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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw removed from perfect game bid after seven spotless innings in season debut

Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw was removed from a perfect game bid on Wednesday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. Kershaw, in his season debut, struck out 13 batters through seven perfect frames. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts then removed Kershaw to begin the eighth inning, inserting lefty reliever Alex Vesia. Vesia subsequently surrendered a single to Gary Sánchez, dashing any hopes Los Angeles had of making history.

Kershaw’s pitch count was at 80 upon his removal. The truncated spring owed to the owner-imposed lockout had left him stretched out to around 75 pitches. Roberts, for better or worse, opted to err on the side of caution with his longtime staff anchor.

The Dodgers were leading by a 6-0 score entering the eighth thanks to some timely offense. Cody Bellinger, Austin Barnes, and Gavin Lux all connected for solo home runs in the eighth, extending Los Angeles’ lead from 3-0 to 6-0.

The only perfect game in Dodgers history was thrown by Sandy Koufax in September 1965. Koufax, who struck out 14 members of the Chicago Cubs, received just enough offense from his lineup on that fateful day: the Dodgers finished with one run on a pair of baserunners; neither team had a hit through the seventh inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2022 at 03:32 PM | 191 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clayton kershaw, dodgers

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   101. bunyon Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:27 AM (#6071975)
The game was not in Dodger stadium. And, yeah, Pedro was more durable at his peak than Kershaw? You don't say.

I agree the decline of starting pitching is bad, overall, for the game. And I'm sure that's coloring a lot of opinions. That doesn't change the fact that you guys want to simply attribute this particular game to larger trends. I agree, 20 years ago, Kershaw goes out there. And then almost certainly doesn't finish the season (and, more to the point, probably doesn't get a perfect game. Way more guys have lost perfect games in the 8th and 9th than completed them).

You guys don't like modern baseball? Cool. Walk away. It's certainly your right.


Also, I guarantee we're talking about this game in 20 years. Way more likely than any of the run of the mill perfect games in the 2000s. You guys won't let it go.
   102. SoSH U at work Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6071986)
And then almost certainly doesn't finish the season


That's distinctly possible, given he's Clayton Kershaw in his 30s, but you can't possibly be attributing it to having left him in there.
   103. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:52 AM (#6071992)
I do think the psychological experience of a no-hitter or perfect game is different than some of the other single-game achievements. 20 strikeouts or 4 homers or the cycle is something that you can have a chance for, but it still requires active achievement until the end. A perfect game obviously requires the completion of 9 perfect innings, but it feels like something the pitcher has in hand, and the question is whether he "loses" it. Nobody talks about "losing" 20 K's or 4 HR in the same way. (A perfect game or no-hitter is also at risk at all times when the pitcher is on the mound, and heightens the tension to an extent that I don't think the other options match. YMMV and all that.)


It's pretty obvious you're right about how it "feels" to us. This thread being an example.

But if it's just a question of "This was a chance at history, and you have to let historical moments play out", well, 20 k games are historical. 4 HR games are historical. We don't always let those play out. Much more frequently than perfect games.



   104. SoSH U at work Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6071994)
Much more frequently than perfect games.


Probably on the 20K front, but that Carpenter situation seems likely a one-off. I don't recall that happening before, and there's no real reason to take a hitter out.
   105. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 16, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6071997)
(and, more to the point, probably doesn't get a perfect game. Way more guys have lost perfect games in the 8th and 9th than completed them).


I feel like this aspect being ignored, and a lot of people are talking about this like it was a forgone conclusion. Per this thread I found, it looks like 116 regular perfect games were lost in the 8th and 9th between 1916 and 2019, when 20 were thrown. There have been others since then, and probably some missing from earlier years.

But using this data, 20 of 136 pitchers who had a PG after 7 innings finished it. So historically, a 15% chance. Those aren't awful odds, though it's still very unlikely to happen

   106. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2022 at 12:06 PM (#6071999)
I agree, 20 years ago, Kershaw goes out there. And then almost certainly doesn't finish the season

Can we stop this? There's zero evidence a 32 y.o. veteran throwing 100-110 pitches increases his long-term injury risk. Those extra 20-30 pitches were probably no more risky than his first 20-30 pitches in his next game. probably less, b/c we know he had good mechanics that day.
   107. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 16, 2022 at 12:15 PM (#6072000)
Probably on the 20K front, but that Carpenter situation seems likely a one-off. I don't recall that happening before, and there's no real reason to take a hitter out.


I couldn't find any other examples, though there have been like, 650 three-home run games, so I can't really check. My gut, and logic, says you're right.


   108. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 16, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6072003)

Can we stop this? There's zero evidence a 32 y.o. veteran throwing 100-110 pitches increases his long-term injury risk.


there's a lot of people in baseball that think there is. And plus its early in the season on a cold day. It can't be zero risk, although yeah its probly small.


But using this data, 20 of 136 pitchers who had a PG after 7 innings finished it. So historically, a 15% chance.


this is an interesting calculation. If we assume there's no fatigue factor, and assume a .330 obp rate and do the math it works to roughly 9% chance of getting 6 batters in a row. which might be some indicia of how much to factor into the idea that a pitcher is "cruising". I guess having good stuff on a single day outweighs whatever fatigue factor there is.
   109. SoSH U at work Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6072013)
I guess having good stuff on a single day outweighs whatever fatigue factor there is.


Also, in this case he's Clayton Kershaw, which means he's more likely to get six batters out in a row than your typical perfect through seven guy.
   110. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6072015)
I guess maybe a little but hmm. Like Mike Leake on his best day is still not Clayton Kershaw on one of his best days. It can't be a lot of difference.
   111. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6072017)
Probably on the 20K front, but that Carpenter situation seems likely a one-off. I don't recall that happening before, and there's no real reason to take a hitter out.


