It’s Like Christmas In May…

As has been reported pretty much everywhere, megaprospect Clayton Kershaw’s making his debut today at Dodger Stadium against the Cardinals. First things first: if you’re anywhere near Los Angeles right now, stop reading this immediately, get off the Internet, and go find some tickets to this game. Not to add to the hype unnecessarily, but I can’t even remember the last time we had a rookie’s debut who was hyped this much. Let me put it this way: I have holiday events to attend, and while I normally can live with missing a game or two here and there to be a part of society, you’d better believe I’m going to drop whatever I’m doing to be ready to watch this kid.

For the record, I’m not convinced this was the right time to bring him up. We all knew he was making his debut this season, and that’s fine. But I guess I’m just not sure why it’s happening now. There’s no new injury to the starting rotation, and no one’s pitched poorly enough to lose their jobs. The front four of Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, and Hiroki Kuroda is about as set in stone as any rotation in the game right now. For the 5th spot – when you even need it, which isn’t always – you’ve got Chan Ho Park and Hong-Chih Kuo, who have each been surprisingly effective, plus all signs are positive so far on the return of Jason Schmidt. Granted, Penny and Lowe (until Derek’s last start) have struggled greatly, but Kershaw isn’t being called up to take their spots. He’s being called up to take the spot of Parkuo (hat-tip on that name: BluePastorKyle); and speaking of that two-headed monster, how is it that after they combined for 7 shutout innings in Anaheim last Saturday, Kuo didn’t get into another game until a meaningless inning last night and Park has still yet to? Point being, it’s not that I’m against Clayton Kershaw; far from it. It’s just that when the two guys you’ve got joining up to be your fifth starter have been pretty good over the season and very good in their last outings, I’m just not sure why now is the time to bring up Kershaw. You’d think you’d at least want to see how long you can ride Parkuo, figure out what the hell is going on with Brad Penny, maybe see if Schmidt’s got any prayer of productivity, and let Kershaw percolate in the minors and continue to work on his control.

That said, while it’s not necessarily the way I would have gone about it, the fact is that Clayton Kershaw’s finally making his debut in a few hours, and I could not be more excited about it. Safe to say, no matter how well or poorly this goes, this is going to be a day we’ll remember for quite some time. Hell, just take a quick look around the Dodgers blogosphere to catch the excitement:

Sons of Steve Garvey:

Aaugh! I can’t help it! This is going to be awesome! Help us, Clayton Kershaw! You’re our only hope!

6-4-2:

Well, good an excuse as any for me to make my first visit to Dodger Stadium.

True Blue LA:

heck, it’s Kershaw time now, what do I have to complain about?

Jeff Kent as cleanup hitter deathwatch: Tonight’s 1-4 puts him at a 61 OPS+. He is now 11% worse of a hitter than the worst cleanup hitter of the last 50 years. Until Torre starts dropping him in the order, I’m going to have to keep harping on this.

Plus: The Free Terry Tiffee campaign worked!

And! With Andruw Jones on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, it seems kind of unfair to keep him up in the “cause corner” busting him for his batting average. Looks like we need a new one already! Thoughts?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

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  1. [...] is why I didn’t want Kershaw to be called up in the first place – not because I thought he’d be overmatched, but because I simply didn’t see the need [...]

  2. [...] such interest? I suppose we have to mention Clayton Kershaw‘s debut in 2008 – “Like Christmas in May“, as I referred to it at the time. There’s also Manny Ramirez‘ Dodger debut later [...]

  3. [...] that drew such interest? I suppose we have to mention Clayton Kershaw‘s debut in 2008 – “Like Christmas in May“, as I referred to it at the time. There’s also Manny Ramirez‘ Dodger debut later that year, [...]