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Matt Kemp's benching linked to argument with Dodgers' bench coach

DODGERS FYI

Team sources say Kemp objected when Bob Schaefer noted that he hadn't backed up second base on an errant throw. 'It's just between me and Matt, and it's no big deal,' Schaefer says.

July 01, 2010|By Dylan Hernandez

The benching of Matt Kemp this week resulted in part from an argument he had with bench coach Bob Schaefer on Saturday, according to team sources.

In the first inning of the 9-4 victory over the New York Yankees that day, Derek Jeter drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. Because Kemp wasn't backing up the bag, Jeter was able to advance to third base when catcher Russell Martin made an errant throw.

When Schaefer later reminded Kemp of what he should have done on the play, Kemp responded by saying that he was playing too deep to get there in time. Schaefer told him said that regardless, his duty was to charge in as soon as Martin let go of the ball. That prompted Kemp to tell Schaefer to leave him alone.

The point Schaefer tried to make has been made repeatedly by Dodgers coaches, who think Martin wouldn't have seven errors if Kemp followed their instructions.

Manager Joe Torre kept Kemp out of the lineup for three consecutive games, starting Sunday. Kemp started on Wednesday, but Torre acknowledged that might not have happened had Kemp not approached him to clear the air.

Kemp has denied he had a confrontation with any member of the coaching staff. Torre refused to comment when asked if Kemp blew up at a coach on Saturday, as was first reported by mlb.com.

Reached on Thursday, Schaefer didn't have much to say. "It's just between me and Matt, and it's no big deal," he said. "I was trying to make him better and he's better now." Jokingly, he added, "With a little bit of rest, he's improved."

Manny update

Manny Ramirez is officially listed as day to day, but it is thought "unlikely" that he will be put on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring, said a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decision has been made. Ramirez underwent an MRI exam in Phoenix that showed inflammation in his hamstring, as was expected.

Nonetheless, the Dodgers held Xavier Paul out of their triple-A lineup on Thursday in case they decide to sideline Ramirez, who was hurt on the basepaths Saturday.

Short hops

Ramirez has donated a 1994 911 Porsche Turbo 3.6 to the Dodgers' ThinkCure charity, which will auction the car on EBay. Visit http://www.thinkcure.org/manny for details.... Cory Wade, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, was outrighted to triple-A Albuquerque and removed from the 40-man roster.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

twitter.com/dylanohernandez

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