Categorized | Mark Timmons

Is Clayton Kershaw better right now than Sandy Koufax?

I saw this article from SI today by Cliff Corcoran, and had to post it.  In part it said:

“There is now another Dodgers lefty who is at the forefront of any discussion about the greatest pitchers in the game today. That man is Clayton Kershaw, who last week won his second NL Cy Young award in the past three seasons (he finished second in 2012). Koufax, for all his incredible accomplishments, never once posted a park- and league-adjusted ERA+ as high as Kershaw’s 194 this past season (Koufax’s best mark was 190 in his final season). In addition, the first of Koufax’s Cy Young awards didn’t come until his age-27 season, whereas Kershaw has won two before the age of 26. Kershaw still has a long way to go, of course, but he has accomplished so much so soon that there is a very real possibility that he could one-day do the unthinkable: surpass Koufax as the greatest lefthanded pitcher in Dodgers history.”

He ends up saying this:

“It remains to be seen if Kershaw can ever equal Koufax in the hearts of Dodgers fans, but as an investment, he’s arguably more valuable right now than Koufax ever was.”

This is the stuff I was saying three weeks ago.  SI is stealing my thunder.  I agree 100%!

Now, off to that surprise (Wink, Wink) Birthday Party tonight.  I think the best birthday gifts I got were comments from my two step kids (29 & 32 respectively):

  • “Happy Birthday Mark. Hope you have a great day. You’ve been a really good step-father. Thanks for everything.”
  • “Happy Birthday to the best Step-Dad, ever.”

Money can’t buy that stuff!  I am blessed!



About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

38 Responses to “Is Clayton Kershaw better right now than Sandy Koufax?”

  1. Michael says:

    Yeah, those are the comments that really count, HB.
    It’s apples and oranges arguing Sandy against Clayton. Different eras, improved medicine and age old memories make it a moot point. I will say though that listening to Koufax spin no hitters on the AM dial left quite an impression on me as a pre teen that might be nearly impossible to change.

  2. Watford Dodger says:

    The Kershaw/Koufax argument will run and run. They both are/were great pitchers of their time. Everyone will have their own favourite.

    I would say this though – Zack Grieke’s season has been totally overlooked with all these comparisons. He put up some fantastic numbers. A better win/loss record than Kershaw and a Silver Slugger award. Also a good team man – I haven’t forgotten the Plunking of Quentin that united the team. No Anxiety Disorder that has been reported so often. My Son’s got Grienke on his shirt – not Kershaw.

    Congratulations on the 60th Mark and I love your comments on your Step kids. Those remarks from them are as good as it gets when your not their real Dad. I am also a stepfather but it is something that I have not got right at all. I could have a long discussion with you about stepparenting as it is a big part of my day to day life. I totally get what it means to you for them to say that to you – it’s even better than your own kids saying it. You would probably have to be in that situation to understand it. Well done & enjoy your night.

    • Mark_Timmons says:


      Here\’s the deal on my stepkids: They had a dad who was part of their life and was a good dad. Therefore, I never tried to be that guy. I wasn\’t their dad – I was their step dad. Their dad sometimes even stays with us when he comes to visit. So, my case wasn\’t that hard. I just was fair and never acted like I was their dad. It was hard to screw that up. Here\’s the cool part: My wife has two kids and I have two and we have one together and they all have their own businesses. Entrepreneurs all!

  3. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “and had to post it.”

    Of course you did.

    I’m not going to waste anymore keystrokes on this, other than what follows. It’s a waste of time and effort. Believe what you want to believe, and I’ll do the same.

  4. dpwtv says:

    To answer the title of this thread. Yes Clayton Kershaw is better right now than Sandy Koufax. Koufax is in his 70′s, doesn’t throw very hard and his arm is completely messed up. He couldn’t even reach home plate when he threw out the first pitch last year. Kershaw is 25 years old and is just coming off two Cy young’s in the last three years

  5. Quasimodo says:

    Just don’t try and say there was ever a better dancer than Fred Astaire.

