There is no mistaking the precocious maturity of Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Whether in his calm focus on the mound or in the clubhouse, he is beyond his 23 years. He appears remarkably centered and at peace with himself, recognizing where he is personally and professionally.
Kershaw is a professional athlete, though unlike Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe, he is hardly labeled as "an disastrous signing". Kershaw and Uribe are two Los Angeles baseball players who outwardly approach their workout preparation and physical fitness in markedly different ways.
If there is a robust, does-my-girth-slow-my-bat-speed aspect to Uribe and his 2011 OPS+ of 56 (the starting lineup's worst), Kershaw has a more understated ERA+ of 163 along with a league-leading 248 Ks.
I've never heard him bring up his Cy Young Award-winning campaign and role as team role model while philantrhopically benefitting underserved Zambian children whom have lost their parents to AIDS. Yet, I have a clear understanding of his overall awesomeness.
"I think everybody has different approaches to it," Kershaw said. "For me, everything I do has a purpose to it beyond what’s in this lifetime. At the same time, on the field I have a job to do and that’s what I’m focused on.
"I guess you could say I’m a little more skinny than Juan is. Not to say either one is wrong, that’s just kind of my body type a little bit."
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photos: Uribe: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America; Kershaw: Jeff Gross / Getty Images