Questioning Clayton Kershaw’s character is a sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about


You knew this was coming:

Commenters have told me that the lesser Skip Bayless-types on various talk radio shows are calling him “Clayton Manning” this morning. Clever.

I do a lot of sports talk radio. I’m usually the token baseball guy they go to for five minutes to interrupt their two-hour-plus block of football stuff. It’s very clear that, with a few exceptions, sports talk radio is both ignorant of and indifferent to baseball. It doesn’t have a week between games which more easily allows the yakkers to come up with imagined storylines and controversies. It is quantifiable enough to where the lingua franca of sports talk radio — questioning guys’ guts and character — carries less weight. It’s also a game where no one person has anything close the impact on a game that, say, a quarterback or a point guard does. Talking about strategy and probabilities and how some 25 people a game interact is not as sexy and visceral as asking whether Johnny Utah is “elite” is.

But God love ’em, the sports yakkers try. They only try when the story is big enough, of course, because it’s just baseball. They come out of the woodwork during the playoffs for this stuff and when they offer it they look ridiculous, like Skip does here. I don’t know if their listeners care. They probably don’t. It’s all a grand game of “hero or bum” for so many sports fans, and there’s little room in their heads, it seems, account for what actually goes on in a baseball game.

Thank goodness for Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette at Sirius/XM. Thank goodness for my pal Norm Wamer at The Ticket in Toledo. Thank goodness for the folks I talk to during my Wednesday morning radio tour across various cities. These are men and women who get and appreciate baseball and, I imagine, have had to fight hard to get smart talk about baseball on the air in anything other than a token role.

Too bad there are way, way more yakkers who try to reduce everything to some dumb lowest common denominator like that which we’re seeing here.

Mariners sign RHP reliever Trevor Gott to 1-year contract

trevor gott
Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have begun the process of bolstering their bullpen by signing right-hander Trevor Gott to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Gott appeared in 45 games last season with Milwaukee, going 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Gott had 44 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

Gott’s signing helps fill a void created when Erik Swanson was traded to Toronto as part of the deal that brought slugger Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle earlier this month. Gott has also pitched for San Francisco, Washington and the Los Angeles Angels.

Last season with the Brewers, Gott saw significant drops in batting average against and walk percentage, while raising his strikeout percentage.

Seattle also made a front office announcement Wednesday with the promotion of Andy McKay to assistant general manager. McKay has been with the club since 2015, when he was hired as the director of player development. McKay was promoted to senior director of baseball development in November 2021.

In his new role, McKay will oversee baseball development at all levels of the organization.