  6. Mark_Timmons says:

    I have never said this before, but Sandy Koufax is my favorite Dodger of all time.

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    I find it interesting that Kershaw\’s \”park and league-adjusted ERA\” is better than Koufax! Maybe some of you don\’t see that!

    • Pgunn says:

      When Kershaw pitches 320+ innings a year against some of the greatest hitters of all time, while having an arthritic elbow and dominating, then maybe I’ll reconsider this.

  8. Bob says:

    Not important.

    What is important? The prospects for the Luxury Tax and who can the Dodgers afford to sign in order to fill the obvious holes in their 2014 roster.

    The Dodger 2014 payroll, with Sellers, Gordon, etc. is already over $200 mil, when you consider probable arbitration awards. And they still need:

    1. A #4 Starter – $8-10 Mil?
    2. 2 Setup men – at least $10 mil?
    3. A 3B – $5 mil?
    4. An IF utility man – $2 mil?

    Is the Dodger minimum payroll at least $235 mil without Tanaka, Headley, etc. Will it be at least $250 with the players needed to make it to the World Series? Did they go all in during 2013 and not make it, like McCourt did, and will they also have to trim the payroll, like McCourt did the next year? Can they find players better and cheaper than Punto and Schumaker? Do the Dodgers wait and extend Kershaw after determining how much money they have left in their payroll budget after signing 4-6 other players?

    The 2013/2014 Hot Stove season could be great or it could be very disappointing for those of us who hope for a World Series appearance in 2014 for the LA Dodgers.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I get the feeling that the Dodgers have carefully thought through everything they’re spending or will spend on payroll. I don’t think the Dodgers (nor any team) has an endless supply of money, but I do think that everything they do has a revenue adding component. For example, the Dodgers spent a lot of money on Ryu last year, but at the same time entered into promotional deals with Korean companies that I’m sure brought in or will bring in significant revenue. And rest assured, that if the Dodgers win the bid for Tanaka, that too will be accompanied by commercial opportunities in Japan, and with the Japanese community in LA.

    And of course, if the Dodgers are successful in winning a World Championship, that in itself will be worth its weight in gold. Furthermore, to the best of my knowledge they haven’t even gotten into the development of the land around Dodger Stadium. So yes, the Dodgers have limits, but they also have goals.

  10. Mark_Timmons says:

    Give him a 20 inch mound and less scouting, no video and I\’m down!

    Koufax had a bad elbow because he pitched 320 innings. So, you want Kershaw to do the same thing? Walter Alston is not the manager. He was worse than Dusty Baker. If Alston had not ruined Koufax, we might not be having this discussion. However, if Kershaw had a 20 inch mound, we might also not be having this discussion.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Even if the Dodgers payroll for 2014 up to this point is $235 million, and rising, keep this in mind. The average annual take from their $8.5 billion 25 year TV deal works out to $340 million/yr. That’s just an average, and may not represent what they’re taking in now. But remember, that’s only the TV deal. There’s also attendance, merchandise, concessions, parking, radio deals, and MLB media money. Also, this year every team in MLB will be taking in an extra $25 million as a result of the MLB’s new national tv contract. And I’m sure there’s other stuff that can be added.

    Finally, the Dodgers plan seems to be to spend big now, and build from within for the long term future. So as they get further and further removed from the McCourt nightmare, spending big in free agency will become less and less important.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, I’m not 100% sure of this, but I’m not sure Koufax’s elbow problems stemmed from the 300+ innings he threw every year. I recall reading way back in 1964, that he jammed his elbow sliding back into 2nd base after a pick-off attempt. Why was he at 2B? According to what I recall, Walter Alston put him in as a pinch runner. I believe that was in August 1964, when he was 19-5 with a 1.74 ERA, 223 K. That put him out for the remainder of the year, and cost him another Cy Young, won that year by Dean Chance who was 20-5, 1.65, 207K. Chance of course didn’t miss the last two months of the season like Koufax.

