The marquee storyline in Wednesday’s spring training action was Clayton Kershaw facing off against Japanese rookie sensation Shohehi Ohtani. The Los Angeles Times ran a story to add a bit of spice to the rivalry in detailing the Dodgers’ failed pursuit of Ohtani. It was interesting to learn that the Dodgers used Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Kershaw in their efforts to lure the free agent. Before the fireworks of the encounter went off, Kershaw seemed a little salty regarding the whole situation.
Clayton Kershaw took a flight in from Dallas on the day of his wedding anniversary. Justin Turner escaped the frenzy of planning his own wedding to join. Chris Taylor hopped an early-morning jet from Virginia Beach. The players huddled with members of their front office for a singular purpose: to convince Shohei Ohtani to become a Dodger.
For about three hours, according to people who attended the meeting, Dodgers representatives tried to persuade Ohtani. They hyped the organization’s past and future. They vouched for the comfort of Los Angeles. They searched for hints about his intentions, but the players found his answers inscrutable. It seemed like Ohtani had already made up his mind.
“Just a gigantic waste of time,” Kershaw said.
Ohtani would learn a lesson in his first meeting with Kershaw. You don’t make Clayton Kershaw miss his wedding anniversary only to snub his team. Do not answer Kershaw in an inscrutable manner. It is also very bad to make Clayton Kershaw miss his wedding anniversary. Very bad.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Shohei Ohtani, Round 1:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 7, 2018
This came after Kershaw fell behind Ohtani with two balls and no strikes. Kershaw then threw a few fastballs that Ohtani was able to foul off. And then, the 12-6 curveball had it’s way with the rookie.
“I [couldn’t] care less now,” Kershaw told reporters Wednesday when asked about facing Ohtani. “He didn’t pick us. Good luck to him.”
Obviously, Kershaw feels like Ohtani didn’t give the Dodgers a fair shake. He unleashed his frustrations in the best way possible. This sets the stage for a nice little future rivalry within the Golden State. Ohtani may go on to become superstar – but on one day in time – Clayton Kershaw made him look like a confused little leaguer.
Kershaw tossed three scoreless innings and the Dodgers won the game 4-2.
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