I was a reading a piece the other day about how some basketball teams are built to win in the regular season, but not the playoffs. Case-in-point: the Toronto Raptors, led by Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka. They shine in the regular season but cannot advance in the playoffs. Love or hate LeBron James, he steps up in the clutch. Of course Dodger Fans remember Kirk Gibson’s Home Run in 1988, but don’t forget the Dodgers Ace who had a postseason ERA of barely over 1.00. Orel Hershiser had 3 complete games and did not have a loss. Tim Leary and Alejandro Pena also both stepped up in that series, as the Dodgers held the powerful A’s offense to a .177 BA.
Sadly, my favorite Dodger, Clayton Kershaw is not the Ace you can win with. Not only does he not step up in the playoffs, he gets worse. I can’t spin this any other way. In the regular season his career ERA is 2.37, but in the playoffs, it balloons by 2.00 runs to 4.35! To win a World Series, in most cases, your Ace has to step up and deliver. Madison Bumgarner’s career ERA is 3.01, but in the playoffs, it is 2.11 and in three World Series, it is 0.25. That’s not a typo- 0.25! Love him or hate him, he has been spectacular on the biggest stage and that is why the Giants won 3 times in 5 years.
It pains me to write this, but the Dodgers will not win a World Series with Clayton Kershaw as their Ace. Over the last ten years, he has been the greatest pitcher in baseball, but he’s not the guy who can carry the team to a World Series Championship. I think the Dodger Brass know that and I think his teammates also know. It’s demoralizing! Do you see any demoralized players playing for the Dodgers. I see a bunch!
Just about everyone is blasting FAZ right now, but FAZ put the Dodgers in a position to win it all in 2017. The fact of the matter is Clayton Kershaw did not rise to the occasion, in fact he dropped to the occasion as usual. Yu Darvish literally imploded and may never be right again as it appears to have damaged his psyche irreparably. Kenley Jansen also failed to do his part. He failed to do what a superstar is supposed to do in the clutch… and maybe his 218 problems are also mental.
Clayton Kershaw is a very smart guy. So is Yu Darvish and Kenley Jansen and so is Josh Reddick. Do you know where I am going with this? Sometimes the smart ones overthink or over-analyze situations. If you talk to Madison Bumgarner you will realize he’s not a rocket scientist… maybe that’s something to consider. On MLB.Radio they were talking about Chris Archer to the Dodgers or Yankees and they likened him to Darvish – very smart and NO, he would not do well in either city. Their opinion…
FAZ was going to get under the Luxury Tax come hell or high water – I actually thought it would be in 2017, but they were all in to win in 2017. Maybe FAZ has come to the conclusion that the Dodgers will not win with Clayton Kershaw as their Ace, especially with his decline in pitch speed and injury. Maybe it is time to trade him… but maybe the time has passed. Maybe the return will not be great.
Maybe this team IS demoralized. Maybe they know that last year was their best chance and that with Seager out this year and Kershaw still the Ace, they have no chance. Oh, they can be good, but they can’t do it in the clutch because their Ace can’t. At age 30 and in obvious decline, is that suddenly going to change? Maybe the team knows that, feels that… and is demoralized. What else can it be? I see guys who are totally and completely demoralized. Maybe they know their best shot was in 2017 and their Ace, #2 and Closer blew it. It’s hard to recover from that.
I say: BLOW IT UP! The prospects are off limits. Bellinger and Seager are off limits as is Buehler. Kershaw, Jansen, Wood, Hill, Maeda, Ryu, Turner, Forsythe, Taylor, Grandal, Barnes, Puig, Pederson, Kike, Kemp and others are on the block. The farm is loaded… get it loaderer! BLOW THIS DAMN THING UP AND START OVER! This is not on FAZ. They have done an outstanding job – the players have to be changed. If they do it right, they will be back in 2020! I’m on board.
That could net them 7-9 TOP 5 Draft Picks – a lot of talent. Young talent.
Sorry Clayton – I still love you! Just calling it the way it is.