    • Pgunn says:

      Exactly. Because Koufax pitched 300+ innings in 1963 and won the Cy Young; his elbow didn’t bother him. He had the circulatory problem in 1962.

      Koufax said that Alston didn’t use him enough in the early days. Now Alston is accused of using him too much? Especially when Koufax wanted to pitch as much as he could. I don’t think that he thought of his career as the highlight or most important thing in his life.

      Besides, would you rather have no NL pennants in the 60′s?

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    Giants are to sign Tim Hudson . . . playing the Giants will be hard with their pitching.

  14. Badger says:

    Why does this keep coming up? When Kershaw hits 30
    we can compare the numbers. I’m sure by then Kershaw will have multiple no-hitters, a couple of perfect games, 60 or so complete games and a few rings.

    Yeah, we need a few pieces. But to avoid a beginning like last year we need all our starters healthy. Back ups can be had quite easily.

    Just like last year, when I was debating Mark about being “a last place club”, I remain confident.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    I wouldn’t get carried away by the midgets’ signing of Hudson. He’s OK, but really nothing special. And he will be 39 in July. If the midgets want to sign a 39 year old pitcher to a 2-year $23 million deal, that’s fine with me.

    And after last year, I find it hard to be believe that the midgets’ pitching will be all that special. Still doesn’t measure up to the Dodgers as far as I’m concerned. In fact, the midgets in general don’t measure up to the Dodgers. All that’s necessary is that the Dodgers return to health next year, and hopefully add a starter and bring back Wilson for the bullpen. Seems doable to me. And if it’s done, I don’t see the midgets as being any kind of threat. And while the Dodgers have some questions that have to be answered, so too do the midgets, Dbacks, Padres, and Rockies.

  16. Pgunn says:

    I agree, because the Braves could’ve still used him. I never t.hought he would come back to the Bay Area

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, I should add that it would be good if the Dodgers also re-signed J.P. Howell or his equivalent to add a second lefty to the pen. Unless, of course, they think Onelki Garcia and/or Tom Windle are ready. Maybe they will be, but having the experienced Howell is probably preferable.

    • Pgunn says:

      Howell has demonstrated he could pitch. And I wish the Dodgers could have at least one lefty that doesn’t pitch only in lefty-lefty matchups.

  18. Badger says:

    This was over there ———>

    Chances of getting any FA’s, according to this guy, are “slim”. But he thinks we have a great shot at getting Tanaka. His point about owning the Pacific Rim is a good one. My take on Tanaka? I think we should go ahead and cesium.

    OK, that was a stretch. It’s early.

    Josh Johnson is only looking for a one year contract and a chance to rebuild his reputation. Where better than Chavez Ravine and the NL West?

    I could live with Arroyo. Yeah, he is going to be 37, but look at his record. You just wind him up and he throws 200 innings.

    I like the Seahawks and Golden State. Why not? Somebody different. I could live with the Thunder getting their title. Any team but the Heat. As I have stated, I am a Pac 12 guy, but once again the eat their own and we get stuck with Alabama and whoever in the title game. I’ll probably watch it, but the lesser bowls will be of much more interest to me. Like the Rose Bowl.

    Cooling off finally. Going to be in the high 66 today but in the 50′s by the week-end. I wonder if Mark dodged the tornadoes? Hope so. And, I trust his 60th was memorable. Mine was. Hiked Whitney a few months later.

  19. Gionfriddo says:

    “Walter Alston is not the manager. He was worse than Dusty Baker. He ruined Koufax”…. WOW really? Let me give you a list to go by ok
    1. Joe McCarthy 7
    2. Casey Stengel. 7
    3. Connie Mack. 5
    When they call roll in baseball heaven this is the list of men who won the most world series titles— Alston & worse don’t belong in the same sentence–to make the implication is intellectually dishonest or just plain ignorance.
    Did Fred Haney ruin Spahn? Did Red Schoendienst ruin Gibson? Did Alvin Dark ruin Marichal? Let me know because those guys rode those guys for longer periods of time than Alston/Koufax. Simply put, it was THE era- 4 man rotations, NO middle men, NO closers. These guys gave their horses the ball & the expectation was a complete game.

