Every great team needs a great leader; A leader who sticks up for his teammates, leads by example, and never backs down from a challenge. There can be multiple players who are deemed leaders of a team, but one name tends to rise above the others.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, that person is Clayton Kershaw. Over the last few years, Kershaw has led the club on and off the field, and last season came to the defense of his teammates only to be ejected.
When asked who the clubhouse leader was in an interview with MLB Network Radio, manager Don Mattingly immediately went to Kershaw:
Well I think a number of guys, and we always start with Clayton. If you look at Clayton he’s everything you want as the face of your franchise, he’s a guy that competes every time, every day, off-days are compete days for him. He’s in the weight room, he’s on the bench the days he doesn’t pitch. If you’re going to look at somebody [to be our leader] it starts with Clayton.”
Kershaw has raised the bar with his performances over the last few seasons. He’s won three of the last four National League Cy Young Awards, and had an MVP year in 2014 after missing the first month of the season due to injury.
Kershaw finished the year with MLB-bests in wins, ERA and ERA+, among other categories. While he was unable to put the Dodgers on his back in the postseason, he’s accepted full responsibility for his failures and vowed to improve moving forward.
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