The 2017 World Series was buried deep in the recesses of Clayton Kershaw’s brain when the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme surfaced in November and unearthed the piercing memories again.
He has reflected on his start in Game 5 of that World Series at Minute Maid Park, site of the Astros’ cheating, in the weeks since the allegations emerged. He has wondered how much the Astros benefited from illegally using technology as they scored six runs in 4 2/3 innings off him to add another miserable chapter to his unsatisfactory postseason resume. He can’t help but imagine the Dodgers would’ve won the championship.
“At the same time, I can’t change it and we’re not going to win no matter what,” Kershaw said Monday at the Justin Turner Foundation’s annual charity golf event in Thousand Oaks. “So I’m just gonna move on.”
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, manager Dave Roberts and several of Kershaw’s teammates echoed the sentiments at the club’s FanFest on Saturday.
Despite the L.A. City Council’s efforts, the Dodgers don’t want the title awarded to them. That’s not how they want to end a World Series championship drought of 31 years. They want the champagne celebration and the parade. They want organic euphoria.
But there’s one thing Kershaw would like to see from the scandal: some contrition from the perpetrators.
“It is a little bit interesting that the Astros players haven’t said sorry or meant it or anything like that,” Kershaw said. “Just not a whole lot of remorse yet, which they did win a World Series and they’re not taking it back, so I don’t know. Maybe there isn’t. But it would be good to hear from some of those guys and just what they have to say about it and maybe mean it a little bit. It’d be good.”
So far, Dallas Keuchel is the only member of the 2017 Astros to publicly apologize. Now with the Chicago White Sox, Keuchel said his former teammates should follow suit. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, two All-Stars who were instrumental in the Astros’ championship season, had the opportunity to express remorse this month but stopped short. Astros owner Jim Crane later said the players plan on apologizing together at spring training.
Altuve went three for five with a home run, double and four runs batted in the Astros’ 13-12 win in Game 5 in 2017. Bregman finished two for five and drew a walk against Kershaw with two outs in the fifth inning. He also had the game-winning RBI.
Bregman was the final batter Kershaw faced. Altuve followed with a three-run home run on the seventh pitch of his at-bat against Kenta Maeda to tie the score 7-7. The seesaw continued until Bregman’s walk-off single against Kenley Jansen in the 10th inning to give Houston a 3-2 series lead.
The Dodgers won Game 6 at home, but dropped Game 7. It was the closest they have come to winning a championship since 1988. In a few weeks, they’ll report to Camelback Ranch for spring training and begin another journey.
“Maybe the silver lining is this did happen in the offseason and we can have time to digest it and think about it and marinate in it a little bit and feel what we’re going to feel,” Kershaw said. “And then once spring training rolls around we can move past it.”