Dusty Baker took Sosa out of a game after 3 HR and at least 1 AB left.
   112. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:55 PM (#6072018)
here is the game

It wasn't Dusty. It was Bruce Kimm.
   113. pikepredator Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6072019)
I used to have a bad back. And there were times I refused to do things that seemed trivial because I could tell my back wasn't doing well/had been weakened from previous exertions. And I didn't feel like spending a few days laid up because I pushed it and decided to jump on the trampoline with my kids. The opinions of other people - even my kids - didn't factor into that decision.

Now, that was the motivation for me to get serious about weightlifting, to strengthen my core and posterior chain such that I no longer have back issues (it's been almost a decade since the days of babying my back/visiting a kinesiologist). But, because of that experience I'm hesitant to recommend to anybody who knows their body well - particularly an athlete with a history of being injured - that they should "push it". Particularly when said athlete (with a reputation for choking in the clutch) may be focused on the goal of pitching well in a World Series after missing out last year because of . . . an injury. That may be Kershaw's primary focus. Not getting a perfecto in April.

Who knows. Maybe by the 5th he was thinking "oh crap, I'm really not feeling it . . . " but made it thru a couple more innings. If he lays one down the middle and the hitter cranks a double, nobody says anything. THAT would be the coward's way out, IMO.
   114. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 16, 2022 at 02:01 PM (#6072020)
In a 20K game, you could give up a bunch of baserunners along the way, via walk, hit, or HBP.


You can of course, but so far it hasn't happened. Of the 5, Wood gave up 2 baserunners, Clemens 3 and 5, Johnson 3, and Scherzer 6. You know what they all have in common? 0 walks.
   115. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 16, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6072027)

NBA "load management" also sucks, because plenty of fans/chumps spend precious discretionary income to see stars come to town who are healthy and - couldn't be bothered to play that night.

but at least if a player has 49 points with 3 minutes to play and his team hasn't had a player score than many in decades - we know the player won't sit down to rest.


Kyrie Irving was pulled in a game this season with 8:32 to play and 60 pts, with a chance to equal or tie Kobe Bryant's 81.
   116. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6072034)
Kyrie Irving was pulled in a game this season with 8:32 to play and 60 pts, with a chance to equal or tie Kobe Bryant's 81.


What, to be second all time in points scored in a game? Wilt still has 100.
   117. Ron J Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:39 PM (#6072086)
#116 How does that address the specific point made in 115?
   118. baxter Posted: April 16, 2022 at 09:48 PM (#6072090)
115 Sort of related; the sport I don't understand in this regard is pro football. All the players are one play away from a career ending injury (injuries seem to be more prevalent than in baseball). The QB is extremely valuable/important. Yet, w/a 3TD lead, they're still in there. All it takes is one lineman blocked back into the QB's leg to end the QB's season.

Back to post 100, I don't know that Kershaw is regarded as particularly inferior to Pedro Martinez. As far as keeping Pedro in games, the only one I remember is the Grady Little game, which didn't end too well for the Bosox.

I don't know whether Kershaw will ever start 25 games in a season (or for the rest of his career, for that matter) or pitch enough in a season to qualify for an ERA title. But, he's not that much different from Martinez on rate stats and is about 400 IP behind.

I dig Kershaw, seems like a nice guy in addition to a great pitcher. But, if it's a world series game, give me a healthy Madbum any day (or Koufax or Gibson).

Does the dough matter for Kershaw? Obviously I have no personal knowledge. But, the degree of competitiveness must be off the charts for these athletes. One would think he'd want to win another ring. Right now he's tied w/Art Ditmar in rings. I think it's a good bet he'd like to match Ralph Terry's total this year (and the way Terry got the 2nd one, w/an MVP)
   119. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:50 PM (#6072100)
Can we stop this? There's zero evidence a 32 y.o. veteran throwing 100-110 pitches increases his long-term injury risk.
Kershaw is 34.
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:30 PM (#6072106)
yes. he turned 34 on March 19.
   121. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 08:33 AM (#6072122)
In Japan, Roki Sasaki, who pitched a perfect game with 20 Ks in his previous start, was pulled after going 8 perfect innings with 14 Ks last night! He had thrown 102 pitches and the game was tied 0-0 (his team would lose 1-0 in the 10th) so I’m not questioning the decision. But man, I wish they had left him in for one more inning.

Link.
   122. Baldrick Posted: April 17, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6072135)
I'm sorry, he's currently on a run of 17 consecutive perfect innings? That seems like a lot.
   123. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6072146)
Mark Buehrl had 15 perfect inn. in 2009
   124. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM (#6072158)
From reading lots of 1970's baseball cards as a kid, I always first think of Jim Barr as the MLB record holder for most consecutive batters retired (41), even though he's been passed a couple of times now and the current record is 46 (Yusmeiro Petit).
   125. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 17, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6072180)
Can we stop this? There's zero evidence a 32 y.o. veteran throwing 100-110 pitches increases his long-term injury risk. Those extra 20-30 pitches were probably no more risky than his first 20-30 pitches in his next game. probably less, b/c we know he had good mechanics that day.
Depends. Can we stop pretending that the specific situation being discussed didn't involve a 34-year-old guy who 1) injured his throwing arm badly enough that he missed the entire postseason, 2) didn't throw for the entirety of the winter while letting it heal, 3) had a spring training abbreviated by 3 weeks where he hadn't thrown more than 75 pitches in an outing, and 4) was starting his *first game* of the season since that?

Seriously if you can't read and credit that those facts are not insignificant, then you're exited rationality and are stomping your feet like a child who was refused a toy they wanted.
   126. Howie Menckel Posted: April 17, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6072186)
Nestor Cortes with 10 K in 4 IP vs hapless Orioles.

