Jonny Gomes had a tougher childhood than you

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When I hear the other fathers in the neighborhood talking about how kids have no shot at playing sports at a high level unless they’re on expensive travelling teams and go to specialized camps and clinics, I roll my eyes. Partially because, damn, don’t you hope your kids pick what they want to do with their lives rather than live vicariously through your frustrated athletic dreams? But also because, while those things may make it easier to excel at sports, a privileged upbringing is not a requirement.  Just ask Jonny Gomes:

“I didn’t sleep in a car,’’ Gomes explained. “But if a car had a mailing address, that’s where I was going to get my mail.’’

“You were homeless?’’ I wondered.

“Never more than seven or 10 days,’’ Gomes said. “We’d live in a house two or three months, couldn’t pay rent, we’d get the eviction notice.’’ But friends were generous, as were some of his mother’s patients. “Awesome people took us in,’’ Gomes said.

Good story by Paul Daugherty about the rough road Gomes took to and the good attitude Gomes has about his path to the majors.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

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The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.

Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.

Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.