I am just like everyone else – I get plenty of stuff wrong… and many of you tell me that, even when I get it right, but I have to bragg about this one a little bit:
On April 1, 2011, I wrote this:
Some people are reluctant to call him “Ace.” “He’s too young. “He’s too wild.” “He’s too inexperienced.” Every year, we have seen Clayton Kershaw progress, mature, grow and develop. One of the first and probably the smartest thing Don Mattingly did when he started Spring Training was to name Clayton as the Dodgers Opening Day Starter. That gave Clayton about six weeks to prepare, but it’s pretty heady stuff for a recently turned 23 year-old. But not Clayton Kershaw. He proved Mattingly’s trust in his was well-founded by throwing 7 innings of 4 hit, 9 strikeout (1 BB) dominant baseball. He was certainly better than Lincecum, but Clayton didn’t have his “mid-season stuff.” I’ve seen him with better stuff, but I haven’t seen him be a better pitcher. Clayton again played the role as “Giant Killer” last night – something that could set the theme for the season.
Peter Gammons and a few others have picked him as the Cy Young winner this year. That’s a hard prediction to make, but I will say that he is certainly on the “short list” of players who can win it. If you are still reluctant to call him “Ace,” how would you feel to call him “Cy?” The Dodgers are rapidly becoming Clayton Kershaw’s Team. You can see him begin taking the reins as the team leader. This isn’t an overnight process but his demeanor, confidence and performance already has elevated him to “leader status.” Pretty soon, the sportswriters will be calling it “Clayton Kershaw and the LA Dodgers.”
I also went on to say this:
He is visibly slimmer, obviously quicker and apparently more patient about chasing bad pitches. Matt Kemp walked three times and singled, and was on base every time last night. Oh, and he scored both runs. I expect a monster season from Matt.
Like Jared Massey at www.ladodgerreport.com I have liked Cy Kershaw for quite some time. Winning the Cy Young is certainly the Kershawshank Redemption for Logan White who took Kershaw instead of Tim Lincecum. This could be the first of several Cy’s for young Clayton.
Here’s the thing we all have to consider: Right now, Clayton is nowhere near as good as he can be. Jon Weisman has a nice comparison of Kershaw and Koufax today. On September 11, 2011, I wrote this:
I also wrote this in June 2008:
Congratulations Clayton, We are Proud You Are A Dodger
For a few weeks now, I have been hearing that Halliday or Lee were also deserving to win the Cy Young and I can only attribute that to massive doses of mushrooms or some other mind-altering drugs. Huh? People in the know knew otherwise and Clayton got 27 of the 32 first place votes. Halliday and Lee and even Kennedy had fine seasons, but if you have eyes, you knew that Clayton was the winner – hands down! Who were the 5 morons who didn’t vote him #1? They should be investigated!
Now, if Kemp can just bring home the MVP. He is, you know.
Matt, the naysayers have already started saying that you won’t repeat last season.
It’s time to show them that you can be even better.