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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Dark, Existential Reality of Pitching Is Here For Clayton Kershaw | SI.com

For most people, the experience [of aging] is one of gradual diminuendo, small bargains with yourself. It’s one of feeling fine, feeling invincible, until suddenly, you don’t—suddenly, your back starts to hurt every once in a while; suddenly, you get a hangover after just two beers. You don’t quit, of course. You just make necessary adjustments. (And some people make them better than others.) A pitcher loses velocity. We measure, in excruciating detail, just how much of himself he isn’t. He adjusts—until, finally, one day, there are no more adjustments left for him to make.

Dark contemplations on Clayton Kershaw’s first start back.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:23 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clayton kershaw, dodgers, the inevitability of death

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   1. Jack Sommers Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5832596)
If Greinke can navigate his way around the league as a junkballer that happens to still be above average, then certainly Kershaw can, health willing.

Health is the question though of course. If he can make 30 starts a year the next 3 years, then he'll be fine, even if he doesn't add any more hardware to his mantle

   2. A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5832601)
It certainly seems like it's easier for hard-throwing LHP to transition to being finesse pitchers than it is for RHP.

If CC can do it, I'm sure Kershaw has a number of very effective years left in him, even if he's never going to be CLAYTON KERSHAW again.

Of course, chronic back injuries rank just behind Death and taxes ...
   3. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5832603)
Ah, well. At least he's flush with cash.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5832723)
If Greinke can navigate his way around the league as a junkballer that happens to still be above average, then certainly Kershaw can, health willing.


Above average, sure. But I doubt he ever wins another Cy Young Award. But if you asked me a week ago which was more likely between Kershaw winning another Cy Young Award or Tiger Woods winning another major, I'd have gone with Kershaw. Sometimes these all-time greats have an encore performance.
   5. akrasian Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5832748)
I'm sure he'll have some good seasons. But when he took the opt out, I wanted them to let him go. He'd been having injuries every season, reason to doubt he'd be the best pitcher in baseball ever again. Especially since the Dodgers made it clear they weren't going hugely over the cap again, I didn't think it in their interests to even add another huge year to his contract.

Note, a key part was that HE opted out. Before any accusations be made about stabbing him in the back - he decided to pressure the Dodgers to give him more money that he very likely wouldn't be worth, negating the idea that the last two years of his contract were basically to make up for being underpaid earlier.
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:37 PM (#5832761)
I thought he never actually opted out, but rather used the threat of an opt out to get an extra year.
   7. BillWallace Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5832762)
It certainly seems like it's easier for hard-throwing LHP to transition to being finesse pitchers than it is for RHP.


That's why Randy Johnson decided to stay hard-throwing.
Kershaw should have done the same thing.
   8. akrasian Posted: April 17, 2019 at 12:15 AM (#5832765)
I thought he never actually opted out, but rather used the threat of an opt out to get an extra year.

Yeah, I guess you're right. Still, threatening it - if I'd been the Dodgers I would have called his bluff. It was optimistic he would have been worth 2 years, $65 million, much less a third expensive season.
   9. Hank Gillette Posted: April 17, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5833216)
That's why Randy Johnson decided to stay hard-throwing.
Kershaw should have done the same thing.


Lefty Gomez once said that it was not true that he was not throwing as hard as he used to. He said that he was throwing twice as hard, but that the ball was only going half as fast.

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