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Matt Kemp won’t pick Bryce Harper for Home Run Derby

Jun 27, 2012, 11:50 AM EST

Bryce Harper AP

MLB decided a year ago to spice things up a bit by letting a captain pick his roster for the Home Run Derby. It added to the fun the first time it was tried. Things might be starting to get interesting this time around, too.

Despite popular demand, Matt Kemp told USATODAY that 19-year-old Bryce Harper won’t be picked for the NL squad.

“It’s not because he’s a rookie. It’s just that there are other guys out there that are capable,” Kemp said. “I’m not saying he wouldn’t do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He’s going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play.”

Kemp expects to compete himself, even though he’ll still likely be on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. That leaves three openings for the likes of Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran and others. Harper doesn’t really merit a selection based on performance, as he has a modest seven homers in 198 at-bats. It’d be more a case of giving the fans what they want.

The Nationals, though, probably prefer it this way, given the number of past participants who claim to have messed up their swing by taking part in the Home Run Derby. Just 19, Harper might be more vulnerable to that than most.

  1. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    No, Kemp has been cleared to participate in the Derby.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Yep, you’re right. I thought Mattingly had nixed that idea, but he was just talking about playing in the game itself.

    • marshmallowsnake - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Even if Kemp does show…will he do as well as he did last year? LOL!

  2. heyblueyoustink - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Bryce Harper doesn’t need your home run derby man, he’ll create his *own* home run derby, bro’.

  3. garylanglais - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Kemp should pick Harper on the condition Hamels is the one who throws for him. They’re BFF’s now so it shouldn’t be a big deal

  4. ndnut - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Somewhere, Harper is reading this saying “That’s a clown decision, bro.”

  5. xmatt0926x - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I was just hoping he would be in the derby just so he could send a laser shot right into Chris Bermans mouth. The glee of not having to listen to that clown and his bellowing would make this Phillies fan a Harper fan for life.

  6. itaintnosintogotodascripclub - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    This is a big mistake. I don’t really knock Kemp, but baseball desperately needs to reach a younger demographic for the future of the sport, and putting a guy like Harper in the derby would really help that. Think Ken Griffey Jr. in Baltimore wearing his hat backwards. It was just cool. Harper could bring that.

    • hasbeen5 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Because Giancarlo Stanton and Prince Fielder use walkers and wear socks with sandals right?

  7. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Clown Derby Bro

  8. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    And let me say blah blah blah Kemp, if he was a Dodger no doubt you would be saying “The fans want to see him, he’s exciting and lets see what he can do, it will be fun to watch”

    Kemp is an bona fide idiot.
    When you date Rhianna, not bang, but actually date that nut job, you’re a doosh.

    This just confirms what I always thought about the guy.
    Great Talent
    Complete Idiot

    • hasbeen5 - Jun 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Did you spell douche wrong on purpose, or are you in fact the idiot?

  9. sebrng7 - Jun 27, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    kemp is afraid harper will take away the limelight from him

  10. sabatimus - Jun 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I’m glad that Harper won’t be in it; I don’t want his swing potentially to get messed up.

  11. billymc75 - Jun 27, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    MLB prob should sway him so people will watch? If these guys aren’t careful they’ll turn it into the dunk contest

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