He doesn’t put those two words together, but Joel Sherman calls Girardi “paranoid” — twice — and calls him “deceitful,” “misleading” and says that he’s less-than-candid.
There’s nothing wrong with writing a column pointing out the professional faults of the local manager following a tough playoff loss, but am I wrong in thinking that if you’re going to go after the guy’s integrity and flatly call him a liar, you need to put some evidence on the table? Because there’s none here. Some have suggested that Girardi was less than forthcoming about Mariano Rivera’s health during the series (I can’t seem to find a story about that, but if anyone has it, I’d like to see it), but even if that was the case, why on Earth is it a bad thing for Girardi to make the world think that Mo was as strong as ever? Isn’t it possible that Ron Washington manages differently if he thinks that Rivera isn’t available? Perhaps he takes more risks in the seventh or eighth inning of a close game than he otherwise might have?
Regardless, Sherman’s takedown seems way more like the airing of a media grudge against Girardi than a cogent analysis of his managerial ability. Which, of course, is nothing new for Sherman, but still.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.