Russell Martin likes to talk about Clayton Kershaw 's changeup, which with his 95 mph fastball and sizzling curveball makes Kershaw "a future Cy Young Award winner."
Everyone likes to talk about Kershaw because he's one of those people that everyone wishes was a cousin or godson. Kershaw turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, and the clubhouse story goes that a veteran asked Kershaw if he'd been out drinking yet.
"I've had wine at communion," Kershaw replied.
With Chad Billingsley experiencing some physical problems last week, the Dodgers' rotation of Hiroki Kuroda, Kershaw, Billingsley, Randy Wolf and someone from the Eric Milton/James McDonald group may not only be extremely thin, but forced to put undo pressure on the 21-year-old Kershaw. The coaching staff feels the team is also short one or two set-up men.
So there is a lot of pressure to sign Pedro Martinez, who threw well in the WBC and would benefit from pitching in the NL West parks. Right now, the Dodgers are balking at Pedro's $5 million asking price, but understand this about Martinez: That stubbornness and hubris are what make him a Hall of Famer. Manny Ramirez has called Martinez, so there may be some way to work it out. Hey, the Dodgers still are a tick below $100M.
Speaking of Ramirez, Joe Torre said, "When I played, no one worked as hard as Manny does." And Torre played with one of the greatest players (and people), Henry Aaron.