Friday, May 30, 2008

Molly Knight Brings Us Into the Dodgers Clubhouse

Sportswriter and Dodgers fan Molly Knight brings us "Reporting from...the Visitors Clubhouse at Shea" from ESPN the Magazine:

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.


Steve Sax said...

If Mark Sweeney is such a mathematician, I hope he is taking a close look at the .095 batting average he's sporting. (And I say "sporting" quite loosely.)

Eric Karros said...

Hello from Shea. Here's more fun with number oddities:

-take a calculator with a standard 3x3 digit keypad.
-punch in any four digit number that 1)forms a rectangle on the keypad, and 2) is punched in either clockwise or counterclockwise. For example 1364 or 8217 (it can even be a parallelogram like 8129 but I don't think you're ready for that yet).
-divide that 4-digit number by 11.
-->you will always get a whole number.

Your move, Sweeney.