The Los Angeles Dodgers’ first-year manager Dave Roberts has been a part of Major League Baseball as a player or coach since 1999. In that time, he has seen some historically great pitchers first-hand, and when he joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday, he shared where he believes Clayton Kershaw stacks up all time.
“I think the best, at the top,” Roberts said. “And obviously numbers withstanding, just his day-to-day focus, preparation. I was around Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy when Jake Peavy was dominate, I was around Kevin Brown, Hideo Nomo, some great pitchers you know, but I think the day-to-day to see how he prepares and everything he does is for a purpose and just raises everyone’s game on the fifth day. It’s really special.”
When asked to clarify if Kershaw was the best he’s been around or seen, the 43-year-old just came out and said it.
“He is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen,” Roberts said. “I think that for me, initially yeah, the best pitcher I’ve been around. And you say every four out of five day preparation, and then you see that fifth day, but now that you pose that question, I think he’s the best pitcher I’ve seen. I believe that, I believe he’s the best pitcher on the planet.”
Roberts also talked about yesterday’s brawl between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, which stemmed from Rangers players being upset with Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista’s bat flip from last seasons’ ALDS Game 5. The Dodgers manager said he has no issue with bat flipping.
“It’s kind of the thing that we all have to evolve and be more open-minded, and the game’s about the fans and the players, and I think there is emotion, and fans want to see emotion. We like seeing emotion, and in a big spot, Bautista is going to flip a bat, guys are going to get emotional,” Roberts said. “Because I think that in all sports basketball, football, obviously soccer, and baseball, guys get emotional. For me, I kind of laugh, and I don’t think it’s really showing up a guy. I think guys are trying to show their emotion. I’m good with it.”