I feel a little nervous putting this out there without getting confirmation from two independent sources and running this by a team of editors, but Don Mattingly said this morning that Clayton Kershaw was going to be the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter.
We’ll have some thinkpieces and news analysis from experts on this development as the day unfolds. Until we do, maybe Vox has a news explainer on this which can help us all process it.
This is fun. Red Sox scout Gary Hughes lives in a town just outside of Santa Cruz, which is Giants country. The priest at his church decided to rib him over the Sox signing Pablo Sandoval away from the Giants and got the whole congregation to boo him.
I like this story for two reasons. One being that it’s a reminder that, even though baseball has long since died, we occasionally see signs that people actually care enough about it to have the occasional, fleeting feeling. Also: because it’s a reminder that, unlike the case a century or two ago, a church congregation/townspeople can be turned on someone without torches and pitchforks being brought out.
Or maybe that’s sad. A good old rampage of the townspeople can be a lot of fun.
Here’s a make-you-feel-better-about-this-cold-and-crappy-world story. It’s from Jason Beck of MLB.com. It’s about Wynton Bernard, Tigers farmhand. Who, after he was released from the Padres organization and couldn’t latch on anyplace, made his way into the Tigers organization via the Tigers’ annual tryout camp:
In many ways, the tryout is the opposite of the game. A player is taught to ride the daily ups and downs and trust the results of a season. In a tryout, it’s one player against the guy next to him, and a bad at-bat, a bad play, sends a guy home . . .
“. . . There was one point where one of the guys told us, ‘It’s OK. You guys can go home.’ So I packed my bag. And I think it was Dave Owen who said, ‘No, we want you to stay.'”
Bernard went on to hit .323 with 30 doubles, six homers, 47 RBIs and 45 stolen bases, earning Midwest League MVP honors last season with the West Michigan Whitecaps. The odds he makes the bigs? Long, most likely. But the fact that he has made the best of a bad situation and made it back into a major league organization in as improbable a manner as he did is something he’ll always have with him.
The Tigers will have another tryout camp on March 9. Maybe someone else will use it to hold on to their dream a bit longer.