I could swear I just hear a whisper coming though my TV: "Go the distance, Nestor, go the distance...."

;)

[NARRATOR: "Nestor will not, in fact, 'go the distance.'"]
   127. Howie Menckel Posted: April 17, 2022 at 03:03 PM (#6072190)
UPDATE: 12 K in 5 IP - and now Nestor's day is done
   128. Hank Gillette Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6072240)
Yeah, but perfect games and no-hitters are the rarest and most elusive things in baseball. There are fantastic pitchers who've never come close to either. There are people who've spent their lives around baseball and never seen one. To have something that special be in the process of happening and let it go just because you didn't feel like rising to the occasion...
Ithaca2323 listed a couple of other events that are more rare than perfect games.

I’m sure Roman citizens were pissed when gladiator matches were no longer to the death.
   129. Hank Gillette Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:32 PM (#6072241)
Do you watch the games to see which teams makes the most analytics-based moves? "Hey, Steve, did you see the way the Rays used their bullpen today? It was awesome."
Not per se, but I want my team to maximize their chances of making the World Series, so yeah, I guess so.
   130. Hank Gillette Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:39 PM (#6072242)
I think it is incredibly unhealthy for baseball if "but I wanted to see a perfect game!" is somehow seen as an unworthy emotion that a fan should keep quiet about.
You don’t have to keep quiet about it, but don’t expect anyone with a say as to how long Kershaw stays in the game to care.
   131. Hank Gillette Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:41 PM (#6072243)
OK, maybe it is not fair, but there is a reason why Pedro Martinez has gone down in history as an all-time GOAT, and Kershaw - who has been amazing - will simply not be put in that conversation.
Kershaw is an all-time great. What is unfair is you thinking that your opinion is fact.
   132. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6072250)
Also, in this case he's Clayton Kershaw, which means he's more likely to get six batters out in a row than your typical perfect through seven guy.


Yes, but it's still more likely than not that he doesn't get it
   133. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:14 PM (#6072252)
UPDATE: 12 K in 5 IP - and now Nestor's day is done


Robbed of history again!
   134. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:24 PM (#6072256)
Not per se, but I want my team to maximize their chances of making the World Series, so yeah, I guess so.


I'd bet you still don't. Sure, you might appreciate the fact they're making the right moves as it incrementally improves their chances of winning, but I really doubt it's something that excites you (I guess it's possible if you're bizarre).

You don’t have to keep quiet about it, but don’t expect anyone with a say as to how long Kershaw stays in the game to care.


And that is a problem (it's kind of an intractable one*, but perhaps more so now than ever before). MLB exists solely as an entertainment vehicle. It has no other worth. If the sport doesn't care about whether it's entertaining its customers, it will suffer. I suspect we're seeing the beginning stages of that right now.

Yes, but it's still more likely than not that he doesn't get it


Of course. I don't imagine it shifts the equation much, but if you were going to bet on any pitcher going 6 up 6 down over these past 10 years, he'd probably be everyone's first pick.

* The Dodgers are going to care far more about winning ballgames while MLB as a whole should be more interested in providing an entertaining product. The two can be at odds.
   135. BDC Posted: April 17, 2022 at 08:00 PM (#6072265)
MLB exists solely as an entertainment vehicle. It has no other worth. If the sport doesn't care about whether it's entertaining its customers, it will suffer. I suspect we're seeing the beginning stages of that right now

I agree. The Kershaw game is symbolic, but of course in itself doesn't mean much. It's too extraordinary an occurrence to be generalizable.

But since its beginnings, and definitely since 1884 and the sanctioning of overhand pitching, the pitcher-batter matchup has been central to generating interest in the game: both in the moment and in prospect, when the starting-pitcher matchup gets announced.

Replacing a starter with an ace reliever in the 8th or 9th didn't erode that interest too much; it just redirected it a little. Replacing the starter in the 5th with a procession of five guys nobody but a fantasy-baseball addict can identify is very different. I don't see how the game can recover that interest without reversing that trend, but nobody inside baseball seems concerned at all.
   136. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 17, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6072276)
Multiple mid inning pitching changes slow the game to a crawl. They're trying to fix it with the "3 batter rule", but it's a work in progress.

Today's Red Sox broadcast showed a clip of a minor leaguer getting called out on strikes when he didn't get into the batter's box before the time limit expired. (He had 2 strikes on him, the time violation was strike 3.). This will help, in the coming years. Pitches will pitch. Batters will stay in the box.

The umps have to cooperate, too. A batter called time today while Wacha was in his windup and the ump granted it. They can't grant timeout when a batter isn't ready because a guy like Wacha is working quickly.

I'm fairly confident they'll fix the length of game problem.
   137. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 17, 2022 at 09:05 PM (#6072282)
Do you watch the games to see which teams makes the most analytics-based moves? "Hey, Steve, did you see the way the Rays used their bullpen today? It was awesome."
Not per se, but I want my team to maximize their chances of making the World Series, so yeah, I guess so.


How about games that don't involve your favorite team? Do you find any entertainment value in those, and if so, where does it come from?

Of course. I don't imagine it shifts the equation much, but if you were going to bet on any pitcher going 6 up 6 down over these past 10 years, he'd probably be everyone's first pick.

Kershaw's OBP allowed over the last 3 years has been .260; if you treat that as a 74% chance of retiring each hitter, that would equate to a 16.4% chance of a perfect game. Not overwhelmingly different from the 15% figure quoted above. (Not adjusted for the particular lineup; I'm not sure how good the Twins 4-9 hitters were on the day in question.)

* The Dodgers are going to care far more about winning ballgames while MLB as a whole should be more interested in providing an entertaining product. The two can be at odds.

