Whether you believe the Dodgers saved their 2022 season by pulling Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings on Wednesday or you believe that what Dave Roberts did is a slap in Nolan Ryan’s face, the fact remains: you HAVE an OPINION!
MLB’s legends certainly join you, average baseball fan, in that camp, and many of them vociferously reacted to Kershaw’s 80-pitch gem being abruptly halted so Alex Vesia could allow a line-drive single to Gary Sánchez, of all people. Gary Sánchez!
In addition to baseball’s elite checking in with their takes, the media landscape was littered with passionate responses to Roberts’ well-reasoned hook. Jeff Passan, whose job is to dip his toe into these kinds of things, was flabbergasted, while MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who was preoccupied earlier in the day, emerged from a news tunnel in disbelief.
Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson’s response to the Vesia move perhaps included the most caps of anyone’s, though he conveniently forgot that Roberts did, in fact, play the game once upon a decade ago.
MLB legends react to Dave Roberts pulling Clayton Kershaw
This got Reginald incensed — and, it’s worth remembering, he works for the Astros front office now, making him a double Dodgers enemy. If something the Dodgers did makes him this irate, maybe it was actually the correct call all along?
Former workhorse/stallion Jake Arrieta checked in, too, and his take was dripping with predictable bravado.
Looking an arm injury in the face, Arrieta countered with, “Roll the damn dice.”
In terms of Fun Factor, Arrieta’s certainly on the money.
But, again, the Dodgers do not and will never operate that way. This was the absolute worst possible time for Kershaw to have started so spectacularly. It is what it is.
Anyway, Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, your thoughts?
Graphic! But we get the message!
Perhaps an arm expert, like long-time instructor and former big-league pitcher Tom House, has a more well-reasoned take?
There’s an angle we hadn’t thought of yet. Maybe there’s an actual trickle-down to youth baseball?
Ah, who’re we kidding? Those people are monsters.
On the Yankees’ broadcast, Michael Kay prodded former ace David Cone in the booth, who was once in an extremely similar situation back in 1996. Cone was deep into a no-hit bid in his first start back from an aneurysm (!!!), and Joe Torre pulled him after seven, too.
Why? Because, if he’d tried the eighth and Cone breezed through it, he’d have no recourse but to leave him in for the ninth, too. By then, it might already be too late to save the arm, now 100 or so pitches deep.
Take it from former Dodger Brandon McCarthy, too, who took a break from Twitter goofing to endorse the hook.
As the Torre anecdote above proved, too, this wasn’t “new-school baseball”. This was just a truly unfortunate situation with a pitcher on the mend.
Of course, do any of those reacting really matter more than Kershaw’s own reaction?
The left-hander completely understood why he was removed, and the rest of us should likely acquiesce to his own wishes.
A moment in the sun for Kershaw (and for baseball, post-lockout) would’ve been nice, but the 34-year-old is already bound for Cooperstown.
There’s no way of knowing what Roberts’ hook prevented — or if it even prevented anything — but Kershaw and the Dodgers will sleep well knowing ball, no matter what Mr. October tweets.