*Please note this article was written before Matt Kemp was inserted into the Dodgers’ lineup last night. However, the only reason Kemp was inserted into the lineup was because Manny Ramirez had an injury, so the basis of my article hasn’t changed.

Benching a star player one game I can understand. Two games I could still somewhat comprehend. But three games? That seems a little extreme to me.

However, I am not the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the manager of the Dodgers feels that three games is the right amount of games to bench a star player. For a third straight game, Joe Torre has not penciled star CF Matt Kemp into the lineup.

I understand that Kemp is hitting .196 in June and I understand that Torre is a little peeved that Kemp got picked off second base last Wednesday in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but this is just silly. If Kemp is ready to go, then you insert him into the lineup.

Here is where Torre has reached Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick status. This happens when a manager or coach has had so much success in the past that no matter what they do, no matter what they say, or what move they make — even if it is completely absurd — it is somehow considered a stroke of genius.

Torre has clearly reached this status. He reached it in New York when he dropped Alex Rodriguez to eighth in the order in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers. It was such a stupid move, but it was hailed as a motivational tactic by Torre.

The bottom line is even the Teflon wears off on the great managers, coaches or GM’s and they make mistakes. Torre is making a mistake with Kemp.

He belongs in the lineup.

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