Yeah, this is the central problem - MLB has taken insufficient measures to rein in the "grind out every small advantage in the least entertaining way possible" trend of the last couple decades.
   138. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:45 AM (#6072300)
In Japan, Roki Sasaki, who pitched a perfect game with 20 Ks in his previous start, was pulled after going 8 perfect innings with 14 Ks last night! He had thrown 102 pitches and the game was tied 0-0 (his team would lose 1-0 in the 10th) so I’m not questioning the decision. But man, I wish they had left him in for one more inning.


A quote from his manager in a Japan Times story indicates that he felt Sasaki had run out of gas:

"If you think about what's best in the long run, I thought he reached his limit today," manager Tadahito Iguchi said of his young pitcher. "By the end of the seventh inning, he was getting close to hitting the wall."
   139. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2022 at 07:54 AM (#6072303)
When you are wearing the same jersey as Sandy Koufax, in the same stadium, a hall of fame lefty on the mound, and you have a perfect game through 7 innings and 80 pitches, you grab the special moment, and try to make history.

And then you too will finally be worthy to be spoken of in the same breath as Philip Humber and Kenny Rogers.
   140. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 08:43 AM (#6072304)
If the sport doesn't care about whether it's entertaining its customers, it will suffer


I think this is obviously true in the abstract, but I also think it's really overblown on a practical level. What exactly is "suffering"?

For whatever their figures might be worth, per baseball reference, the league-wide attendance highs and lows since 1998 has been 27,831 and 32,696. This year's number is 28,402. Not a lot of variance. The sport has (on a game level) a pretty strong monopoly on July, August, and a decent amount of September. Revenues continue to climb (until COVID of course).

I feel like so many of these conversations about the sport suffering tend to focus on these things like why Mike Trout or Vlad or Tatis don't occupy a larger portion of the sport's world consciousness, or that the sport just isn't talked about the way it used to be, particularly when the NBA and NFL are in-season. And TV ratings, though the NBA is also dealing with that issue.

But mostly, I feel like these conversations sort of exist in an echo chamber of people who really follow the sport closely enough that all these changes become things to talk about and analyze.

I also think some of this stuff is overemphasized because it's the kind of thing where, if you ask fans to state a preference in a survey, they'll give you one. But it isn't really something that drives people away.

I prefer watching a dominant starter strike out 15 in eight innings rather than going five great innings and giving the ball to three relievers, but it's not something that would affect my decision to go to or watch a game in the first place.

I'll just come to places like this, and engage in conversations with people about things I like/don't like.
   141. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 18, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6072313)
Even though I am one of the people on this thread most exercised about this topic...if I step back for a minute and regain perspective, #140 is probably right.

It got me thinking about Jack Morris - a guy whose career is perfectly aligned with my GenX-aged emergence as a baseball fan. For much of the 1980s, if you had asked me to describe Jack Morris, I probably would have said he was an "ace", a "gamer", "clutch", etc. Of course, he then has the epic Game 7 moments in 1991, which cements the legacy, followed by a 1992 season where he doesn't pitch particularly well, but wins 21 games for a World Champion, finished 5th in the Cy Young despite n ERA above 4, and he is Jack "The Jack" Morris.

In 1992, as an 18-year-old who was obsessed with baseball the prior 10 or 12 years, Jack Morris was one of the constant parts of the story of baseball - not because he was particularly outstanding as a pitcher most of the time, but because he felt so, I don't know, old school. From 1979-1992, he made 464 starts, and pitched 3378 innings. He averaged 33 starts and 241 IP every year for 14 years (including the 1981 strike season!), an average of 7 1/3 every start for 14 years. He averaged 12 complete games a year for 14 years.

I think he is in the Hall of Fame for a few reasons:
1) He pitched exactly at a time when there wasn't anybody else able to sustain excellence, or even durability, during that late 70s-early 90s period.
2) He really kind of was the last starting pitcher who was able to do percisely this much pitching, for this long, in this way.
3) Iconic moments and teams: The 1984 Tigers. The 1991 Game 7. 21-game winner on the 1992 World Champs.

I don't think he was a Hall of Fame pitcher...but as time goes on, I more and more easily see why a lot of people did. Things like this Kershaw situation just underscore how "in the past" somebody like Morris really is. It also gets me to increasingly appreciate and value starting pitchers who are (were) able to take the ball every 4-5 days, and throw 7+ innings every time, and do it in a reliable, above-average way. That is extremely valuable - more valuable than I used to appreciate, and something that I find hard to believe we will see again in many of our lifetimes. And I miss it, which is (if I'm being honest) part of why I reacted strongly to this Kershaw story a few days ago.
   142. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 10:18 AM (#6072316)
I think this is obviously true in the abstract, but I also think it's really overblown on a practical level. What exactly is "suffering"?


People like me who stop watching the game, which I did before the 2020 season.

People under the age of 30 who never started.

It's possible that all of the folks here who have claimed they're not as interested any longer are being offset by people who are now following the sport but previously didn't, but I'm not sure where they're coming from.

This year's number is 28,402. Not a lot of variance.


Is this true? What is the typical number after one week of the season, given Opening Day is most team's biggest attendance day?

I've been coming here for 20 years. In all that time, the last three or four years is the only period I can remember when a significant number of Primates have expressed the idea that they're simply not as interested in the product any longer, and watch it much less often/not at all. These aren't surveys. These are comments from people who were previously so engaged by the sport that they came here. I guess it's possible we're really an outlier, but I have to think if this many diehards are turned off by the game today as we have here, that can't be a good sign for the sport itself.
   143. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 18, 2022 at 11:04 AM (#6072321)
I've been coming here for 20 years. In all that time, the last three or four years is the only period I can remember when a significant number of Primates have expressed the idea that they're simply not as interested in the product any longer, and watch it much less often/not at all.

