You can't break up the 9.
I know this because a veteran just yelled it at a rookie, but I have no idea what it means. "If you multiply nine by anything, you can add up those two resulting digits and get nine," said Mark Sweeney, the Dodgers' unofficial mathematician. "The number 54 is part of that system, and I can't believe it's not good enough for him."
The him in question is Clayton Kershaw, a freshly minted 20-year-old southpaw whose meteoric rise to the majors is so mythical he was recently nicknamed the Minotaur. But the seven Cardinals he K'd in his stellar debut on Sunday was not enough to keep him from breaking up the nine. Two hours before the first pitch of the opening game of the Dodgers last-ever series at Shea Stadium, the crimson-faced, floppy-haired, definitely still-growing Kershaw traded in his #54 for #22, a number that belonged to his childhood idol Will Clark, and, until five minutes ago, Sweeney. "Shouldn't I be getting a watch or something?" Sweeney asked the four Dodger beat writers on the trip. "Can you guys check and see what kind of a signing bonus he got?"
I wonder if Sweeney likes graphs? The rest of Knight's behind-the-scenes insight includes Matt Kemp, Blake DeWitt and 13 pizzas. Mmmm....pizza.