That just happens to be where Matt Kemp's locker is, and if I hadn't been standing there, could we have had several conversations that centered around him believing me to be a liar? I think not.
It started with Kemp talking to the clubhouse attendants about parental discipline, and how he sees parents leading kids around with monkey backpacks that are essentially leashes. He thinks they're crazy. He looked at me after this little rant and said, "you probably have a cousin or something who has one, right?" I told him no, but that I'd probably consider getting one if I ever have a kid. He said his parents never would have needed one because he knew to listen when they told him to stick close. I agreed, and said the same was true for my parents.
Later, Kemp was getting on Josh Rawitch (my gracious host) about the fact that Kemp's walk-up song only played during his first at-bat last night. Rawitch kept saying he was "working on it," which Kemp took to mean that Rawitch was just placating him. I asked Kemp what his ideal walk-up song would be, one that didn't include curse words. He said, "What makes you think I like music that has curse words?"
And it's funny, because I was actually just telling Christine the other day how I love songs that have curse words in them. I love to sing and curse. I don't know why. I just love it. So my ideal walk-up song in a perfect world would probably be something vulgar. And I wouldn't doubt it if Kemp is the same way. But I felt like a douche for phrasing my question that way anyway. I told him that I like music with cursing, and he said, "Like what kind of music?" And when I told him I listen to rap, he did not believe me and demanded I name who I listen to that qualifies as rap.
Here's where I froze. I couldn't think of a single artist I listen to in the rap genre. Not one. So I looked like the stupid girl who was just trying to get on his good side, which is just not true! I worship at the feet of Tupac, T.I., Lil' Wayne, and a bunch of others. But I couldn't think of any of those damn names. So I said Kanye. Now, it's true that I like Kanye, but I also know that he's a bit of a bubblegum rapper. Which instantly obliterated any credibility I might have had. Kemp groaned when I said Kanye, and then I told him about the new song by Kid Cudi (which I pronounced "Cutie" until he corrected me and told me it was "Cutty." Embarrassing? You bet.) called "Make Her Say," which is a current obsession of mine. Here is the link to the YouTube video, but I'm telling you right now, Dad, that you better not watch. You won't enjoy it. Oh, and it's definitely not safe for work.
Kemp got into a mini interview with a reporter, but after he was done with that, he sat for a moment and then sang a little: "I make her say, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh..." And I jumped in with, "when I..." He chose not to continue the song, but I believe we bonded in that moment.
During this conversation, Christine was busy finding her way to Dodger Stadium via a Los Angeles city bus. I was telling her that I was standing in the clubhouse and Kemp was talking to me, and she said, "Oh, well, I'm on public transit. For the other end of the spectrum."
The Kemp story ends on the field during batting practice, when I walked past him and said, "I listen to T.I. and Lil' Wayne, too." It was going to kill me if I couldn't redeem myself a little. But Kemp refused to believe that I listen to those two. I told him I would show him on my iPod, but it was in the car. He, ever doubtful, said, "Just because it's on your iPod doesn't mean you listen to 'em." And I said, "Well, I have 16,000 songs on my iPod, so I don't listen every day." He was impressed with that number, but then Jim Hill came up and interrupted, without saying "excuse me," I might add.
In non-Erin-related Matt Kemp news, he seems to have a fun feud going on with T.J. Simers, the L.A. Times reporter. James McDonald was getting Kemp to sign a bobblehead for McDonald's mom (I think), and Simers asked to see it and asked what Kemp was doing in the pose. Kemp told him he had just hit a home run, and Simers said, "Oh really? When was that?" Kemp took it all in stride, and when they went out on the field he asked Simers if Simers had ever written anything bad about him. Simers said that he had, and when Kemp asked what, Simers said he called Kemp lazy at some point. Kemp walked out to go do stretching as an ABC reporter tried to ask him a question. Kemp joked that he was now "avoiding the media," but then yelled back to the dugout, "that's my boy," purportedly referring to Simers.
Kemp also wasn't happy when a reporter (seemingly of Japanese descent, since she said, "konnichiwa" to Manny when he walked up to hug her) informed him that Vicente Padilla had swine flu a few weeks ago. He was joking (sort of) when he asked someone to move Padilla's locker somewhere else.
And finally, when Casey Blake came in, Matt Kemp went to greet him, saying, "Casey Blake, I'm back. I am back." We'll see how that translates on the field tonight.
So, to wrap up: Matt Kemp doesn't like monkey backpacks or swine flu, knows how to pronounce "Kid Cudi," tolerates T.J. Simers, and doesn't think I look like the type to listen to any gangsta rap. Oh, and he plays a mean center field.