And if these "significant number of Primates" are like me (which, of course, they all should be), then they've been all-in fans of the game since they were kids and (also like me) they've turned away from the game at just the age where they're entering what has historically been MLB's prime demographic. However it could also be that we're the ones who gripe the most because we have the most emotional investment in MLB. The pink hats never could name more than one or two players on the home team, so what difference is it to have an entire pitching staff of names they've never heard of? They don't know or care about MLB's wall of separation between it and gambling that Manfred has so gleefully torn down -- except that it kept poor Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame -- and besides, all the ads show gambling as totally fun and completely risk-free so what's the harm?

Or maybe Manfred's army of fantasy gambling bros really are going to be the sport's economic savior, replacing those 50 and 60-somethings and their lifetimes of disposable income.
   144. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 11:11 AM (#6072322)
My point is, we're constantly hearing about how baseball is losing fans, alienating people, for whatever the reason of the hour is. Labor stoppages, games taking too long and starting too late. PEDs. World Series games starting too late. Too many strikeouts. Players making too much money, etc.

But if league-wide revenue is climbing, and league-wide attendance is in the range it's spent the last quarter century in...maybe we're all putting way too much stock in the never-ending screeds about the future of the game being doomed for [insert reason]. People are still going. Money is flowing.

Part of what I wonder about is that I feel like we haven't changed how we think about being a fan. I don't go to games (COVID/Distance/Money) or even have cable. I haven't watched a game since maybe the 2017. I don't buy Yankees stuff.

But I still consume the sport. I check scores on ESPN. I check stats on baseball-reference. I see highlights on YouTube. I engage in debates on here and Twitter and Facebook. I don't know how I'd be categorized if someone was doing research on fans, but I think it's possible I'd be considered part of the population that doesn't really care about baseball, and that's not really accurrate
   145. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6072324)
What is the typical number after one week of the season, given Opening Day is most team's biggest attendance day?


Maybe it's high because of that.

Or maybe it's low because school is still in session, so who is attending these midweek day games, or even night games when you need to be up early the next day for school work?

My point is, the attendance is the past 25 years has been between 27,000 and change and 32,000 and change. And this year is right within that, for now
   146. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6072326)
My point is, we're constantly hearing about how baseball is losing fans, alienating people, for whatever the reason of the hour is. Labor stoppages, games taking too long and starting too late. PEDs. World Series games starting too late. Too many strikeouts. Players making too much money, etc.


And my point is, this is the first time since this site was created that such thoughts are being expressed by the people who visit this site. We weren't constantly hearing that 20, 15, 10 or 5 years ago.

Perhaps we're outliers, though I don't know why we would be.
   147. BDC Posted: April 18, 2022 at 12:20 PM (#6072331)
Those are fair points, Ithaca. Though there are items on the other side. MLB has not expanded since 1998, despite population growth. The organized minors just contracted severely; indie ball has retrenched too. Advertisers & media groups are still putting a lot of money into the highest level of the sport. Moated-seat season-ticket buyers are too, if not necessarily showing up to watch games. That could go on cheerfully for a long time yet. But there are some indicators that the overall popularity of baseball is stagnant or dropping.
   148. Eddo Posted: April 18, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6072332)
Perhaps we're outliers, though I don't know why we would be.

I think we absolutely are. People who are passionate enough to discuss rule changes, statistical anomalies, and so forth for hours on end are in the vast minority of fans. Most people watching or attending games are there because they are a fan of one of the teams, and want that team to win. (In that way, most fans are rooting for "the best analytic moves" because those by and large lead to more wins.)

Basically, for 99% of MLB's consumer base, the answer to this question (from post #137)
How about games that don't involve your favorite team? Do you find any entertainment value in those, and if so, where does it come from?

is "no".
   149. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6072338)
I think we absolutely are. People who are passionate enough to discuss rule changes, statistical anomalies, and so forth for hours on end are in the vast minority of fans. Most people watching or attending games are there because they are a fan of one of the teams, and want that team to win. (In that way, most fans are rooting for "the best analytic moves" because those by and large lead to more wins.)


Sure, but I find it hard to believe that if the most passionate of fans is being turned off by the game, the average fan isn't likewise losing interest. And wins, of course, are a zero-sum game.

   150. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 18, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6072342)
Perhaps we're outliers, though I don't know why we would be.
Because this site has been abandoned by its owner and the only people left are old cranks. Sane people have migrated to more modern platforms.
   151. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 12:46 PM (#6072343)
Perhaps we're outliers, though I don't know why we would be.


I think people who closely follow a sport are more apt to be frustrated by the nature of changes and want the game to be at an idealized state. Casual fans just accept the sport for what it is.

To cite my own personal example, I follow D-III football very closely. One of the biggest issues in the sport is the combination of: lack of parity, geographical isolation, and increasing number of conference winner autobids. This past year, the 10th ranked team in the country missed the 32-team playoff completely because they lost by 6 points on the road to the team that capped a 15-0 season with 57-24 win in the national championship.

I care about the D3 ethos that goes into the autobid, and I can spend hours debating the fairness of the system. My buddy, who just casually roots for our alma mater? Doesn't care about what that all means. Just roots for the team on Saturday, and occasionally asks for a playoff prediction from me.

It's the same way that we'll look at the early HOF results showing Bonds at 77%, and know that actually means nothing, because he hasn't flipped voters or gained 1st timers. But the Internet is going to have countless "Could this be the year? He was at 63% last year and now he's at 77%!" articles because most of those people don't really care about anything other than the final tally.
   152. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:18 PM (#6072346)
I think people who closely follow a sport are more apt to be frustrated by the nature of changes and want the game to be at an idealized state. Casual fans just accept the sport for what it is.


