There are three active major league pitchers who have won the Cy Young Award three times.
One of them is Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won the National League Cy Young Award three times in 2011, 2013 and 2014. This happened when he was 23, 25, and 26 years old. Kershaw commanded the mound as an ace representing the major leagues even after that. However, his career began to be plagued by injuries when he injured his back in June 2016. The diagnosis he received at the time was ‘disc herniation’. This is a back pain commonly referred to as a herniated disc.
Kershaw has been on the disabled list almost every year since with a sore back. Last year, in early August, he complained of back pain and was placed on the injured list. It was because of these frequent injuries that the Dodgers did not easily catch Kershaw, who became a free agent at the end of 2021. Even after last season, Kershaw had to settle for a one-year, $20 million contract renewal.
In fact, Kershaw has nothing to regret if he retires now. He received the Cy Young Award three times, and was also the MVP of the regular season once. Although it was a shortened 60-game season, 2020 also tasted the joy of winning the World Series. As much as he enjoyed an era, he earned decent money. His cumulative annual salary until last year is over $270 million.
But there was only one thing he wanted to do. It was to stand on the mound as a member of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) U.S. national team. He said he was overjoyed when he was notified of the selection from the WBC in December of last year. At this WBC, the United States was scheduled to challenge for consecutive championships following 2017, with Mike Trout as the hitter and Kershaw as the pitcher.
However, Kershaw’s dream ended in vain. The US team announced on the 18th (Korean time) that Kershaw was leaving the WBC team. Kershaw met with local media at the spring training camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, and expressed his deep regret over the cancellation of his participation in the WBC. He didn’t shed a tear, but his expression of disappointment was evident.
In the end, his recent frequent injury career caught his ankle. According to ESPN, etc., it is observed that injuries such as disc symptoms have become a problem in the past 2-3 years. Players on the Major League Baseball 40-man roster must meet insurance requirements to compete in the WBC. However, the insurance company contracted with MLB opposed Kershaw’s participation in the WBC, and MLB, the Dodgers, and Kershaw did not solve this problem.
Kershaw said, “I was very disappointed. I tried many ways to solve the problem. I didn’t have a problem, but I couldn’t solve it. I really wanted to compete because I thought this was my last chance.” The odds of a 35-year-old Kershaw competing in the WBC again are slim.
On the same day, good news was delivered to New York Mets fans in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, dubbed the “strongest in the universe” one-two punch, pitched the bullpen side by side. When Verlander signed a free agent contract with the Mets for two years and $86.67 million in December last year, the two will wear the same uniform for the first time in nine years since the Detroit Tigers in 2014.
It is the first time in 9 years that they are pitching in the bullpen side by side. Mets manager Buck Showalter said, “What drives them? What drives them to pursue perfection every time they move their arms? Because they have ‘it’. What is it? Fear of failure? I don’t know. Who knows? But they Obviously there is,” he said. It was a nuance that speaks of professionalism and responsibility as an ace.
Bullpen pitching was finished first by Verlander. He didn’t leave right away, watching Scherzer pitch from behind until he finished. Scherzer praised him, saying, “Verlander is a winning pitcher. We are doing our best to win everything. We need a pitcher like Verlander to win.” 바카라
Like Kershaw, Scherzer and Verlander each received three Cy Young Awards. The two have the same annual salary of $43.33 million this year. When the Mets acquired Verlander, they made it that way intentionally. Coach Showalter decided on the starting pitcher for the opening game, but he did not disclose it. This is because one of the two has to be the second starter, even though he is ‘hurt his pride’.
But for Scherzer and Verlander, the WBC is a different world. Both are Americans of original American nationality, born in the United States. However, they have never revealed their position regarding the WBC, and no related news has come out. He’s not sick right now, but he seems to have a different opinion than Kershaw.