ESPN’s Howard Bryant has a fascinating feature today on the “emotional maelsrom” that has been David Oritz’s last couple of years with the Boston Red Sox.
There’s some arguably poor behavior on Ortiz’s part mentioned in there — he allegedly left the ballpark early back in April after being pinch hit for, he “raged” that the team-owned NESN ran a “who should be the DH” poll during a telecast earlier this month and he has seemingly forgotten just how loyal the team was to him back when the PED stuff came out last year — but overall, I think, it paints a pretty nuanced portrait of a guy who (a) is used to excelling; but (b) is clearly not anymore.
There’s this tendency to portray Ortiz as either a happy-go-lucky gentle giant or a slumping grouch. The answer is that, like most of us, he can be both of those things.
Worth a read, that’s for sure.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.