But it's more than just frustration. I was frustrated with the pace of play 10 years ago. Now, many of us, including you, have stopped consuming the game in a way that's meaningful to MLB altogether. Maybe it's just us old cranks, though I find Tom's premise to be pretty lacking, but I doubt it.
   153. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:19 PM (#6072347)
Sure, but I find it hard to believe that if the most passionate of fans is being turned off by the game, the average fan isn't likewise losing interest.


I don't.

I don't think the average fan really cares about the impact of banning shifts, requiring three batter minimums for relievers, the drastic increase in TTO results, or even the runner on 2nd in extras. I think they largely accept the game for what it is, regardless of changes.
   154. Eddo Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6072349)
Sure, but I find it hard to believe that if the most passionate of fans is being turned off by the game, the average fan isn't likewise losing interest. And wins, of course, are a zero-sum game.

To add to Ithaca2323's good points, this happens all the time in other areas, too. Dungeons and Dragons is having the biggest boom in its history, but internet forums are full of passionate players who are "done" because of the most recent changes that are attracting more and more new players.

I think it's more than fair to say baseball isn't growing at this point in time, but I don't think it's in a dire state, either. The constant growth of all sports leagues was not really sustainable, anyway.
   155. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6072350)
I don't think the average fan really cares about the impact of banning shifts, requiring three batter minimums for relievers, the drastic increase in TTO results, or even the runner on 2nd in extras. I think they largely accept the game for what it is, regardless of changes.


What about the snail's pace?
   156. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6072351)
Now, many of us, including you, have stopped consuming the game in a way that's meaningful to MLB altogether.


But where's this showing up, in a significantly quantifiable way?

It's not in the attendance figures, which, while down from 2007-2008 marks, are up from 2002-2003, and drastically up from the 1980s.
It's not in the revenue, which is just flowing insanely.

We've all got examples of people (ourselves included) who don't consume the sport the way we used to. But it takes a *lot* of examples of this to make an appreciable dent in something that was an $11 billion dollar industry in 2019.
   157. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:31 PM (#6072352)
Dungeons and Dragons is having the biggest boom in its history, but internet forums are full of passionate players who are "done" because of the most recent changes that are attracting more and more new players.


Who is this offset in MLB?
   158. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:31 PM (#6072353)
What about the snail's pace?


A quick glance at the attendance figures of 2021 to any year from the 80s when the game moved a lot faster indicates...not an issue
   159. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6072355)
But where's this showing up, in a significantly quantifiable way?


TV ratings. And yes, I know cord cutting, etc. But this was just last year.

Here.

In the last full season pre-COVID, attendance league wide was down nearly 6 million from its high in 2013.

But I guess that's a trend not worrying about because attendance is still higher than it was in 1985.

Here.
   160. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6072361)
A quick glance at the attendance figures of 2021 to any year from the 80s when the game moved a lot faster indicates...not an issue

What year was it that the leagues started reporting tickets sold rather than turnstile counts as "attendance"?
   161. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6072363)
Audiophiles did not think the iPod was a good thing.

Car enthusiasts don’t spend time talking about the Camry.

Software engineers making their living with the command line interface said the iPad was just a big phone.

Comic book lovers aren’t the reason for high-grossing Batman movies.

The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is that the people deeply involved in many (all?) fields are outliers. Average baseball fans are why there’s an attendance lag on success, why a guy like Jeter doesn’t see his popularity wane as his skills diminish, etc.

Average baseball fans aren’t so much fans of baseball, they’re people who like/understand baseball enough to occasionally take it in as another form of entertainment. It’s why Dodgers fans are known for coming late and leaving early, why the Rockies consistently draw well despite rarely playing well, it’s why the Pirates have low attendance on the one hand but the equivalent of about three-quarters (or more) of that metro area attending a game every year.

Talk to average baseball fans and they’re apt to mention a local guy’s batting average or wins, they’re why Joe Buck just got a raise, why outliers refer to stadiums as mallparks. So many things are tailored to the average because that’s a larger customer base to target and an easier one to satisfy.
   162. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:50 PM (#6072364)
Talk to average baseball fans and they’re apt to mention a local guy’s batting average or wins, they’re why Joe Buck just got a raise, why outliers refer to stadiums as mallparks. So many things are tailored to the average because that’s a larger customer base to target and an easier one to satisfy.


Besides gambling, in what way is MLB targeting to the average in a way the league didn't previously? What is the sport doing that's turning off us hardcore guys in a way that is drawing in more people?

If this were a bunch of us bemoaning the game going all Poochie, but it working with the kids, then yours and Eddo's arguments would be spot-on. But no one has actually identified how we're just geezers shaking our fist at the modern ways.

   163. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6072365)
In the last full season pre-COVID, attendance league wide was down nearly 6 million from its high in 2013. But I guess that's a trend not worrying about because attendance is still higher than it was in 1985.


Then of course, there's this:

But I guess none of that's a trend worth being optimistic about because what would we be outraged about?
   164. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6072366)
Besides gambling, in what way is MLB targeting to the average in a way the league didn't previously? What is the sport doing that's turning off us hardcore guys in a way that is drawing in more people?


One answer is the paragraph you quoted: Joe Buck. For the average person, he's worth keeping. When it comes to the serving the average, don't rock the boat. For the "hardcore" fans he's as awful as ever.

But no one has actually identified how we're just geezers shaking our fist at the modern ways.


This thread is about the modern ways pitchers are handled.
   165. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6072369)
But I guess none of that's a trend worth being optimistic about because what would we be outraged about?


I'm not outraged. I think baseball has some worrying trends that have pushed fans away from the sport (without really doing anything to bring new ones in). You are actually evidence of that very thing.

This thread is about the modern ways pitchers are handled.


