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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Provides His Perspective On Showboating in Baseball

The Dodgers southpaw isn’t a big fan of putting theatrics and individual performance ahead of the team.



There’s been plenty of discussions across baseball about players showboating and celebrating on the field this year. League veterans and older baseball fans feel there’s no place for it. However, the up-and-coming generation of players believe that playing the game with emotion is beneficial for a league that’s losing fans fasters than it’s gaining them.

Count Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as part of the old guard.

Kershaw provided his stance on showboating during a brief interview with AM570’s David Vassegh this week.

“I think guys expressing their personality is great. I’m all for that. But I just think there’s a line we don’t need to cross. Celebrating, things like that. It’s not even showing up the other team, I think that you’re bringing attention to yourself. This game is not a one man game.”

He continued by mentioned three specific players who, in Kershaw’s opinion, play the game the right way. 

“It’s the guys who play like they’ve done it before and they’ve always done it. Like the Chris Taylors of the world, the Mike Trouts of the world. The Justin Uptons of the world. These guys that just go about it and you go watch them play because they play really well.”

Notably, he feels like those are the type of players he would prefer his young son Charley learning the game from.

Kershaw on Talent, Not Theatrics, Coming First

As one of the best to ever do it and a 14-year veteran, Kershaw asserted that talent and performance should be paramount, not celebrating.

“I don’t want it to be a theatrical thing, I don’t want it to be an entertainment thing, I want people [fans] to come because guys are really good at what they do and they do it the right way.”

Sensing his rigid viewpoint might not be well received in some circles, Kershaw offered an olive branch.

“It’s one man’s opinion.”

Finally, Kershaw reiterated that the youth movement is “great” for baseball. He would just prefer that everyone played the game like a professional.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. There’s guys who show a lot of emotions while at the same time not showing up the opponent. While others can’t do it in a proper way, the Padres seem to be a team that just can’t find a balance, they’re a very dooshy looking team. Sometimes the theatrics feel forced like they’re doing it for entertainment like Kershaw says, they may be pumped but not that pumped

  2. I’m from a time when the quality of your play, spoke for itself. When you made a great play, other people would let you know, fans, your teammates, maybe even players from the opposing team. You didn’t need to draw attention to yourself.

  3. I was taught to respect the game and your opponent and play the game the right way through playing hard and playing smart. Baseball is a game of the strong minds against each other’s thinking. Showboating, showing up your opponent, and taunting exhibits an insecure person w/ doubts in his abilities. The strong confident player knows that what comes around will go around w/ more rewards. However, I see no harm celebrating w/ teammates w/in your own confines together, after all foremost it is a team game. Just think of the HOF’ers how they played the game. Baseball can still be a fun game if you know how to play it and understand the mind games.

  4. There’s a time and a place for emotion. Hit a walk off home run to win a game? Sure. Hit a go ahead double in the 8th inning when you’ve been down all game? Yes, but not as much. A 2 out, no one on single to left? Nah.

  5. I think it was Tim Wallach that used to wear a T shirt under his uniform that said, “Shutup and Play.” That’s old school. To be honest though I don’t mind guys showing some emotion on the field, it’s kind of refreshing. Plus the way they play the game now is kinda boring. The game needs some excitement. Just don’t direct it at opposing team.

  6. The way the game is now officiated has encouraged the type of behavior you see now. It used to be players didn’t show up their opponent because they knew that if they did, the next time they came to the plate, they would get a fastball in the mouth. The players policed themselves. Now, the umpires police the game and most of them are completely clueless. I don’t care how many times I hear some talking head tell me what a great guy Tatis Jr. is, his antics and the antics of the rest of the new generation of showboaters is a stain on the greatest game ever invented. I’d love to see what Bob Gibson would do if Tatis did his little dance around the bases after a home run.

  7. Everyone here sounds like a bunch of stodgy, old, grumpy (and probably white) grandpas who can’t stand any change in their life. It’s a game. What other sport has so many babies whining about “playing the right way?” You all must be miserable to play games with…not allowed to crack a smile if you throw down a high scoring word in scrabble. Sheesh. And not to mention the racial aspect…many other cultures generally show more emotion. It’s always the white players complaining about this. Get over yourselves. I love you Kersh, but you too…and let your son have some fun playing ball for crying out loud.

  8. There are a few HOFers who show-boated, but very few. Koufax, Hershiser and Kershaw have rarely been anything but humble. Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were also all class.

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