Suffice to say, Matt Kemp’s desire to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season has not exactly gone the way he may have envisioned. Kemp began the season on the disabled list and stayed behind at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Spring Training complex as the rest of the team departed for Australia to play in the Opening Series.
Kemp was activated from the DL in time for the first home series at Dodger Stadium, but he’s to this point failed to resemble the player he once was. While Kemp has struggled on the field, his status in the spotlight hasn’t suffered and according to Women’s Wear Daily, Kemp is the new face of an ad campaign for Gap Inc.’s outlet stores.
Kemp spoke of the honor and breaking the stigma that athletes aren’t fashionable, via Khanh T.L. Tran:
This is pretty big,” Kemp said. “Everybody used to say that baseball players can’t dress and athletes can’t dress. You know, a lot of athletes now are trying to prove everybody wrong, though there are some athletes that try too hard and try to do over-the-top things. But me, I try to be simple and just make whatever I’m wearing look good.”
It’s quite the accomplishment for Kemp, who is the first male celebrity Gap has used in what will be its largest marketing campaign for hits outlet stores. Along with being a high-profile athlete in Los Angeles, he of course became more of a recognizable name during his relationship with musical artist Rihanna.
In terms of his career with the Dodgers, Kemp has had a rough week as he’s seemingly lost the center field job to Andre Ethier.
Kemp had been the regular starter in center, with manager Don Mattingly recently labeling him and Yasiel Puig as every day players, but errors and an apparent change of heart have resulted in Kemp being moved to left field.
With Carl Crawford landing on the DL with a sprained ankle, Kemp has started the last three games in left. While Kemp has maintained a team-first attitude throughout the process, cameras have caught demeanor in the dugout at times appearing to suggest he’s unhappy, though that could have more to do with his 0-for-12 slump since taking over for Crawford.
Dodgers Update: Matt Kemp Benched, Carl Crawford Injured