It’s tough watching Clayton Kershaw struggle in the postseason.
Over the years, I haven’t been able to help but root for the guy and it’s a bummer he hasn’t been able to find postseason success and win a World Series ring.
If he doesn’t change that by the time his career is all said and done, that’s what the Dodgers’ ace will always be remembered for – putting up big numbers in the regular season but not being able to win it all.
He’ll be known as the Dan Marino of baseball, which sucks for both Kershaw and Marino.
Obviously people measure success based on championships and if Marino had won a Super Bowl or two, I have no doubt his name would be right in the discussions with best quarterbacks of all time but instead, he’s just the greatest quarterback to never win it all.
As of now, that’s where Kershaw is at in respect to his sport, and even though success of athletes is based on how many rings you win, I think there is a double standard. Why does the starting pitcher himself have so much pressure? He only plays once every four games or so, but yet, if his team loses, it’s somehow always his fault.
Granted, he (a starting pitcher in general, not just Kershaw) might have given up too many big hits but where are the fielders on defense? Where is the run support?
Baseball is a team sport and when a first baseman flies out to center field or a shortstop fails to field a groundball, those players are just as responsible for their team’s success.
It’s kind of a catch-22. When a player surpasses expectations, the bar will be raised for that player and expectations will always be high and sadly, anytime he’s unable to reach that bar, whatever he did is considered a failure.
I do wonder however, why it is that some of these athletes are able to be so dominant in the regular season but not the postseason.
Is it the pressure of the situation of being so close to winning it all? Or is it that some athletes prepare for every game like it’s the Super Bowl or Game 7 of the World Series where as their opponents treat a regular season game as a regular season game and when it comes time to play for that championship, the starting quarterback or pitcher can’t turn it up another notch because he’s already been playing at the highest level all along?
I’m not saying that’s what it is. I’m simply asking the question because it’s a mystery to me.
Regardless, I realize life isn’t fair so I’m not going to complain of the unfairness of some players having more pressure than others when it’s a team sport but I’m just pointing it out again and I do hope Kershaw will one day experience the thrill of winning the Commissioner’s Trophy.