall year, he's been tremendous. Beyond that, the kid's been a leader, done everything we've asked."
General manager Ned Colletti agrees.
"Oh yeah, it's easy for me," Colletti said if he had an MVP vote. "The crossover of speed and power, to me, is a great separator. The Triple Crown is a unique challenge, there hasn't been one since [Carl Yastrzemski] in 1967. It's a unique challenge, then add in 40 stolen bases.
"This is one of the all-time best [seasons he's seen], whether on the team I'm with or watching from across the field. The consistency of it. I can't think of a long stretch where there hasn't been productivity in some way, shape or form. He's there for the Triple Crown and stolen bases."