Clayton Kershaw sees risk in extending season to Thanksgiving

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are exploring every possible scenario for playing a large number of games in 2020 while taking precautions in response to the coronavirus.

Clayton Kershaw was supposed to be taking the hill on March 26 at Dodger Stadium for Opening Day against the hated San Francisco Giants. Instead, like everyone else around Los Angeles, he was stuck at home. He used some of his extra free time to appear as a guest on Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney, where he talked about the risks of playing deep into November.

Days before Tony Clark, head of the Players Association, told USA Today, “We would play as long as we possibly could,” Clayton Kershaw told Fred Roggin and Rodney Pete that he sees challenges in extending the season to the holidays.

“It gets a little risky the further you go in the season,” Kershaw told the AM 570 hosts. “You start talking about Thanksgiving and December for a World Series, that gets a little iffy in my opinion. I’m all for doubleheaders and playing as many games as we can.”

Kershaw disagreed a bit with Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro’s recent statement that it would take four weeks of Spring Training before pitchers would be ready to play meaningful games again. The three-time Cy Young award winner believes it would realistically take 20 days to get ramped up for the season. That would give pitchers four starts to build up their arm strength. He hopes that expanded rosters also give pitchers relief in filling out innings early in the season.

While Kershaw is open to creative ideas for making a schedule work during the 2020 calendar year, he is just uncertain if the best approach is to stretch the schedule all the way to November.

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Kershaw is one of the greatest performers in Opening Day history for the Dodgers. Whenever the season returns, it will be great to see the future Hall-of-Famer on the hill again.