Letters to Sports: Plaschke whiffs taking Kershaw over Koufax
Sorry Bill Plaschke. Kershaw is not the greatest Dodgers pitcher of all time, Sandy Koufax is. Sandy was a three-time World Series champion with a lifetime World Series ERA of 0.95.
Koufax threw back-to-back shutouts on just two days’ rest to win Games 5 and 7 of the 1965 World Series. The Dodgers offense was so anemic in the 1960s that many times Koufax could not afford to give up more than one or two runs in a game to get the win.
La Cañada Flintridge
The headline reads, “With Strikeout Record, Kershaw Is the Greatest Dodger Pitcher Ever.” I think if my life was on the line, dependent on who pitches, Clayton or Sandy, the choice is a no-brainer. Clayton gets the ball only on Yom Kippur.
I watched Sandy Koufax pitch, every game, his entire career. Clayton Kershaw is no Sandy Koufax.
Had to laugh at Plaschke’s statement regarding Kershaw as the Dodgers’ greatest. Compare: four no-hitters, plus a perfect game. Multiple World Series titles. Kershaw’s World Series title came in a 60-game season, hardly a test of greatness.
Game 7, World Series on the line, both pitchers in their prime. Who’s gonna pitch? It’s a no-brainer: Sandy K, any day.
West Los Angeles
Having Bill Plaschke proclaim Clayton Kershaw “the greatest Dodger pitcher ever” is truly debatable. Years of being unable to win the “big” games, coming out of a game after pitching seven perfect innings, leaving a game in a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning after establishing the strikeout record, allowing the Dodgers to eventually lose the game, should all be taken into account.
Kershaw is a great pitcher so I will concede to Mr. Plaschke that he is the “greatest Dodger pitcher ever” for six or seven innings.
Kent M. Paul
If we use John Wooden’s adage, “Be at your best when your best is needed” to determine the greatest Dodgers pitcher ever, based on postseason performance, Koufax wins in a landslide.
Although Bill Shaikin is an outstanding sportswriter, I don’t understand some of the obvious omissions in his fawning article celebrating the 10-year anniversary of how Guggenheim “saved” the Dodgers and “revitalized their relationship with the community.” It’s like a story about the Titanic that doesn’t mention the iceberg.
The article reminds us about Guggenheim’s “record $8.35-billion television deal with … Time Warner Cable … [because] Kershaw and González and Co. had made the Dodgers into must-see TV.” But it overlooked the big story that L.A. Times writers (including Shaikin) covered extensively for years in articles that often included the words fiasco, debacle and greed. None of the cable and satellite providers that cover the other 70% of Southland households were willing the pay the $60 per subscriber per year that Time Warner demanded to recoup some of its investment. For years, most Southland households could not watch the Dodgers.
The article recounts that on the first day the new owners cut the price of parking from $15 to $10. But it doesn’t mention that they’ve since raised the price of parking to $30. And it costs $50 to park within walking distance of the stadium.
And ticket prices? Before the new owners, I paid around $35 to $45 for seats that are now priced at a fluctuating range around $160. Seats in the Dugout Club that were originally $150 are now $1,250. At least for those seats the new owners are fleecing other billionaires.
Magic Johnson’s words, “Let’s move forward, please. Frank’s not here. He’s not a part of the Dodgers anymore” is really just a pipe dream. Frank still owns the parking lots. And, at $30 per car (only $25 if you purchase the parking online), Frank is definitely still here.
Dylan Hernández made some great points in his column about the Dodgers’ lack of faith in Julio Urías. Among the most worrisome is that we can possibly see a repeat of last year’s total bungling of pitchers in the playoffs. Roberts and Friedman tried to get too cute with who started, who relieved and when. It cost L.A. another World Series title. And it seems like they may do it again. Blue Heaven help us.
So now Hernández has fashioned himself as both the manager and president of baseball operations for the Dodgers. He thinks he is smarter than both and can tell them how to run the Dodgers team and organization.
Let’s point out that the Dodgers are off to the second-best start of any team in MLB. They are in first place in the West and have among the lowest team ERAs in the NL. The bullpen has been exceptional.
Now along comes Hernández telling the team how to use Julio Urías. He has a 1.88 ERA to start the season and that is partly because he is being managed by an organization that wants to keep him (and the rest of the starters) fresh and injury free. When you have a bullpen that does not blow games you can afford to lift a starter. Also, it is not just the Dodgers doing this, it is how many with similar pitching strength handle their staffs.
‘Winning Time’ win
Having read a series of recent letters criticizing HBO’s “Winning Time,” I think old-time Lakers fans are expressing their respect for Jerry West more than their true opinion of the TV series, if they’ve even watched it.
I frankly love “Winning Time,” and think it is loads of fun, cheekily irreverent and beautifully written and filmed. The acting is excellent throughout with a great cast consisting of experienced actors like John C. Reilly, Wood Harris and Sally Field as well as the new young actors playing Magic and Kareem. The portrayal of the Jack McKinney-Paul Westhead-Pat Riley coaching quandary during the 1979-80 season is absolutely compelling. Every week I tell my wife that the latest episode is “the best yet.”
Reading an article by Helene Elliott about hockey on paper … actual paper.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Email: [email protected]
For all the latest Sports News Click Here