Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, receiving 18 first-place votes. He is the first pitcher to win the NL MVP and the Cy Young award in the same season since Bob Gibson in 1968. He joins Sandy Koufax and Don Newcombe as Dodgers to have won both awards in the same season, and is the first Dodger to win the MVP since Kirk Gibson in 1988.
Kershaw, 26, led the league in ERA for the fourth consecutive season, but his 2014 campaign was arguably the best of his career. He finished with a 1.77 ERA and a 239/31 K/BB ratio in 198 1/3 innings, helping lead the Dodgers to another NL West title.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton finished in second place and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen finished in third place. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, teammate of Kershaw, finished seventh while Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon received down-ballot votes.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.