You think modern pitcher usage is drawing in new fans?
   166. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6072372)
You think modern pitcher usage is drawing in new fans?


Have a straightforward discussion and don't move the goalposts. You can see your own quote to which that was the response.
   167. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6072373)
You can see your own quote to which that was the response.


You mean the partial quote, which excludes the part in the previous sentence where I noted that we were bemoaning MLB but it "working with the kids"

I didn't move the goalposts. You cut them down.

   168. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6072375)
Besides gambling, in what way is MLB targeting to the average in a way the league didn't previously? What is the sport doing that's turning off us hardcore guys in a way that is drawing in more people?


SoSH: Ignore Tampa, Oakland, Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Which of the other teams do you think would have had better attendance in their old stadium compared to their new one? The Yankees are the only one I can think of and it's because the old place had much more capacity and the team has remained consistently good if not at the level they were at before opening the new place.
   169. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6072376)
SoSH: Ignore Tampa, Oakland, Cubs, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Which of the other teams do you think would have had better attendance in their old stadium compared to their new one? The Yankees are the only one I can think of and it's because the old place has much more capacity and the team has remained consistently good if not at the level they were at before opening the new place.


No question, today's ballparks are far more enticing than the previous ones, and a big reason why MLB attendance is up from previous decades. But that particular route is pretty close to being tapped out as a generator of new support. I don't think Texas is going to maintain any kind of big jump from the sorry days of the Ballpark in Arlington v 1.0.

   170. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6072380)
Besides gambling, in what way is MLB targeting to the average in a way the league didn't previously?


I would say the expanded playoffs and the universal DH. I don't like either of those, but I'd guess that MLB expects them to be reasonably popular with the casual fan.
   171. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6072384)
No question, today's ballparks are far more enticing than the previous ones, and a big reason why MLB attendance is up from previous decades. But that particular route is pretty close to being tapped out as a generator of new support. I don't think Texas is going to maintain any kind of big jump from the sorry days of the Ballpark in Arlington v 1.0.


Probably correct on Texas, yeah. And overall, the new parks are mallparks, and those aren't for the hardcore fans. Same with something like expanded playoffs in that it's easier for the league to change what the fan is exposed to (more playoffs, mallparks, streaming, gambling) than the on-field activities (TTO emphasis, pitch counts, etc.). And the average fan is more engaged by the former than put off by the latter.

Edit: Which isn't to say I don't think the game times and lack of action are damaging to luring in and engaging average fans. For all the ideas bandied about—change the ball, smaller gloves, move the mound, etc.—a pitch clock alone would make the most difference. A strikeout isn't usually as engaging as a ball in play for an out, but a strikeout in a timely manner doesn't suck.
   172. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6072385)
I would say the expanded playoffs and the universal DH.


I think the former might have that in mind (though I think it's more about simply adding more valuable games rather than attracting new fans).

Given the DH itself was already in existence in the less popular league for the past 50 years, I've never understood why that was supposed to help.

And the average fan is more engaged by the former than put off by the latter.


We'll see. They've been expanding the playoffs for two decades now, but it's hard to see how it's generated new interest.
   173. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6072392)
We'll see. They've been expanding the playoffs for two decades now, but it's hard to see how it's generated new interest.


Intentionally aiming for your wheelhouse here: The Red Sox have made the playoffs 14 times since the Wild Card began. Eight of those appearances are because of expanded playoffs, including the '04 Series win. You don't think that's helped the team's fan base?
   174. Eddo Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6072393)
If this were a bunch of us bemoaning the game going all Poochie, but it working with the kids, then yours and Eddo's arguments would be spot-on. But no one has actually identified how we're just geezers shaking our fist at the modern ways.

Ithaca and NaOH have given some pretty clear examples that, if baseball is losing fans, it's not really making a dent in the bottom line. And the thing is, if there are so many hardcore fans being driven away, to keep at current levels, new fans must be being attracted.

I don't think it's something new that attracts people, it's the brand itself. It's really easy to become a fan of the local team, because you know dozens of friends and family that already area and you can socialize while watching games.
   175. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:41 PM (#6072395)
Given the DH itself was already in existence in the less popular league for the past 50 years, I've never understood why that was supposed to help.


More scoring/fewer boring pitchers batting. It doesn't matter whether you or I think these things will help, only whether Rob Manfred does.
   176. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6072397)
Intentionally aiming for your wheelhouse here: The Red Sox have made the playoffs 14 times since the Wild Card began. Eight of those appearances are because of expanded playoffs, including the '04 Series win. You don't think that's helped the team's fan base?


Good question. It's not like the Sox were struggling to build a fanbase before then. Obviously 04 was great, but without it 07 is probably just as special.

Conversely, two WS runs from the wildcard haven't done much for Miami.

I guess it's likely the introduction of the wildcard has grown the game since then. I'd say there's a lot less reason to believe the creation of the second wild card, and whatever system they have planned for subsequent years, is going to have a similar effect.
   177. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:49 PM (#6072400)
I'm not sure how much of attendance changes over time should include the numbers relative to the population.

1985: 238m
2021: 332m

There were 26 teams in 1985, 30 teams today...I guess I'd say that the country and the economy have grown so much in the last 40 years that it is probably simultaneously true that:

1) MLB is making more money now than it ever has before, and
2) The percentage of Americans who give a sh*t/spend money/attend games/can name X number of baseball players is a lot lower than it was in 1985, and continues to decrease.

If MLB is worried about losing market share of the population who cares about the sport, then they should be worried.
If MLB is worried about losing market share relative to other sports, then they should be worried, as well.
If MLB is worried about making money compared to what they made in 1985, then they are probably OK.
   178. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6072401)
More scoring/fewer boring pitchers batting. It doesn't matter whether you or I think these things will help, only whether Rob Manfred does.


