Clayton Kershaw, a bonafide Hall of Famer, in his first start of 2022, had thrown 80 pitches through 7 innings. And he was perfect. With it being this early in the year, and Kershaw having a short spring, Dave Roberts decided to pull Kershaw during what could have been his greatest game ever pitched. The second batter that Clayton’s relief pitcher saw hit a single.
Clayton Kershaw is a world series champion, a Cy Young Winner, an MVP, and has a no-hitter to his name. The last stop on his way to the Hall was a perfect game, and Dave Roberts didn’t let him have that chance. We could have seen the 24th EVER perfecto today, but all we’ll have to talk about is what if. Kershaw’s individual achievement was ripped out of his hands, and there will likely be an analytics or precaution excuse as to why he was pulled…which leads me to my next point!
There is a problem with Major League Basebal. It seems as though other sports are far and above more popular, both from a social media standpoint as well as star power. Opening Day, one of the best sports days of the year, felt like a dog days of Summer baseball gameday. Not counting the two games on MLB TV for Thursday’s opening day, the only nationally televised game was the Angels and Astros, played at 9:30pm eastern time, on ESPN 2. This game featured 3 of the best players in the league, and it was aired on ESPN 2. Jose Altuve, confirmed cheater and a shining example to people under 5’7″ everywhere, Mike Trout, the most talented hitter of our time, likely the least recognizable sports icon out there, and Shohei Ohtani, who is Babe Ruth (if he ever existed) reincarnate, a man who hits 100mph and 500 foot towering bombs with ease, was relegated to a 10pm slot on a secondary sports channel on the biggest regular season baseball day of the year. Between that, and the past few years of restricting baseball clips on social media, Rob Manfred seems as though he is hell bent on keeping baseball from being popular, and it begins with letting the players show out. Let them toss bats, let them celebrate, to hell with the unwritten rules, air them on primetime national tv, quit trying to change rules like banning shifts, and let them FINISH THE CHANCE FOR A PERFECT GAME.