Tim Brown of Yahoo! was the first one to get comments from Tom Schieffer following his appointment as the “Monitor” of the Dodgers’ organization. The former ambassador to Japan and Australia was asked about whether he’s up to the challenge of fixing the dysfunctional Dodgers:
“Oh, I’ve had some pretty difficult jobs before. Dealing with the North Koreans is generally a pretty tough day.”
I suppose it’s an open question as to whether the Dodgers’ kleptocracy or North Korea’s will be harder to fix.
One question that is also open, based on Schieffer’s comments, regards the future of Frank McCourt. I found this exchange pretty telling:
Asked if he believed the Dodgers could be restored with McCourt as the owner, Schieffer said he would not address particular issues.
“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “We’ll see what happens as we go forward. I do hope my experience in management can help there.”
In other words, don’t print your business cards in bulk, Frank.
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.