    On Koufax vs. Kershaw, I’m with Brooklyn on that–it’s basically a dead debate. In the last 2 yrs Mike Trout has put up arguably THE 2 best years of any CF in history— so, are we ready to say he’s better than Mays? I would think not ………

  20. Badger says:

    ‘friddo comes out swinging! You tell ‘em mio gumba!

  21. Watford Dodger says:

    A point well made Friddo.
    Badger with you on either of Johnson or Arroyo.
    I’m hoping Ned’s got something up his sleeve. Maybe he’s waiting on Tanaka to see what happens there before persuing other targets. A lot of money has come off the payroll and I can’t see him not re spending it. Having thought about it, I really think Ellsbury would help us as we need a true lead off man but the problem is the log jam of centre fielders. Cano would be great but forget 10 years – $300M. No one will give him that. The management know we were near this year – a couple of major pieces & some luck could see us home. I’m sure they will do something.
    Mark – what you described with your step kids is the complete opposite of my situation. The real dad had little contact so I’ve tried to be his dad since he was 3. There has been a lot of resentment over the years until where we are now with a breakdown in our relationship. It is obviously a big factor in everyday life. With that & supporting The Dodgers no wonder I’ve gone grey.

  22. Bobbie17 says:

    I hope the comparisons keep coming. That will mean that Kershaw remains a Dodger and he keeps putting up Koufax-ish numbers. Maybe even a World Series or 2. Keep it up.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I’m guessing that the first order of business for the Dodgers is to see whether or not they win the bid and sign Tanaka. Once they have the answer to that one, they’ll have a much better idea of what exactly needs to follow.

    If they sign Tanaka, a decision then has to be made on whether to sign another starter, or allow Beckett and some of the kids compete for #5. Billingsley doesn’t become a factor until he returns, probably sometime near mid-season. And it’s even possible that he could fill a spot in the pen, which might be the best spot for him to get his act back together after TJ rehab.

    Josh Johnson and/or Bronson Arroyo? Maybe. I don’t know where Josh Johnson is right now, and whether or not anything can be expected of him. If the price is right, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to give him an opportunity to impress. Bronson Arroyo probably wants multiple years, and I’m not sure that’s something the Dodgers would be interested in. If he’s looking for Hudson money, I’m not sure that’s a very good idea. The biggest plus for Arroyo would be that he was getting out of the Great American Bandbox, with an opportunity to pitch more than half his games in the NL West. But because he’s done it before, I don’t think you can just necessarily wind him up and expect him to throw 200 innings. There comes a point when the spring just snaps. That could be in 2014, or further down the road. It the Dodgers sign Tanaka, I doubt if Arroyo becomes all that attractive.

    And of course, there’s the bullpen. If Tanaka is signed, for me, at that point, with respect to pitching, the bullpen becomes priority #1, and with that comes the signing of Wilson and Howell. If Tanaka is not signed, we still need the latter two pieces in the pen, and additional other means (free agency, trades, pitching from within) will be necessary to secure the # 4 and #5 spots in the rotation.

    As for the offense, it’s mostly health, and maybe a trade or two. And if Tanaka isn’t signed, improving the offense just might include Cano.

  24. Quasimodo says:

    Guess I’ve made my world pretty small. Just learned today that Lou Reed died a couple months ago.

  25. jerry says:

    michaek jackson …could only dance with his hand on his you no what …and never dance with a partner…so i dont count him as a dancer ..he was just a line dancer.fred and gene were dancer..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Johnson for 8 mil. Seems reasonable, IF he is healthy. He must believe he can do it. Hope he bests Az and the midgets a few times each.


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