Friday, May 13, 2016

Inept is what Billy Martin Called the Dodgers

These were fighting words.  No doubt! 

Featured above is an October 27, 1953 letter written by Dodgers President Walter O'Malley to Collinsville Herald columnist Elmer Hazzard that is currently available at Hunt Auctions (auction link here).  The Illinois reporter had sent along a story he had written focusing on Yankees infielder Billy Martin.  Below is what O'Malley wrote:
Thank you for sending along a copy of your column on Billy Martin.  We here in Brooklyn do not think that the Dodgers are as inept as Martin claims.
Ouch!  Billy was slinging some mud.

Kershaw Receives his Second 2016 Topps Now Card - #71

You just knew this was going to happen.

Clayton Kershaw was otherworldly last night.  He yielded three hits, struck out thirteen batters and walked just one in a complete game shutout against the Mets, and in the process set a MLB record that hadn't been accomplished since at least 1913.  As the newest Kershaw 2016 Topps Now card says on its reverse, he is "the first pitcher to ever record double-digit strikeouts with one walk or less over five consecutive starts."


And there are folks out there who actually claim that Jake Arrieta is better right now... Really?

Featured here is the second Clayton Kershaw 2016 Topps Now card of the season, and it is currently available for order.  Go here to check that out.  His first card, issued less than two weeks ago (link here), sold only 453 copies.  I wonder if this card will outdo that one, 'cause he certainly outdid himself last night.

UPDATE:  This issue consist of a print run of 694 copies.

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Blog Kiosk: 5/13/2016 - Dodgers Links - All About Clayton Kershaw


Clayton Kershaw not only warms up then studies the lineup for an upcoming game, but he also takes a moment to sit in the dugout, look out onto the field and mentally prepare for the job to come.  In the photo above, via a tweet by the @Dodgers, he is shown taking some time before the game to get his mind in the right place.  He's the best there is, and his physical and mental routine are the foundation for his excellence. 

Last nights performance is an example of the outcome we've come to expect from Kershaw.  Per Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“I don’t know how to explain it other than walking guys is how you get in trouble. For me, I’d rather have them string hits together and make them swing the bats to beat me. That’s just always my mentality.
So how good has he been?  According to MLB on twitter, Clayton is the first pitcher since 1913 to record five straight starts with ten or more strike outs and one or fewer walks.  In fact, in eight starts and 62 innings pitched he has walked only four batters.  FOUR!  It's a feat so remarkable that August Fagerstrom at FanGraphs took some time to write about each of those walks here.
Clayton Kershaw’s been nearly perfect this year. The pitcher who was already thought to be just about perfect before any of this is running a career-best ERA, a career-best FIP, and a career-best xFIP through eight starts, and he’s shaved his already-elite walk rate more than every pitcher in baseball except for one. He’s unthinkably walked just four batters out of 225, and a closer look into those walks reveals one walk that featured two borderline strikes and a check swing, another with the season’s worst-called ball plus another missed call, another with a borderline 0-1 call that could’ve swung the count, and a really good at-bat by David Wright with a couple bad misses by Kershaw.
BTW, you can go here to check out more pics from yesterdays game from Jon SooHoo here, and listen to him talk about his performance with Alanna Rizzo here.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: Today was supposedly the day in 1947 when Pee Wee Reese put his arm around Jackie Robinson as a sign of solidarity at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.  Of course, we now know this incident never happened.
  • Happy Birthday, Johnny Roseboro and John Ely!