Exclusive Interview with Matt Kemp – Part 1

April 1, 2013

We caught up with two-time All-Star and 2011 NL Home Run champ Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers on the set of the 2013 DIRECTV MLB EXTRA INNINGS photo shoot. Come back Wednesday for part two of the interview plus behind the scenes photos!

Matt, how’s your off-season going and rehab coming along?
My off-season is going great. It’s been a little different this year coming off surgery at the end of last year. But I’ve been doing a lot of rehab to get my body better and get ready for this upcoming season.

We heard you said you could beat Magic Johnson (Dodgers co-owner) in basketball. Or at least in horse. Have you guys played yet?
Actually, Magic and I haven’t played yet. I definitely want to play him in a game of horse soon. We probably can’t play one-on-one because I know it’s more than likely against the rules for me, but I want to get a game of horse going soon. Any trick shots you have up your sleeves? Nope, no trick shots. I’ll just beat him straight up!

Where did the nickname Beast Mode come from?
That nickname came from Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks, who is known for coming up with that nickname. Juan Pierre, one of my best friends, decided to bring Beast Mode to baseball and we just ran with it. Thanks to Marshawn for what beast is all about!

You have any pre-game ritual?
I just like to listen to some music, relax a bit, and eat a peanut butter sandwich before a game.

What’s on your iPod right now?
I have a lot of different music on my iPod. But to get me ready for a game, I like to listen to some Young Jeezy, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. That type of music gets me really pumped for a game.

Is there any chatter or trash talking between batters and catchers from your experience?
Not necessarily, in baseball it’s hard to talk trash. I was talking about this with a buddy the other day, we agreed on how you can talk trash in basketball easily if you know the other guy can’t guard you. But with baseball, it’s so unpredictable, you can own a pitcher, but he might get you on any given day. With baseball, you have to stay humble; it’s a humbling game so there’s not a lot of trash talking on the field.

If you trash talked, what would you say to Buster Posey as you step into the batter’s box?
Like I’ve told everyone, Buster’s a pretty quiet guy. All he gives you is a little head nod and hello when you step into batter’s box. But, what would I say to him? I don’t know, Buster’s a nice guy, so there’s not really much you can say to him. But, if I had to, I would try to get him off his game. That would be hard though, he’s a pretty good player.

Come back Wednesday for part two and exclusive behind the scenes photos!

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