Dodgers Team News

Former Dodger Matt Kemp Speaks Out About ‘Terrible’ San Diego Padres Experience

Matt Kemp, the former outfielder and fan favorite of the Los Angeles Dodgers, expressed relief upon his July 2016 trade to the Atlanta Braves after a brief and underwhelming stint with the Padres over parts of two seasons.

Kemp recently announced on Instagram that he has retired from baseball, despite it being four years since he last played in the major leagues. He recently reflected on his playing career on The Pivot and revealed how “terrible” of an experience he had while playing for the Padres.

“When I got traded to Atlanta from San Diego, man I was like super happy because I wanted to get out of San Diego because it was weird,” Kemp said. “It was just weird vibes… I was used to being in L.A. and people holding you accountable, especially the media… In San Diego, the first month and a half, I was terrible. I’m at my locker like this, nobody bothering me, asking me questions. I was like, I need to go somewhere where it matters.”

The Padres failed to win 80 games while Kemp was on the team. His desire to play on a relevant team with playoff aspirations left him yearning for a change of scenery. He welcomed the trade to Atlanta, where he played for one year before returning to Los Angeles.

His last season with the Dodgers was a good one. He hit .290 and appeared in his third and final All-Star Game.

Since Kemp left San Diego, the Padres have experienced a significant shift in culture and performance. Their expectations every year are to make the playoffs and their attendance numbers have soared.

The Padres followed up their 2022 National League Championship Series run with a disappointing 82-win campaign last year. Through Sunday, they are second place in the NL West, and are holding onto the second wild-card spot despite a 34-35 record.

Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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