Over at ESPN Chicago there’s a big story up titled “Report: Prince Fielder Open to Cubs?”
Setting aside the notion that a question — “Prince Fielder Open to the Cubs?” — is not a “report,” is it not the case that Prince Fielder not ruling out a potential team in his upcoming free agency is not news?
News would be if a soon-to-be free agent said “Though I will be a free agent and thus truly free to join any team of my liking that is likewise interested in my services at a fair rate, I must announce now that I will not be considering the Chicago Cubs, for they offend my sensibilities.”
A guy, when asked, saying that he will not rule out a team is simply being sensible and/or polite to the reporter.
But hey: ESPN got a “report” out of it, and that’s worth some page views.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.