He is not only an incredible pitcher, but well beyond his years in how poised and calm he is with the media, especially under the intense scrutiny of being a Cy Young candidate in a major media market.
But watching the highlights tonight, after he was unfairly tossed without warning for pitching inside to Gerardo Parra--brought my regard for Kershaw to even greater heights. Not only was Kershaw livid BUT reasonably collected as the incident was taking place, but the post-game interview highlights depict a man who handles the press' inquiries in a rational, articulate manner. He deflected leading questions that tried to stick him with intent (Kershaw explained that he had pitched Parra away in his prior AB and he stroked a double, so he felt he needed to pitch Parra inside this time), and even moved the conversation away from himself to credit his teammates in the bullpen who pulled out the victory for the team.
I don't know if Kershaw intended to hit Parra or not. We will probably never know. But if he did, his teammates love him more now, and if he didn't, he's loved anyway by the way he reacted. He was fervent but controlled, emotional but not irrational, inspiring but not off-putting. In short, he was a leader--and led by example.
Kershaw is one of two players we absolutely, without fail, no matter what, need to keep. I know it's probably obvious to say that. But there's no doubt in my mind that the future is bright for Kershaw and without limits--and bright for the Dodgers if we can retain him in the Dodger family.