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We now have a reason to explain why Matt Kemp will improve or regress in 2011

Dec 28, 2010, 2:56 PM EDT

Matt Kemp

I do not believe that anyone can know what a ballplayer’s social life means to his on-the-field performance. These aren’t figures of Greek mythology we’re talking about here. Cutting their hair, taking their prized lute, or pairing them up with or separating them from a maiden fair is just as likely to help them as it is to hinder them.  We don’t know.  But no matter what Matt Kemp does in 2011, there will probably be someone who blames or credits this development for it:

Rihanna is single again after splitting from baseball hunk Matt Kemp, according to U.S. reports. Sources tell Us Weekly magazine the couple grew apart and ended its 11-month romance before Christmas.

If he does poorly, people will say that he’s sulking. If he does well, people will say he’s focused again and is finally away from the Hollywood high life.  Nowhere in this will anyone ask how ballplayers do when they break up with their non-famous girlfriends. Because that would be a buzz kill.

I don’t know. Rock stars tend to make better albums when their love life sucks, but the rest of us just start eating poorly and keeping weird hours.  This could go either way, really.

  1. oldtimefamilybaseball - Dec 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Right before Christmas, eh? Looks like someone didn’t want to buy any Christmas presents.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

      Right after, actually.

  2. Dan in Katonah - Dec 28, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Someone should track the “Milano Effect” and see what Alyssa’s impact was on guys like Penny, Russell Martin, Zito, etc.

  3. Old Gator - Dec 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Probably the finest album by a folk-rock star whose love life had just gone down the porcelain goddess was Mitch Cohen’s Cry For Help. I used to kick back with a sterno and a pipeful of yaghe and listen to it for days on end:

    Calling it Quits was a bit overproduced for my taste, though – but at least it was pretty miserable. Happy music can drive you up the wall, especially during Christmas, and double especially if you’re stuck in an elevator with Bing Crosby on a digital loop.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2010 at 4:19 PM

      What? Are you upset that you never have a White Christmas in Miami? Try spending Christmas in Edmonton or Winnipeg for a change of pace.We can never be certain if we will have snow on the ground in Toronto on the 25th.

      • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2010 at 12:55 AM

        Au contraire, I find it absurd to yearn for a landscape enshrouded by the great white death from above in order to celebrate a thinly veiled pagan dying-and-resurrected god myth set in the Judean desert where it’s 102° in the shade and even the scorpions are slathering themselves in SPF50 sunblock. But the weather is less of a problem here than the music. There’s nothing you can rub on your mind to keep Christmas music from softening it to the point of aesthetic putrescence. Ecccchhhh. Give me three weeks in a Buddhist monastery in a mountain redoubt in Japan. I’ll kill the time moving rocks around to tune the waterfall and give my ears a rest.

  4. xpensivewinos - Dec 28, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Gee, where is a rich, young, famous major league baseball player going to find another hot girl in Los Angeles?

    Looks like he’s going to die alone……poor bastard.

  5. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 29, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    No one likes to hear fantasy baseball stories, let alone fantasy baseball stories about people they don’t know, but I’ve gotta toss this one out there…

    Before last season, my buddy was trying to decide on his keepers. He was torn between Joey Votto/Matt Kemp/Ian Kinsler for his second keeper. I lobbied for Votto–sensing a breakout year–or Kinsler because 2B is such a shallow position.

    He didn’t understand why I wasn’t so high on Kemp in 2010 after his big year in 2009 and my reasoning was simple: “Rihanna.”

    You don’t start dating a pop diva with a history of front-page relationships and not suffer in one way or another. He didn’t take my advice and suffered the consequences.

    Additionally, there is a reason I always have a column in my pre-season fantasy baseball spreadsheets dedicated to major offseason changes in personal life…that shit is real, y’all…

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