Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp earns National League Player of the Month award

September 30, 2014

For a former MVP candidate who has dealt with serious injuries and multiple surgeries the past two seasons, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp received some confirmation today that his career is back on track, as he has been voted National League Player of the Month for September.

Kemp led the Majors with nine home runs and tied his Dodger teammate Adrian Gonzalez for the Major League lead in RBI with 25, while leading the NL with 63 total bases and 21 runs scored. The 30-year-old slugger posted a .322 batting average (29-for-90) down the stretch, clubbing seven doubles and slugging .700 — MLB’s second-highest mark.

The two-time NL All-Star capped the 2014 campaign with a 2-for-4, two-RBI effort in Sunday’s season-finale, helping the NL West Champion Dodgers to a 10-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. It was one of seven multi-hit games Kemp compiled during the month.

The Oklahoma native tied a season-high with four hits (also: 7/6 @ COL) and four RBI (also: 7/29 vs. ATL) on September 21 at Wrigley Field, just two days after leading the Dodgers to a 14-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on September 19 with a three-RBI performance.

Kemp was a combined 7-for-17 with a pair of homers and eight RBI in the four-game series at Wrigley, and reached the 20-homer threshold for the fifth time in his nine-year Major League career with a sixth-inning blast against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 14.  The home run gave the Dodgers a lead they would not relinquish in an eventual 4-2 victory over their NL West rivals.

Kemp finished the season with 25 homers and 89 RBI, marking his highest marks in both categories since 2011, when he led the league with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. This is his second career Player of the Month Award, having won previously in April 2012.

The year did not start out so smoothly for Kemp, as he struggled in centerfield, and then had to learn to play left field on the fly.

However, things changed for the better when he was moved mid-year to his comfortable old home in right field, and coincidentally or not, his bat got hot as well.  With Hanley Ramirez battling injuries throughout the year, and Yasiel Puig slumping late, Kemp's late production at the plate was vital to the team's clinching of the division title.

Other players receiving votes included Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, San Francisco’s Buster Posey, Washington’s Anthony Rendon, and Kemp’s Dodger teammate Juan Uribe.

Dodgers announce new radio deal with iHeartMedia and 570 AM KLAC

In other Dodgers news, the team and iHeartMedia today announced in a press release that a multi-year agreement renewing AM 570’s radio broadcast rights of the Dodgers regular season games, select Spring training games, and potential post season games, has been reached.  In addition, the new partnership will include an equity position in the station for the Dodgers owners as well as the opportunity for collaborative programming.

“We are looking forward to expanding KLAC’s content in this new partnership for our passionate and loyal fan base,” said Dodgers President CEO Stan Kasten.  “We will be teaming up with the fantastic creative team at iHeartMedia on a number of projects and initiatives, to enhance our fans engagement.  And what better team to tell the story than from broadcast talent of Vin, Rick and Charley.”

The agreement between the Los Angeles Dodgers and iHeartMedia is subject to Major League Baseball approval.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully recently announced he will return for his record 66th season in the booth.  Scully calls the first three innings on radio in the simulcasts before turning over the remaining innings on radio to former Dodger outfielder Rick Monday and Charley Steiner.  Monday is in his 22nd season as a Dodger broadcaster and is in his 30th season overall with the organization.  Four-time Emmy Award winner Steiner is in his 10th season as play-by-play announcer for the Dodgers.

In addition, AM 570’s solid DodgerTalk show also will return, as Kevin Kennedy, David Vassegh, and Jorge Jarrin cover the team before and after each and every game.

The AM 570 signal covers all five counties in Los Angeles and the station will continue to provide game broadcasts and pre-and post-game shows to the entire Dodger Radio Network, which includes 22 stations across the state and country.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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