Wednesday, August 24, 2011
You're forgiven, Clayton
Clayton Kershaw won his 16th game tonight. He wasn't in dominating form, but he's already one of those guys who doesn't have to be to get results. He's won 14 of his last 16 games, leads the league in wins, strikeouts, and opponent's batting average, and is third in ERA.
Aside from Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander, I don't think there's another starter in the majors who inspires confidence like Kershaw. And don't forget, he plays for a team that sucks. He inspires confidence on a team that sucks. And he's 23. Now that is worth noting.
But I came across something a couple of days ago that I found unsettling about Kershaw. I didn't like it when I heard it. If he was a lesser pitcher or a lesser person, it might cause me to bestow favorite player status on a different Dodger.
Kershaw was a Will Clark fan growing up.
That's why he wears the No. 22.
Oh, yuck, yuck, YUCK. Get it off me! Get it OFF me!!
As you know, I don't like Will Clark at all. He was a cocky, arrogant son of a gun with the Giants during the late '80s. I wanted someone to drill him right in his cursing, scowling mug. The guy had an attitude, was loud and had this annoying, shrill, squealing voice.
Yeah, don't like him.
But I have to remember that a lot of younger kids -- younger Texan kids -- came to Will Clark after his Giants days. They were too young to know about the ugliness. Between 1994-98, Clark played for the Texas Rangers. Kershaw, from Dallas, was between the ages of 6 and 10 from 1994-98. That's very impressionable baseball territory right there. You form your baseball allegiances between 6-10 years old.
So, Kershaw rooted for the Rangers and saw Clark's talent and that was it. Clark was his favorite player.
I guess I can deal with that. I didn't find Clark nearly as annoying once he arrived in Texas. Besides, Matt Williams was always the most irritating one on those Giants teams then. It just took a little time for me to realize it.
Still, I know Kershaw's a little sheepish about the whole thing (he seems so garsh durn sheepish about everything), probably because Clark is now working in the Giants organization.
Kershaw's absolute dominance against the Giants -- he hasn't allowed an earned run against them in more than 23 innings and has held them to a .175 batting average through his career -- makes this easier to take. Much easier to take.
Perhaps someday, there will be a Giants pitcher who wears 22 because his favorite player was Kershaw. The Giants player will be a fine, upstanding young man, even as he pitches in pumpkin orange.
Anyway, I thought I'd display the Gypsy Queen green framed paper card of Kershaw sent to me by potch at the newly named Indianaland blog on the occasion of the latest Kershaw success.
It's part of two separate mailings of cards he sent to me (I still have to send out my second mailing to him).
Here are some of the other cards he sent:
As well as I do obtaining the diamond cut cards on the Diamond Giveaway, I do terrible pulling these cards. I barely know what they're called. I think I've pulled only one of these between the Target and Walmart versions. It's snazzy and cheap-looking all at the same time.
This Robinson pose has been used a few times. But I don't remember seeing the background before and I'm wondering if it was really there at the time of the pose. I see the date 1946 in the background. Robinson didn't hit the big leagues until 1947. Hmmmmm.
My first 2011 Bowman Platinum card. I avoid this product because it makes me feel dumb, and because last year's version was horrible. The cards do look better but not THIS better. If they were all this color blue, you wouldn't hear a thing about Allen & Ginter from me.
I encouraged potch to send me his "junk wax" Dodgers because you never know if you'll find something you need. I found something. The 1993 Donruss Dodger team set is one of the difficult ones for me. This card gets me down to three more.
I don't consider any of these "junk." Especially something stamped with "Premium Stock." That's just good mid-90s insanity right there.
In the mid-90s, card companies were covering everything in gold and little Clayton Kershaw was rooting for Will Clark.
It's all good.
Because Kershaw's going to win the Cy Young Award. All is forgiven.
Well, except that there's this matter about him rooting for the Cowboys ...