Blake thinks Kemp had a great offseason with Rihanna

'Duk

First off, why didn't anyone tell me that Matt Kemp(notes) began growing a bespectacled young man on his shoulder this offseason? That would have made for some kind of great post for the front page of Yahoo!

Second, if you thought Kemp and his Dodger teammates were going to clam up around the media when it comes to acknowledging his new ladyfriend, Rihanna, you were mistaken.

Witness this exchange between Kemp and a fellow Dodger (as witnessed by Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times):

Many interviews early in spring training start the same way: How was your winter?

"Unbelievable," Matt Kemp said.

Casey Blake(notes) interrupted.

"Are you kidding?" he said. "Did you check out the magazines? You know he had a great offseason."

Kemp doubled over in a half-smile, half-grimace and whispered something to Blake, who laughed.

High-fives around! Amirite, guys? Amirite?

OK, so most of us would get caught with our hands in the air, mostly because we're not cool enough to stage a birthday party with a stripper named Bridget the Midget for our significant other.

But that doesn't mean we can't be excited about Kemp's upcoming season in Los Angeles.

Kemp hit .297/.352/.490 with 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 2009 and, as True Blue LA and the slew of Kemp arrival stories point out, Kemp could become only the fourth Dodgers center fielder to hit 30 home runs, joining Duke Snider, Jimmy Wynn and Raul Mondesi.

Also, as Alex Remington points out, Kemp has a good shot at joining the 30/30 club.

But that's assuming Kemp continues on his upward path and was able to work out between dodging Rihanna's persistent paparazzi pals. If he gets off to a slow start in 2010, he's a prime candidate to alleviate the pressure on Cole Hamels(notes) as MLB's resident player who got a little too caught up with the bright lights of newfound fame during the offseason.

UPDATE: Some radio guys asked Kemp about Rihanna on the air Thursday.