Could this really mean his focus will now only be baseball? Matt Kemp and Rihanna reportedly done

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First Larry Bowa, now Rihanna?

Those convinced Matt Kemp’s disappointing 2010 season was due to his relationship with the singing superstar will apparently have to look elsewhere should the Dodgers center fielder continue to struggle next season.

Kemp and Rihanna have called it quits, according to US Weekly.


The two became an item early last year, and when Kemp struggled on the field, bases and at the plate, being distracted by his high-profile relationship became an easy excuse for some.

I never bought it, but the suspicion was going to linger for many as long as Kemp’s performance was anything less than you-have-got-to-be-kidding spectacular.

In a vacuum, last season Kemp had a decent offensive season (.249, 28, 89), but decent is no longer on the radar for his expectations.

Much of his best hitting came in the first two weeks and final week of the season. He also struggled defensively and on the bases (19 steals in 34 attempts).

Since his 2009 season (.297, 26, 101, Gold Glove) supposedly heralded the arrival of a new Dodgers superstar, it was a real step backward.

Excuses were not hard to come by. It was his sometimes strained relationship with the old-school Bowa, who was not retained as the team’s third-base coach. Or it was his high-profile relationship with Rihanna, now apparently a free agent.

Both are outta here.

US Weekly painted his breakup with Rihanna is a mutual thing. If you care, Rihanna was reportedly ‘just over it’ and Kemp was ‘sick of always following after her like a puppy dog all over the world.’

Plenty of star athletes have enjoyed relationships with celebrities without it proving detrimental to their careers. Unless you’re thinking Derek Jeter has never reached his potential. If it really did have a negative impact on Kemp, that’s at least one more distraction removed.

-- Steve Dilbeck