Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp dives for the ball during a spring training… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)
PHOENIX – Matt Kemp signed an eight-year, $160-million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. That figure seemed like a pittance compared with the $2.15 billion a group led by Magic Johnson agreed to pay for the team.
"I feel broke," Kemp said. "I thought what I got was pretty good money, but what they have is ... wow ... two billion is a lot of money, man, it’s a lot of dough."
A standout high school basketball player, Kemp was visibly excited by news that Johnson would be part of the next ownership group.
"If you look at past interviews, Magic always said that the Dodgers used to be the team that was running L.A.," Kemp said. "Now, it’s the Lakers. I think he knows how important the Dodgers are to L.A. I think they’ll do everything it takes to get us back to where we need to be and put everything there needs to be in place."
Kemp admitted to not knowing much about the other bidders.
"All I knew was Magic," he said. "That’s the only person that I know. All those other guys, I didn't know too much about. I don't have to worry about them now because they're not our owners."
Kemp said he thinks Johnson could help lure back the fans who stayed away from Dodger Stadium last season.
"I think this year we were going to have more fans come out anyway, especially the way we ended last year playing really good," Kemp said. "This is a special team, and I think we’re going to do some big things this year. This is another reason the fans can come out and support us. It's going to be a great season."
Kemp said he plans to ask Johnson for business tips.
"He’s definitely a great businessman,” Kemp said. "He has a lot going on in L.A. He's found ways to make a lot of money. I'm sure he's a great guy to talk to about the business side of things. It would be cool to pick his brain about some things, so hopefully one day I could be a billionaire."
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