Friday, December 06, 2013

A Kershaw Interview is Airing Soon that You Should All Watch

With all of Dodger Blue Nation on the edge of their seats when it comes to the future of Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles, an upcoming interview with the staff ace by Graham Bensinger couldn't be any more timely.

Airing early Saturday morning on ABC (1:00 AM per this listing) and viewable on "Watch on Yahoo! Sports" thereafter, Clayton Kershaw sits with Bensinger at his home to discuss just about everything under the sun. BTW, with the magic of technology you should just set your DVR to record this show.  That way you can watch it first thing Saturday morning.

Per a press release:
From his home in Dallas, Texas, the young left hander shares the emotion of being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, just missing the 2013 World Series and the possibility of signing a record-setting $300 million contract. A man of strong Christian faith, Kershaw discusses his charity work in Africa where he and his wife, Ellen, help fund and develop an orphanage for the impoverished children of Zambia. Kershaw also shows off his skills in ping pong, dominating in a match against Bensinger. 
Check out a promo video of the interview below.

YouTube Link:

Heck, there are a bunch of other snippets from the interview available at Yahoo Sports right now.  Below are some additional links.
  • Link: With Kershaw’s contract ending after the 2014 season, the Dodgers are working to re-sign their star ace.  Bensinger asks: “How about the likelihood that you re-sign with the Dodgers?”  Kershaw responds: “I'm open to anything… I'm going to be in LA and I'm really looking forward to that…after that, I really don't know what's going to happen, we'll see.”  Bensinger continues: “It's been reported that (the) Dodgers offered you a 300-million dollar contract.”  Kershaw: “I can't even--can't even imagine what that would be like…I think a great magnitude of how much wealth you have is how many people you can help with that.”  Link:
  • Link: The Dodgers’ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 National League Championship Series was particularly difficult for Kershaw: “It was pretty tough…any time every season ends, it's no fun…when you’re--I mean, the reason why it ends, it's also not a great feeling.”  Bensinger asks how long it took to get over the loss.  Kershaw replies: “I don't know.  I'll let you know when I get there.”  Link
  • Link: Bensinger asks Kershaw how satisfying it is to win the Cy Young Award. Kershaw: “You never expect to win anything like that, you know, growing up you always think about trying to make it to the Big Leagues…it's really a huge honor.”  But he admits that winning the award was important to him: “To be associated, be a finalist is pretty cool in itself.  But once you get to that point obviously you want to win…So, you know, I guess there's a little bit of disappointment if you don't win.”  Link:
  • Link:  Kershaw recalls his Major League debut with the Dodgers and an embarrassing moment involving teammate Jason Schmidt: “I kind of just reach into the locker and grab what I thought was my Jersey and it happened--it happened to be his…So he told everybody in the clubhouse not to say anything… the national anthem starts…they pull up on my face and they go straight to the back and it says Schmidt 29 on it…I mean, the whole team was just cracking up.” 
  • Link:  Bensinger jokes with Kershaw about some of his pre-game rituals including the pop music he listens to before a game: “I asked some of your teammates and I heard it was, you know, in addition to BeyoncĂ©…. Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne.  Those are the--those are the go tunes. Kershaw fesses up: “They're all classics. They really are good songs.  Link
  • Link:  Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, head up the Kershaw’s Challenge charity, which helps impoverished African children in the country of Zambia. Kershaw recalls his first impression: “You understand that Africa is a third world country, but until you go over there and you see the living conditions of some of these people living in, it is--it touches you.” Ellen immediately formed a special bond with a particular little girl, Hope: “We started sponsoring her.  And, you know, we were--we were able to get her some food and some medication.  She's HIV positive and, you know, she just needed her meds.”  Link:
  • Link: And, Kershaw plays Graham in a friendly game of ping pong.  But when it appears that Kershaw is taking it easy on his opponent, he displays the same competitive spirit as when he is on the mound: “I don’t give points away, not even to a fourth grader. They gotta learn the hard way.”  Link:
This appears to be one of the more in-depth interviews Kershaw has ever given, and really provides some insight into what's on his mind.  He strikes me as super-competitive, thoughtful and savvy.  As for the contract negotiations with the Dodgers, something tells me he's in full control of whatever discussions are currently going on, and is playing it perfectly. 

Will he stay in Dodger Blue?  I hope so, and I think it's fair to say he'll favor the Dodgers, but he also knows their are other options out there for him, and he sees no reason for him not to explore them.  Fortunately, I didn't didn't get the impression that he was greedy, but I do believe he'll seek the richest deal possible; if only to have more funds to use for good works.

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