Are you watching? We're seeing a new GOAT on the rise, and his name is Clayton Kershaw.
We hear the word “GOAT” often in the sports community. Meaning “the greatest of all time,” this acronym is frequently used by pundits and fans alike. After all, there are some decent debates revolving around GOAT. The hottest debates tend to be about quarterbacks (Brady vs. Montana) or NBA players (Jordan vs. James).
But if you pay any attention to baseball, you’ll notice a new GOAT on the rise, and he’s only 29 years old.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tallied his 2000th strikeout today, becoming the 2nd-fastest player to reach that milestone. Kershaw will get his 3000th strikeout—a feat only accomplished by 16 other pitchers—in a mere 3-4 seasons if he keeps up this pace. While he has yet to win a World Series, Kershaw is on track to own several MLB records. And that World Series win will come eventually. Just look at what analysts are saying right now—many of them have the Dodgers pegged to win it all this October. Much of their success will, of course, depend on Kershaw’s arm.
I know it may be a little early to place Kershaw above the greats, so I’m not saying flat-out that he’s a greater pitcher than Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez just yet. Those guys have World Series wins to write home about. But we can’t ignore what the young pitcher has already accomplished in his short career. Here are just a few of his accolades:
6 All Star Game Appearances
4 NL ERA Leader
3 NL Strikeouts Leader
3 NL Cy Young Awards
2 NL Wins Leader
1 NL MVP
And, really, there is no reason to think he’ll stop dominating. Further, he’ll likely do it all without the blemish of steroid usage. Clemens can’t say the same about his career as most of his accomplishments deserve an asterisk to note the suspicions of performance enhancing drugs. Besides, as said earlier, only one other pitcher reached 2000 strikeouts faster than Kershaw. That man was Randy Johnson, who is arguably the greatest pitcher of the last 30 years and great company for Kershaw to be in.
But, much like Johnson, Kershaw has to win a title before he can really be in this conversation. Unfortunately, that’s how the sports world measure success—through wins. LeBron and MJ had to win a few titles before they could be thrown in the GOAT discussion. Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins are what separates him from guys like Dan Marino. In order to be GOAT, you have to win. That’s just all there is to it.
However, I think Kershaw will get there. And he’ll get there soon.Filed under: Sports, MLB, Baseball, Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers