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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Yu Darvish Legacies Discussed by LA Times

All three men had their legacies impacted by the cheating scandals.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he leaves the game after giving up back to back home runs in the eighth inning of game five of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw has a history of ‘choking’ in the playoffs. It is an undeniable fact at this point in time. We can support him for his body of work, but we cannot defend his consistent poor performance, most recently in the 2019 NLDS. Kenley Jansen has had a better history than Kershaw, but has had his fair share of faltering. Yu Darvish, only a Dodger for half a season, fit the bill that the rest of the team did.

With all of this in mind, can we excuse them for their performance, or lack thereof, in the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros now that we know the Astros are guilty cheaters? The answer is yes. Yes, we can.

In a recent column for the Los Angeles Times, Dylan Hernandez analyzed how the legacies of each man was impacted by the cheating scandal produced by the Houston Astros.

Yu Darvish

The primary thing to analyze when it comes to Yu Darvish is that he was downright un-hittable in the playoffs prior to the World Series. He was absolutely dominant and the trade for him looked to be one of Friedman’s best moves as the president of baseball operations for the Dodgers and honestly, in his career. But then, the Dodgers met the Houston Astros in the playoffs. They cheated and did so in the lowest of fashions. Darvish was blown to smithereens in the series and now we know why — or at least have a big chunk of the reason. He came back in 2018 and pitched poorly for the Chicago Cubs, but he has returned to prominence after a stellar 2019 performance. Maybe, that pitcher was in him the whole time….maybe it was actually there in 2017, but it was stripped from him by Houston. Maybe…

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has the most extensive history with choking for any major athlete in recent memory. He might not just be the biggest choke artist in baseball history — American sports history, possibly. However, he can be excused for his blowing of two separate Game 5 leads in 2017. He was at the top of his game and once again, it was stripped from his legacy — a potential World Series win on his resume….gone.

Kenley Jansen

Marwin Gonzalez knew what was coming in 2017. Jansen was at the top of his game and was arguably in the midst of a top-five relief performance for the Dodgers in his prime. It was stripped from him, as well. Another long-tenured Dodger who was stripped of a World Series title on his resume.

Overall

There are obviously more Dodgers who were impacted by the Houston Astros. There is a chance that Justin Turner never wins a World Series in Los Angeles. Brandon Morrow and Kenta Maeda put together brilliant bullpen performances and they were…erased. What seemed to be an invincible 2017 Dodgers juggernaut was unlawfully destroyed. We can’t go back. Major League Baseball decided against it. However, we can always re-write the history books to paint the Astros in a bad light and try our best to salvage the reputations and legacies of our Boys in Blue as fans.

Dodgers Podcast: Astros Punishment Reactions, Kershaw and Roberts Legacies and More

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

9 Comments

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  1. It’s too much to handle. I’m withdrawing. I’m done. Baseball is a joke. If they ever win one I’ll be there to see it but it probably won’t be the guys we always wanted to see win it

  2. That dirty rat Alex Cora, had us fighting against each other, said things I honestly felt at time, degrading the team I love, the beauty of the sport with the strategies in the game tampered with to win is crazy. Proven, with out a doubt but Alex Cora was given a 2nd chance, Life put everything in place for him to to make things right the next year and did the same thing. No shame in his game at all.

  3. Write less Daniel. It will give you more time to research your articles. Your take on Kershaw’s postseason continues to be thoroughly unexamined and frankly arrogant. What exactly is a “Choke Artist” anyway? How did you come to the conclusion that CK is the worst ever? Remember, it’s a team sport. So tell us, why is CK “possibly the biggest choke artist in baseball history”. So far all you’ve done is make this same claim over and over with a handy side note that it’s ok to admit Kershaw chokes in the playoffs. Why you say? Because “It is an undeniable fact at this point in time.” Really? Why Daniel? What is your argument? Where is the analysis? Write less, think more Daniel. Tell us exactly why you believe Kershaw is “possibly the biggest choke artist in baseball history”. Nobody I talk with regularly about baseball, the Dodgers and Kershaw gives this narrative the time of day. You know why? Because we love baseball and we watch and evaluate the whole game. We are not waiting around for one guy to save us. We know it takes most guys’ best performance to win in the PS. That includes in game decision making. And, we don’t get paid to drum up the drama at the athletes’ expense. We did not win in 2013-2016 because we were not a good enough team to win. Players and management. That is your narrative. Work backward from there. The Kershaw narrative dates back to 2013. What happened in 2017 was just another media feeding frenzy at his expense. And now there are a few tails between legs, crying foul and claiming “it was never personal”. Your buddy Max Kellerman was all over CK before game 5 was ever played. Max has had a lot to say about Kershaw over the years. It’s been a pretty good gig for him. This ESPN “analysts’” net worth? 7 million. Banging on guys who actually play the game is good money. Is this who you want to be Daniel?

    • I think having the highest ERA in post season history (10plus games) might qualify as biggest choke artist in history. What do you think?

      • Nope. Look deeper. You, like everyone else are just scratching the surface. In 15 of CK’s 25 playoff starts he has allowed 3 or fewer runs. The team is 10-1 in games when he has allowed 2 or fewer runs but only 1-3 when allowing 3 runs. Kershaw has been asked to cover for the deficiencies of the team for years. You can keep banging on the one guy if you want. I will not.

  4. I agree that more analysis is needed in these articles to make their case. And more development of the story( what next, how does it affect xyz, explain the rule involved, get some quotes). Some of these articles read like the first draft of an outline that hasn’t had the nuts and bolts filled in.

  5. Daniel,

    Your label of the greatest player and person of his era in baseball is disgusting to me and insulting to Kershaw.

    What Barry wrote above – first comment – is great. Just add the word “dirty” before joke to describe baseball.

  6. I knew something was fishy. Yu Darvish was pitching well and he just chocked. Now I know the rest of the story. Baseball needs to fix this. This is up there with the Steroid Era. Play hard and play fair. Houston and Boston should be ashamed

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