Given the recent concerns about Clayton Kershaw’s aching shoulder, speculation about his future in Major League Baseball (MLB) has surged. Kershaw, the left-handed pitching sensation, is on the cusp of completing yet another one-year contract with the Dodgers, entering another offseason filled with ambiguity.
Unsure of what lies ahead, the future Hall of Famer remains unwilling, or perhaps unprepared, to confirm whether his upcoming start against the Giants at Dodger Stadium could potentially mark his last appearance in the regular season. Instead, he chooses to take it day by day, a mantra he has adhered to over the past few seasons.
If, indeed, this chapter signifies the end of the road for the MLB legend, fate has seemingly conspired to create a poetic conclusion, given the historic rivalry between Kershaw’s Dodgers and the Giants.
“I don’t know. I really don’t,” Kershaw said about whether Saturday would be his final regular season start at Dodger Stadium. “There’s so many variables. I understand people asking. I totally get that. But I also feel uncomfortable. I don’t want the attention to be on me. If I had an answer, I would tell them. I don’t know yet. I really don’t.
“I wish I did know so I could be, ‘This is it. It’s going to be great.’ But I just don’t. I have no idea. So I’ll enjoy it as best I can. But at the same time – it would be one thing if we weren’t playing for anything, you know what I mean, and October was done. But I’m trying to work on stuff. I’m trying to get ready for October like we all are. If I knew this was my last regular-season start at Dodger Stadium, I would probably be sentimental more. But I just don’t have that right now.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Clayton Kershaw has experienced some of his most extraordinary moments while facing the Giants—a team he has consistently dominated. Since 2008, Kershaw has maintained a remarkable 2.02 ERA over 383 innings, spanning 55 starts and two relief appearances against this arch-nemesis. Even though he may not be performing at peak physical condition presently, Kershaw has expressed his determination to continue pitching, persevering through the discomfort in his shoulder, as long as he possibly can throughout the postseason.
In his recent outing on the road in Seattle, where the Dodgers clinched the 2023 NL West crown, Kershaw’s actions spoke volumes. Despite his physical struggles, he displayed leadership by urging his rookie teammates to savor the moment. These gestures could serve as subtle indications of an impending retirement.
“You always think about last homestand, last playoffs, all that,” he acknowledged. “But I came to peace with it a long time ago.”
Should this indeed be the final stretch of Kershaw’s remarkable journey, even if he refrains from acknowledging it himself, it is impossible to deny the impact he has had on the world of baseball. As he inches closer to his eventual induction into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, Clayton Kershaw’s legacy remains an enduring testament to his skill, determination, and unwavering commitment to the game he loves.
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