I have no doubt Rob Manfred does. He thinks a lot of things. But it does matter whether he's right.

For the record, I don't think baseball is doomed. I've never said anything like that.

I do think by not addressing what I think are real issues in the sport (the pace, the inactivity, a few other lesser things), it will begin to suffer, and it has probably already started. These aren't old man concerns. I don't think young people are saying, "I never liked baseball before. It was just too fast."

Obviously, a lot of you guys disagree. For your sake, I hope you're right.

   179. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6072402)
If MLB is worried about making money compared to what they made in 1985, then they are probably OK.


Rare is the business that doesn't think this way. Even rarer is the big business that doesn't think this way.
   180. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 02:57 PM (#6072404)
[Manfred] thinks a lot of things. But it does matter whether he's right.


I know what you're aiming for here, but I think it's important to remember Manfred, like most heads of a big business, more often than not doesn't need to be right so much as he needs to not be wrong. Big mistakes are easier to come by than big improvements. For all the criticism understandably aimed at him, he's thus far avoided the big mistakes, though he seems to have come close with the lockout.
   181. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 03:03 PM (#6072405)
I know what you're aiming for here, but I think it's important to remember Manfred, like most heads of a big business, more often than not doesn't need to be right so much as he needs to not be wrong.


I just meant that Tom's statement that it only matters what Manfred thinks isn't really true. If he's wrong in his assessments on these things, it does matter to MLB.

In all likelihood, the universal DH will not move the needle much at all (even if I think the downside risk was slightly greater).
   182. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2022 at 03:04 PM (#6072406)
Here's what I think:

I think the pace of play issues are far less of a problem at the ballpark than they are at home. I seem to see a lot more people at the park treating it like a social activity than I ever did before, for whatever that's worth.

I think the pace of play issues make the game more difficult to watch at home, but these issues are somewhat hidden behind the other issues affecting TV-watching, including the teams' decision to chase after upfront payments rather than trying to maximize their audience. In other words, the teams can tell themselves that fewer people are watching because you have to have AT&T Super Streaming in order to see the local nine, rather than telling themselves it's because the games have gotten boring.

I also think that people don't bother signing up for AT&T Super Streaming in part because the games are too boring to watch.
   183. NaOH Posted: April 18, 2022 at 03:12 PM (#6072407)
I just meant that Tom's statement that it only matters what Manfred thinks isn't really true. If he's wrong in his assessments on these things, it does matter to MLB.

In all likelihood, the universal DH will not move the needle much at all (even if I think the downside risk was slightly greater).


Things like the Universal DH are how MLB maintains the average fan. A few more interesting PAs from a DH rather than a pitcher aren't apt to move the needle, but they do solidify the needle's position.

I think the pace of play issues are far less of a problem at the ballpark than they are at home. I seem to see a lot more people at the park treating it like a social activity than I ever did before, for whatever that's worth.


I'm also in Colorado like you, Tom, so it's hard not to come away with this perspective since the Rockies' attendance punches way above their playing weight. And that's seen in a number of teams' attendance figures.
   184. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6072408)
I'm also in Colorado like you, Tom, so it's hard not to come away with this perspective since the Rockies' attendance punches way above their playing weight. And that's seen in a number of teams' attendance figures.


I'd go to games all of the time if they were as brisk as the only one I ever saw at Coors Field.

You guys are lucky.
   185. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 18, 2022 at 04:09 PM (#6072414)
I do think by not addressing what I think are real issues in the sport (the pace, the inactivity, a few other lesser things), it will begin to suffer, and it has probably already started. These aren't old man concerns. I don't think young people are saying, "I never liked baseball before. It was just too fast."
It is pretty clear that MLB sees the pitch clock as the primary solution to pace and inactivity. Their strategy of implementing in MiLB before bringing it to MLB makes sense too. This gives them the opportunity to tweak the implementation until they get the details (mostly) right. Pace of play is an issue, but it isn’t going to permanently damage baseball if it takes a couple years to implement the pitch clock and realize the time reductions.
   186. Greg Pope Posted: April 18, 2022 at 06:49 PM (#6072429)
It is pretty clear that MLB sees the pitch clock as the primary solution to pace and inactivity.

I hope that's true. I mean, it's at least 5 years after it became obvious, but better late than never.

I'm concerned that they just see it as one possible solution, and one that will get blowback from the players, so they won't push it.
   187. Ron J Posted: April 18, 2022 at 09:19 PM (#6072456)
#186 Well another option is big game clocks like curling (among other games) uses. X amount of time for actions while the ball is not in play. It totally can work -- though you have to be prepared for situations where a team runs out of time and loses.

Clock runs until the hitter steps into the box. 15 second run off if he steps out after stepping in. Once he steps in, clock runs until pitcher delivers the ball. And yeah, it's defensive team's time when they make a pitching change.

It's an approach that allows teams to allocate their time as they see fit within the overall constraints.
   188. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6076555)
Good thing they yanked him early. Maybe he'd have thrown 20 more innings instead of 22 before going on the IL.
   189. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6076556)
Better limit him to 50 pitches now.
   190. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6076564)
Maybe he’d have thrown 20 more innings instead of 22 before going on the IL
It isn’t an arm injury, and might not even be baseball-related:
The Dodgers are placing Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list due to right SI joint inflammation, the club informed reporters … The SI joint is in the hip/pelvis area, so Kershaw is fortunately not dealing with any arm concerns.
The Dodgers may need to limit Kershaw’s pelvic activity.
   191. Lars6788 Posted: May 13, 2022 at 04:26 PM (#6076586)
Everything is related if you are an older pro athlete, notably with Kershaw’s relative fragility over the past 5-6 years.
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