Dodgers’ Matt Kemp has some explaining to do about ‘baseball town’ remark

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Matt Kemp would like to explain.

In August 2016, shortly after he had been traded from the San Diego Padres to the Atlanta Braves (his third team in about 20 months), Kemp managed to unite Padres and Dodgers fans with a slap at both.

“I’ve never really played in a baseball town before,” Kemp was quoted as saying of his new locale. “So I am excited about that.”

Kemp probably never thought he would put on a Dodgers uniform again. But Tuesday he was among the early-arriving position players in Dodgers camp and was asked about that infamous quote.

“A lot of LA fans got mad at me,” he said with a smile. “I’m glad you asked me that question because I wanted to clear that up.

“Somebody had asked me how it was to be in Atlanta and I said Atlanta’s always been known for the Braves. The Atlanta Braves, it’s a baseball town – not the Atlanta Hawks, not the Falcons but the Braves. But in LA, when I first got here (in 2006), it was all about Kobe and Shaq (and the Lakers). As the years went on and we started winning more games, the city came alive. We had the best fans. It became more of a baseball town.

“I never said LA wasn’t a baseball town. I would never say that. I love LA. I love the fans. I would never disrespect the fans that helped me get to where I was and who I am.

“So – bam. And that’s the truth.”

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