It is far too early to talk about unmet expectations or busts. But in today’s iEverything universe you can never plan too far ahead. As a matter of fact, if the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t change the aura hovering over Chavez Ravine-and pretty quick-the ramifications could be Piazza-like.
Left handed ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw is one of those once in a decade players that comes up through the organization and gives everyone some hope to build their future around. Unfortunately, the whole world is watching as well, like vultures, and is ready to swoop in and feed off the slightest sign of a rotting carcass.
What causes this more than anything in today’s professional sports, is the homegrown player who rises to the pinnacle early yet his team fails to keep up and he is coaxed into leaving for a larger market for more money.
Beware Los Angeles. Either sign this guy and start winning or the vultures will be coming for Kershaw.
There is no larger market than L.A. There is not a more decorated MLB franchise than the Dodgers. There would be only one reason for leaving. Winning. If the Dodgers can’t prove this season or next that they are a franchise on the cusp of winning it all, then why stick around?
So much depends on how well the team responds to the early season pressure. Manager Don Mattingly called a team meeting after being swept at home by the San Diego Padres who haven’t been able to beat anyone but L.A. so far this year. Mattingly will be given the whole year to see what he can do with this high priced roster, but that may be it. Ownership could also do away with GM Ned Colletti since he was the one to convince them to start writing big checks.
With that type of uncertainty in the air, who could blame Kershaw for waiting it out to see if the Dodgers are really going in the right direction or if it’s just a bunch of money doing the talking?