Clayton Kershaw and My Damaged Soul

Yesterday the U-T’s Dennis Lin reported the following information about Sunday’s Opener:

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from Sunday’s start against the Padres because of an inflamed back muscle.

The loss of the defending CY Young winner can be viewed by Padres fans in a multitude of ways but let’s start with these two basic visceral reactions:

1. Nooooooooooo!

  • A fantastic September 2013 start at Petco Park not withstanding, the Padres had some success against the NL’s best pitcher. Some fans want to see the Padres face Kershaw for this reason alone.
  • There’s always a chance that Kershaw’s performance could be sabotaged by explosive diarrhea. Some fans think diarrhea is funny. I’m one of them. However, I also respect the effectiveness of diarrhea on a starting pitcher’s performance. And I respect that it could happen again.

2. Yesssssssssssss!

  • He’s won two of the last three CY Young awards, finishing in 2nd place during his “off-year” – get him out of here!
  • Seriously, he’s so good at throwing a baseball, get him out of here!

I like to joke about Clayton Kershaw‘s infamous bout with diarrhea during an April 2012 start but the truth is that I want to see him out there. Not so much because I think the Padres can beat him or some sort of, “I want to see my team beat the best!” mantra, but because . . . well, I hate seeing humans derailed.

I don’t know if my humanity is seeping out as I age or if I’m just a shell-shocked Padres fan. Either of these propositions are distinct possibilities but let’s explore the latter. With so many injuries over the last couple of seasons Padres fans have good reason to feel battered. The elbows of guys named Cory Luebke, Rymer Liriano, Joe Wieland, Casey Kelly, and Josh Johnson have left me emotionally damaged. The knees of Carlos Quentin, Yasmani Grandal, Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley have provided scar tissue for my soul. Yonder Alonso‘s wrist. Everth Cabrera‘s hamate bones. Hamate bones! Plural!

Think about all the time lost by the players we call our own. This is to say nothing of the players around the league whose names along with specific injuries continue to appear on the ubiquitous crawl across the bottom of our televisions: Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Jarrod Parker, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, Patrick Corbin, Jurickson Profar, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Iglesias, and Skip Schumaker. Skip Schumaker, dammit!

That’s no fun at all. We’re deprived as baseball fans without these players in the game. Yes, even Skip Schumaker, who someone cares a great deal about. You don’t believe that there are people who care a great deal about Skip Schumaker? If you click the link in Skip Schumaker’s name above you’ll see that his Baseball-Reference page is sponsored by ElmsLadies, who left the following message:

We were there in Toronto for your first major league start and we’ve been rooting for you ever since. We wish you the best of luck in your big league career, Skippy.

How cool is that? And ElmsLadies is plural. There’s more than one lady who loves Skip Schumaker.

Perhaps more than the deprivation of extraordinary baseball players running through our lives is that there’s a grim realization presented when one of these athletes falls: man ages, man breaks, man dies.

Fuuuuuck, Clayton Kershaw! Look what you’ve done to me. I’m wallowing in a puddle of existential angst because of a tender upper back that you aggravated on a long trans-Pacific flight with Qantas airlines.

I’m sorry, it’s just that I don’t want to die. I want to see good baseball. I want to see Clayton Kershaw be excellent. And I want more than anything for the Padres to get the better of him. Perhaps next time.


I contribute to Padres Public when I’m vexed by what I perceive to be an inordinate number of injuries that give cause for me to question my own mortality. This is generally on Thursday mornings. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at

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  • VM David