As every baseball fan knows by now, the Dodgers traded Matt Kemp to the Padres.
Matt Kemp fans and detractors alike did a double take when photos of Matt Kemp in Padres gear started showing up.
When Kemp updated his Twitter photo to show himself in his new Padre digs, I'm sure a few Bison super-fans' heads exploded. Greg from Plashke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle is the biggest Matt Kemp fan I know. He's still blogging, so I'm presuming his head is still intact, thankfully.
In a further reaction to Kemp as a Padre, Roberto from the Dodger-centric blog Vin Scully Is My Homeboy sent out this tweet:
Seeing Matt Kemp in a Padres uniform feels weird. So this how you old folks felt when you saw Steve Garvey in a Padres uni?Since I lived through Steve Garvey's Dodger career, and I know first-hand the shock it was for Dodger fans of the day to see Garvey in (then) Padres brown and gold, I consider myself qualified to answer Roberto's question.
— Roberto Baly (@rbaly79) December 19, 2014
The short answer is heck no, there is no comparison.
That's like comparing my income to Donald Trump's, or the richness of my warmth and charm to Trump's.
Garvey was THE Dodgers, where Kemp is The Bison.
Heck, Garvey was Los Angeles, where Kemp is Rihanna and the Gap.
Garvey still leads the NL in his iron-man 1,201 consecutive games streak. He won the NL, NLCS, and All-Star Game MVP awards.
He hit .417 and led the Dodgers over the Yankees in the 1981 World Series.
In 2012 and 2013 Kemp hardly played, and when he did play, he often led the team in strike outs.
Garvey led the team in being a nice guy, where Kemp often came off as pouty and demanding he be treated appropriate to his "star status".
It may seem like it, but I'm not trying to pull Kemp down. What I'm illustrating here is what Kemp and Garvey represented and meant to the team and the city, not just their hard core followers.
Sure, Matt Kemp should have won the MVP over cheater Ryan Braun, and he was in full Beast mode during the final few weeks of the 2014 season, but Garvey was a steady rock in the Dodger line up and a dominator over other teams for 15 years in LA!
That's just shy of a generation's time.
The world flipped upside-down when Dodger fans saw Garvey's All-American smile beaming out from a Padre uniform. It still seems surreal even now.
If you'd like to read a bit more about why the impact of Kemp as a Padre pales in comparison to what LA fans felt with Garvey, I invite you to head over to Lasorda's Lair, and read my article Five Reasons Padre Matt Kemp Cannot Compare To Padre Steve Garvey . Go on, indulge.
Good night and aloha!