As expected, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp was named this year's National League winner of the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the outstanding performer in each league through voting by fans and a select panel of Hall of Famers that includes Aaron.
Kemp, who also is among the leading candidates for the NL Most Valuable Player award, flirted with a Triple Crown, something no player in either league has accomplished since 1967, and came tantalizingly close to becoming the fifth player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season before ultimately falling short on both pursuits. He finished third in the NL in batting (.324) and led the league with 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 115 runs scored. He finished second in the league with 40 steals.
Kemp becomes the first Dodger to win the Aaron award, which was created in 1999 to mark the 25th anniversary of Aaron's breaking of Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974, a record that stood until it was broken again by Barry Bonds in 2007. Toronto's Jose Bautista won this year's Aaron award for the American League.
The winner of the NL MVP award, which is determined through balloting by a select group of Baseball Writers Association of America members, will be announced sometime in November.
Watson interview update
DeJon Watson, the Dodgers assistant general manager for player development, will be interviewed on Wednesday by the Baltimore Orioles for their managerial vacancy, as first reported by the Baltimore Sun.
The Orioles received permission from the Dodgers last Friday to interview Watson, who has run the team's minor league system for the past five years.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.