SAN DIEGO -- It might have to happen over the dead body of incoming CEO Stan Kasten, what with the injury exclusion clauses in today's contracts. But the mythical one-on-one hoop challenge concocted in the Dodgers clubhouse has been further fueled by incoming part-owner Magic Johnson's response in the Los Angeles Times that, once the season is over, he'd take outfielder Matt Kemp, 15-7, and shortstop Dee Gordon, 15-3. "He won't beat me by that much -- if he beats me," replied Kemp. "It's much easier to play basketball than baseball. Most basketball players, that's the only sport they play. Baseball players play other sports."
Johnson, 52, also referred to Kemp, 27, as the Kobe Bryant of the Dodgers. "That's kind of cool," said Kemp. Gordon, 24 later this month, was more deferential to Johnson, choosing his words carefully, especially when asked if he thinks he can beat Johnson. "I'm not going there," he said. "He signs my checks, so let him have it, but I don't agree. I'd get at least five."