Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw is hoping he can pitch off the Dodger Stadium mound if baseball returns this season.
Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has made his opinion known that he doesn’t want to play the 2020 season under quarantine away from his family. Even before California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the loosening of coronavirus-related restrictions, which would allow the Dodgers to play baseball in California this summer, Kershaw expressed optimism about playing at Dodger Stadium.
“I’m hoping to play,” said Kershaw in a video conference with NBC’s Access Hollywood. “I don’t know what that’s going to look like. I’m hoping we can play at Dodger Stadium as opposed to some of the other things that have been thrown out there. I miss it. I miss being there. I miss just driving to the field. I miss all of that stuff. So I hopefully we can get Dodger Stadium rolling in play.”
Of course, it won’t be the same playing in Dodger Stadium without the buzz of the crowd. But at least the familiar surroundings of Chavez Ravine will be a welcome site for players and fans watching on television. And perhaps conditions could change toward the end of the season that allows for some fans to attend games.
Dodger Stadium is currently in the middle of a major renovation project that will bring new “home run” seats just past the outfield walls, along with an entirely new centerfield plaza area, packed with entertainment and food amenities, as well as a kids play area.
Kershaw talked about the 2020 season with Dodgers fan Mario Lopez on Access Hollywood earlier this month.
Obviously, fans will have to wait to walk through the new centerfield entrance at Dodger Stadium, but it’s possible players could return to their home locker room as early as June or July.
Major League Baseball and the player’s union are currently jockeying over a proposed return-to-play plan, which includes intense health protocols and a new revenue system.
In a presentation to the players, MLB projected the Dodgers would lose $232 million this season if games are played in empty stadiums and the players don’t agree to take a 50/50 revenue split. The player’s union believes they already made pay concessions in an agreement in March that will pro-rate their salaries based on the number of games played this season.
Kershaw is coming off a 16-5 season with a 3.03 ERA. He is entering his 13th season with the Dodgers; his current contract runs through the 2021 season. As the 32-year-old progresses in age, the shutdown has taught him that he isn’t ready to retire anytime soon.