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Elephant Rumblings: Tony Kemp is Athletics Nation 2022 Team Captain

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Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Brandon Vallance/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Last week, I asked AN readers to vote for the best A’s of 2022 in several categories. In the past, the same awards were determined by our contributing writers. But with our ranks somewhat thinned of late I thought I’d poll the community at large on the matter.

Sean Murphy has already bagged the AN Gold Glove award, and that will not likely be the last accolade afforded him. But today I would like to honor the A’s 2022 Team Captain according to the AN community: Tony Kemp.

I personally gave TK my vote for this award. He provided a veteran presence on a very young A’s team and set an excellent example to follow on and off the field. Kemp struggled mightily with his bat early in the season but showed the grit and determination to grind through it and post a 126 wRC+ from after the All-Star break through the end of the season.

Kemp gave 110 percent in the field every day and made so many spectacular plays that I considered giving him my Gold Glove vote. As it turns out, Kemp did in fact “lay out” to make big plays more than any other player in MLB this season.

Statistical analysis makes pretty plain that Sean Murphy and Nick Allen are stronger overall defenders than TK, but going all out every time and stretching those two extra inches to make that play that I’d have thought impossible? Well, that’s the stuff we should expect of a Team Captain.

Tony Kemp exudes more positivity and good vibes than I ever thought could be contained in a 5’6” frame. He has been the A’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee for three straight years. Per MLB, the Clemente Award serves to recognize “a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions both on and off the field.”

Hopefully Kemp’s third nomination will prove to be the charm when this year’s Clemente Award Winner is announced. Athletics Nation salutes Captain Tony Kemp! And I hope he’s still in green and gold when 2023 Spring Training arrives.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

FOCUS, Oakland!

Miller continues to dazzle with high octane.

Say it ain’t so, Hal!

Some very cool history from a fellow ex-Stocktonian.

WS schedule.

An omen, I should hope.