Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is a .153 hitter in 577 career plate appearances. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
Count Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw among the fans of National League baseball.
Speaking at a team function at Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, Kershaw said he’s pleased with commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to table discussion of bringing the designated hitter rule to the NL.
“It’s just a better game. It really is,” Kershaw said. “Baseball’s a two-sided game. You’ve got to play offense, you’ve got to play defense. I know there’s a lot of great hitters that DH, I’m not trying to take anything away from them, but they all started somewhere. They all played first base, all played a position. They all still could do it if they had to. That’s the truer fun of baseball.
“Selfishly, I love taking batting practice. Hitting in the game is fun, too. I would miss that part of it for sure.”
Here’s video of Kershaw speaking today about losing pitcher Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks and his off-season training:
The Dodgers have re-signed second baseman Howie Kendrick to a two-year contract pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com. The Dodgers have not confirmed the announcement.
Kendrick, who turns 33 in July, appeared in 117 games last season, his fewest this decade, by virtue of a hamstring injury. He posted a .295/.336/.409 slash line along with nine home runs and 54 RBIs.
The Dodgers re-signed veteran Chase Utley to a one-year, $7 million contract in December. He and Enrique Hernandez stood to split time at second base if the Dodgers didn’t bring back Kendrick. The Dodgers also acquired Micah Johnson, a left-handed hitting second baseman, from the Chicago White Sox in the trade that sent Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler to the Cincinnati Reds.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw inadvertently broke the news earlier Friday.
Speaking at a team function at Los Angeles City Hall, Kershaw said of the team’s position players, “obviously Howie’s still in the mix. Other than Jimmy (Rollins) I feel like we have our team back.”
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw finished third in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
This is Part 28 of a series in which every member of the 2015 Dodgers has his season juxtaposed with an episode of the greatest sitcom of all-time. Don’t take it too seriously.
Key stats: 16-7, 2.13 ERA in 33 GS.
Seinfeld episode: “The Secret Code” (Season 7, Episode 7)
Key quote: “The Rogue’s Wallet. That’s where he kept his card, his dirty little secret. Short, devious, balding. his name was Costanza. He killed my mother.”
Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw might not be BFFs anymore, but what does that really mean for the Dodgers going forward? (Associated Press photo)
One of the better Zack Greinke analogies I’ve read in the last 24 hours came from Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs: “The Dodgers didn’t lose a war. They fell short in this particular battle.”
I’m not sure what kind of sentences were written after, say, Antietam. But there is a certain sense of shock and loss among fans who have taken time to chime in on Twitter and Facebook. For now hindsight is easy and foresight is difficult. We don’t know exactly where the Dodgers will go from here, only that the days of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top of the starting rotation are over. As of this writing, most fans are OK with that.
A few things to consider for perspective:
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig high five after Game 4 of the National League Division Series in October. (Getty Images)
In an interview today with St. Louis sports broadcaster Frank Cusumano, retired baseball player and coach Andy Van Slyke shared a revealing anecdote about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
What made it particularly revealing: It came from inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“When the best player, highest-paid player on the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the GM and … is asked what is the number-one need … of the Los Angeles Dodgers club, this particular highest-paid player said, ‘the first thing you need to do is get rid of Puig’,” Van Slyke said.
When Cusumano noted that pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ highest-paid player, Van Slyke replied, “I didn’t say his name.”