Friday, November 04, 2011

The Joy Of Reading Sports Illustrated Four Weeks Late

I've gotten behind in my Sports Illustrated reading again, driven by work and other stuff. I mean, I'd like to get to these weekly magazines on time (that goes for you too, Economist). But sometimes it doesn't happen, and oftentimes, old issues just end up getting thrown out.

But not Sports Illustrated. Even when the issues become outdated, I hold on to them for future reading, because it's really fun to be sitting on an airplane catching up. It's particularly fun to read about stories written and angles taken, now that you know how they have played out.

One thing I found in the October 3 Sports Illustrated issue (Walter Payton cover) was a light interview between Dan Patrick and Clayton Kershaw. Given that the NL Cy Young award winner won't be announced until November 17 (and the NL MVP won't be announced until November 22), the interview remained somewhat relevant, even a month later:

DAN PATRICK: Are you the National League Cy Young winner?

CLAYTON KERSHAW: That's a great question. I don't know. I have to wait to find out.

DP: If you win, who will be thanked first in your speech?

CK: You probably have to go wife and then mom.

DP: Your top competition might be the Phillies' Roy Halladay. Do you think we expect so much out of Halladay that it's hard for him to impress us enough to win another Cy Young?

CK: He's unbelievable. You're probably right: You expect him to throw a complete-game shutout every time he goes out there. [...]

DP: How would you pitch to Matt Kemp?

CK: Four pitches outside the strike zone. Just hope he chases, I guess, because right now he's locked in.

DP: Who will win the National League MVP?

CK: I don't know, but if Kemp doesn't win it, somebody got it wrong. What he's done all year has been absolutely unbelievable for us. People can look at the record and say we didn't make the playoffs, but without him we might be 30 games under.

DP: What do you think of the job manager Don Mattingly has done?

CK: Donnie's awesome. He's so positive. That first half was so bad, but he remained positive. That kind of rubs off on the guys. You saw that it in the second half.

DP: Does Mattingly ever talk about how good he was as a player?

CK: Donnie doesn't talk about himself as a player at all. The one thing he does do is never forget how hard it is to play this game. When people are struggling, he doesn't just ride them to the bench. He understands this is a tough game. That's pretty special.

Clayton Kershaw is pretty special, too. I hope he wins the Cy Young Award.

The other thing that is cool about reading four-week-old SIs is the feature articles, and how prescient they ended up being. The MLB Playoff Preview cited "aces and closers" as the keys to October Baseball (so said Tom Verducci). Which is why the Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, Brewers, and Diamondbacks were all heavy favorites. Well, one out of five ain't bad. Ha ha!

Then there was a long article from Gary Smith about how Philadelphia has turned into Phillies Nation, a nation which crosses cultures and income strata and generations, and has elevated to become more civilized (i.e., eschewing booing!) because of the Phillies' success and imminent progression to another World Series Championship. Uh huh.

Let's do the timewarp again! I've got more old issues to read!


Kyle Baker said...

Top class from Kid K. I expect nothing less. Hope he didn't give away too many secrets about how to pitch to our MVP Matt Kemp!

I read comments from Kemp re Donnie yesterday, and now we have these from Kid. Both were overwhelmingly positive. I take that as a great sign that the players are really bought in to him.

When is Opening Day, again?