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The bowler dealt with a nagging arm injury last year – which ultimately caused him to miss playoffs and score the fewest rounds he’s played in any full season since he was a rookie. In the winter, he needed to reconfigure his off-season program for additional treatment and rest, and when he was able to start exercising again, there was no organized opportunity for him to do so: the shutdown meant that spring training had to be pushed back and then clipped. He didn’t have a chance to fully expand by opening day. Now, a week into his first season, he’s deal. But he just finished seventh inning at 80 shots — more than he’s bowled so far at any time this spring.
You are his manager. what do you work?
The decision may seem obvious: You pull it off. Of course you pull it off! It is not prolonged and out of injury. It’s only April, and that’s what it means to play the long game. Your team wins, 3-0 when the bowler finished the seventh game and 6-0 when he would have come back for the eighth game, and that makes the call more clear. This is just a practical thing to do. It’s not about analytics, efficiency, or justification for the existence of stuffed bulls. It’s not really about modern baseball, or how the game is played nowadays, or any of the big existential questions that revolve around the sport. It’s just about what to do with a guy who hasn’t yet had a chance to increase his workload on a Wednesday afternoon in April. The bowler only went five rounds at most in the spring, and today he has gone seven times, which is a notable stretch. So: you pull it off.
Which is, again, a decision that may seem obvious, unless there is some sort of unbridled historical caveat. Like, say, if he’s in the middle of a perfect game where he hits 13. So? we will. It wasn’t clear then.
But this is where Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers Captain Dave Roberts found themselves against the twins on Wednesday. After seven rounds, Kershaw was perfect. At 80 pitches, he threw more than he ever did this spring, but less of anything that would have jumped as a clear break point. It doesn’t look like he’s lost his power much. And so in a career that already included just about everything—three Sea Youngs, best player, world championships—there was a chance for the greatest of his generation to clinch probably the greatest singles achievement of a bowler. He looked as good as ever: not only was this old Kershaw, but the dazzling Kershaw, perfect Kershaw. I hit 13! Not only was it a chance to get a perfect game, it was one of the best in modern history.
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And, of course, Kershaw did not have a chance to finish it. The decision to withdraw him after seven rounds made sense in terms of health. That made sense in terms of workload, shortened spring and what it means to think ahead for the rest of the season. However, that didn’t make it any less dangerous: there is no room for meaning in a perfect game. When is perfection ever made? feeling? In the 233,345 Major League games played before Wednesday, 23 were perfect, a disparate small group that includes both bowlers born to be remembered and who would otherwise be forgotten. It makes no sense to try to tie them all together. Great performance should be governed by some kind of logic. But the perfect One? This is governed by kismet. There is no place for meaning here.
However, the Dodgers went with common sense Wednesday. Because they are Dodgers – an organization that has made an art of analytical decision-making, a manager Previously He was the only one who pulled a bowler with a perfect game after seven rounds, a fitting illustration of many of the biggest trends in modern baseball—it was easy for the decision to feel emblematic of something else. But it was just what made sense. They put dilute Alex Vesia on the hill to start the eighth; He quickly ditched one song, afternoon ditched the damned odd phrase “perfect joint game”, and went on to Los Angeles to beat Minnesota, 7-0. There were no signs of alarm from Kershaw. He didn’t seem frustrated in the dugout, after which he said all the right things.
“It’s going to be special,” he said of a perfect match. “But at the end of the day, it’s individual things. These are selfish goals, and we’re trying to win. That’s really all we’re here for. As much as I’ve wanted to do, I’ve thrown 75 throws in a sim, and I haven’t played in six rounds, Not to mention seven. Sure, I’d love to do that. But maybe I’ll get another chance.”
Turn the answer to the word selfishness. It was the kind of humble, team-based rhetoric that reporters have heard so often over the past decade from Kershaw. (He later said he wished he could have done it only for his hunter, Austin Barnes, realizing what it would have meant to him.) But he was somewhat curious here. Perfection may be individual, yes, but does that necessarily make it selfishness? And what might it be reflected when everyone else turned on – everyone watches, hopes, dreams? Was it selfish to want to see an opportunity for perfection? Was it selfish to think about the injury, the workload, the rest of the season and still wishing for a date?
Can. But for whom is the perfect game, anyway? It may be easy to picture it as selfless rather than selfish: a great societal gift as much as a great individual achievement. Everything on Wednesday made sense. But maybe it’s not selfish — and it’s not unreasonable — to wish that everything didn’t make much sense all the time.
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